Unethical Practices in Recruitment Agencies: Why this could cost you your business, and what you can do about it to CYA.

Don’t be duped!

Jessica Smith


Do you have “recruitment agency fatigue?” I really don’t blame you. I have been meeting with tonnes of clients who tell me that they have worked with numerous agencies, who are just not able to deliver and can’t back up why they can’t deliver with data. They feel ghosted and disserviced for what they signed for, leaving them holding the bag and having to explain to their superiors why they’re not going to be able to hit their quarterly results because they worked with agencies who just couldn’t hit the mark.

I’ve been around the block. Started my career in agency and there’s one thing I want to expose about how these recruitment agencies are duping you, so that they can win your business, and get you to sign with them.

This tactic has been around for ages. Ever wonder how an agency magically presents a great candidate to you before you end up signing on the dotted line to work with them, explaining that you won’t be able to see the candidate, unless you sign with them? And then after, the agency tells you that the candidate is no longer available in less than a 24 hour time frame?

Guess what, you have been duped.

As a potential client, I want to make sure you are protected from this because agencies will look at you as just another number, and start off their relationship with you on an unethical foot, by sending you a bogus candidate just so that you’ll give them your business. All they are looking for is for you to sign on the dotted line, and they will use this tactic to test you and see if you're actually serious about their business. 

I don’t know about you, but as a hiring manager, I  wouldn’t want to be presented a viable candidate, get excited about them, and then get told within a 24-hour period, they are no longer available just so I'd be signing the dotted line with the agency. 

In some cases, the candidate they are sending you doesn’t even know that their resume was used to win your business, despite potentially having their contact information blocked off.

I feel for the candidates, because this unethical behavior of data sharing is happening behind their backs, and I’ve seen my fair share of Account Managers at these recruitment agencies, get in trouble for doing this, because the candidates were not made aware, and didn’t give permission for their data to be shared to win new business. 

Here is the break-down of the MPC Tactic (MOST PLACEABLE CANDIDATE)

The "most placeable candidate" (MPC) tactic used by recruitment agencies can have several potential dangers and negative consequences for both job seekers and employers.

One of the main dangers of the MPC approach is that it WILL ALWAYS prioritize the interests of the recruitment agency over the needs of the employer and the job seeker. Recruitment agencies are more motivated to place candidates who are easiest to place or who generate the highest fees, rather than those who are the best fit for the role and the company. Recruitment agencies will use this approach to test you as a potential client while sending you a potentially bogus candidate, that doesn't know they are being sent to you.  It's not in your benefit at all. They are doing this solely for their gain, not yours as a client. 

 This can lead to a lack of trust between all parties involved and a breakdown in the recruitment process. It starts off the relationship with dishonesty. If a recruitment agency is willing to do this just to win your business, what other unethical things are they willing to do? Is this what you want to associate your company and brand with? It could destroy you in the candidate market. I have seen this backfire for agencies many times. 

Rather than taking into account the unique needs and requirements of each employer and job seeker, the MPC approach may prioritize a narrow set of criteria that may not be applicable to all situations. They will take the best-looking profile in their database, and send it to you, the client, without a thought. In some cases, it may have been a client that they have already placed talent with, and they are using that candidate's resume, to sell to you. As a client, you should be angry about this because if this agency places a candidate with you, the agency will then continue to shop that candidate's resume around, which is already working for you, to pick up other business. 

As a potential client, I would like you to think twice about accepting a candidate and question the validity of the candidate if you are magically receiving one before signing with this agency. In most cases than not, it's often bullshit.  Make sure you are protecting yourself from these tricks by calling out the agency on the spot and asking the agency if the candidate gave permission to send their resume before you sign anything with this agency. If you sign with the agency on a contingency basis (not contingency exclusive), you can still protect your brand and reputation by continuing to interview other agencies who believe in concrete data, and not starting off the relationship trying to dupe you.

Make sure to ask the agency that just MPC'd you before you sign with them, if the candidate is available to interview within the next 24 hours before you sign with them. This is a surefire way to catch the agency lying to you, if there's an excuse as to why the candidate can't. 

Disclaimer: At Savant Recruitment, we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and we want to be upfront and clear about our commitment to our clients. We believe that trust is the cornerstone of any successful business relationship and we will never engage in MPC (Most Placeable Candidate submissions) to win your business.

We recognize that such practices can start a client relationship on the wrong foot, and we refuse to compromise our values in such a manner. We believe that the truth always prevails, and we are committed to ensuring that our clients have the right information in front of them before making any hiring decisions. This is why we take steps to protect our clients, even before meeting them.

We understand that making hiring decisions can be challenging, and we want our clients to feel confident that they are making informed decisions based on factual information, not lies. This is why we ensure that any candidate we screen is only presented to our clients after the client has signed our agreement and the candidate has given Savant Recruitment both verbal and written permission to do so. Our clients can be assured that they are in control of the hiring process, and we will work tirelessly to find the right candidates for their businesses, with legitimacy and honesty.

At Savant Recruitment, we pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and transparency in all our dealings. Our commitment to ethical practices is a fundamental aspect of our business, and we believe that our clients deserve nothing less. If you choose to work with us, you can be confident that we will always act in your best interests and uphold the highest ethical standards in all our interactions.