Ask Dem: The run around

Hi Dem,

I have a situation where a candidate asked me to market his background into a company that was currently hiring. I know they are interviewing because a previous candidate had provided me with a position description and other information. I contacted the decision maker listed on the position description. She sent me to HR (what a surprise!), who sent me to the recruitment company retained on this position, who sent me back to HR, who sent me to an agency who oversees all preferred supplier recruitment companies able to recruit against a given position. They came back with the following response:

I wanted to follow up with you to inform you that at the present time we are not looking to add any new agencies to our preferred suppliers list. However, we will review this again in July. I will touch base with our head office office again at that time and will keep all your contact information, including the attachments you sent me with your terms and conditions.

What’s my next step Dem? Do I go back to the decision maker, or just wait until July?


Well look, you got something out of it. A “run around” like that has to be somewhat cardiovascular. You probably burned off 100 calories. Have a doughnut and it's break even!

Please tell me you didn’t send the “agency who oversees all preferred supplier recruitment companies" the CV of your candidate along with your terms and conditions and contact information?

This is a game played not just by this company, but by many of the large contract staffing players who have a "managed agency agreement". They tell the client they will subcontract and therefore the client has access to ALL the candidates, but in practice they are reluctant to split out the money rather than fill it themselves. So why solicit your CV’s? Why mess you around? Because you feed their database. Your candidate becomes their candidate for the next contract position. And they never pay you again.

What you need to do now is what you should have done at the outset AND THEN WALKED AWAY IF IT DIDN’T WORK. Call the decision maker and tell him,"after attempting to go through channels and getting a run around that makes calling technical support in a third world call centre seem like whispering in someone’s ear", you don’t want their business, you don’t want to become a supplier or sub supplier, or micro supplier or a single celled amoeba supplier.

You want a "Once Off". You have one candidate. Suggest the decision maker see this candidate and if they are as good a fit as you think they are, perhaps the decision maker (who could do this in a phone call) will circumvent the labyrinth of paperwork, but don’t make that judgment until they have met the candidate. Once the interview occurs, and a real flesh and blood person with a real life and timely situation is in play, things change.