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Don’t sign your job search away….
Having worked in legal recruitment for over 7 years I have come across most recruitment practises, both the good and the bad! However over the last few months there seems a worrying trend of recruitment consultancies tying candidates to written agreements that go far beyond the terms of any registration document. These seems to relate to confidentiality agreements (on the premise of being requested by a client) and sole agency agreements that essentially restrict a candidate utilising the services of another agency for a 12 month period. Please have a look at the points below before signing your job search away…
• Placing your search exclusively in the hands of a trusted and reputable recruiter for a short period of time can be a very positive step. You retain control and you build a relationship with one recruiter who understands you and your search, at BCL Legal we often work with candidates on an exclusive basis. However this is a verbal agreement and we will never ask you to sign a contract!
• Never underestimate the importance of relationships. Recruitment consultants that have operated in the market for a number of years will often have contacts that are unique to them and therefore will be aware of gaps before other agencies and sometimes on an exclusive basis. When you sign a contractual agreement with one ‘sole’ agent you may well miss out on the opportunity to apply for such vacancies or even worse end up placing a client in a difficult situation trying to accommodate competing interests.
• Ensure that you fully understand what you are signing! We have seen agreements that have been sold to a candidate as a ‘registration document’ when in fact it permits active marketing on a candidates behalf and replaces any historic application you may have made. This means if you have applied for an advertised vacancy, or a consultant has approached a firm on your behalf in relation to a vacancy, this approach is invalidated. Any duplication causes issues for clients and has, in extreme examples, resulted in interviews being cancelled.
• Do your research!! BCL Legal is one of a very small number of agencies that can say are on all PSL agreements with the national and regional commercial firms. Make sure that the agency you entrust with your search (especially if you do so contractually) can genuinely represent you with all the firms that you would like to approach.
• No client (national, regional, and high street) has ever asked that we request candidates to submit a confidentiality agreement.
BCL Legal will never ask you to sign a sole agency agreement. We would love to work with you exclusively but if you place your trust in us to assist you we will trust that you will be open and honest….without the need for a written contract!
For more information please contact Mary Nowell