Consider for a moment the amount of personal information that is contained on your CV. Imagine the potential for disaster should it become widely known that you’re seeking alternative employment. Wouldn’t you rather know exactly where your CV is going, to whom, and for what? You need to make sure that your know your candidate rights.

Just this week I came across a candidate that was submitted for a position at my client by another agency, without his permission. They didn’t even discuss the position with him. He had no idea that they submitted his CV to his current employer! As you can imagine my candidate is really upset and after speaking to him, I discovered that he was not aware that he has rights as a candidate. Yes, that is right. You as the job seeker do have rights when dealing with recruitment agencies.

Always do your research! As a job seeker you might think that your chances will be better when represented by as many agencies as possible. This is not the case. Before choosing to deal with agencies always do your research.  In South Africa alone as many as 3000 agencies exist and like any diverse industry, they come in all shapes and sizes. Many of them are registered with the governing body APSO, but there is a sizeable portion that are not, and who don’t necessarily abide by the same sort of high ethical principles that APSO has formulated. Always choose an APSO registered agency to represent you to ensure your peace of mind.

It often happens that an individual’s CV is submitted to the same client more than once because they were unaware of it being sent in the first place. This can be the result of two simple situations. One, an unscrupulous ‘Recruiter’ has simply lifted the CV from a job portal and submitted it to the client without ever engaging with the individual, or two, one or both of the Recruiters has failed to divulge the name of the client to the candidate during their usual recruitment process. This situation could simply be avoided by ensuring that each time you engage with a Recruiter, you make it clear that you wish to have all of the information, including the name of the client, before you consider being submitted as an applicant for the role. At the end of the day, you are providing the Recruiter with permission to represent you to the Client, and they are not permitted to send your personal details without your express permission.

Professional staffing companies make their money by charging fees to their clients (companies seeking staff) for their recruitment services. Individuals seeking to secure employment are strongly advised not to engage with companies who charge fees, whether for registration, application, administration or placement.

In short:

  • Always do research
  • Know where your CV is going
  • Do not pay ANY administration fees to agencies

Understanding your rights will lead to a more constructive recruitment process and should ensure that your reputation, within the sector you’ve chosen to work in, is maintained. Always choose to work with a Recruiter, ideally one who belongs to a professional body like APSO, who is committed to building a long-term relationship with you that is characterised by trust, integrity, open communication channels and above all, honesty.


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