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Earlier this week I met a fantastic young Candidate with some good experience who is looking to advance her recruitment career.

I proposed that she meets one of my favourite clients who I’ve been working with for over ten years. They’ve got a live role on a hot desk that she’d be PERFECT for. She said she’d go away overnight and get back to me the next morning.

The following morning she came back to me with an email that contained the following with regards to the client:

“whereby a Consultant (name withheld) who is still working there, asked me to pretend I had been to an interview with him, asked for a picture of me in a bikini (which I didn’t send) and sent me to the client very unprepared. I know of other candidates who have had similarly inappropriate conversations with him, so not someone I would want to work with.”

This obviously came as a huge shock to me. I’ve never heard an allegation like this about my client.

The Consultant referred to is very highly regarded in the business and I know the owner of the company holds him in very high esteem.

So what do I do now?

Do I ring my client and tell him of these allegations (keeping my Candidate’s name confidential) to help protect the reputation of his company? Or do I keep the information to myself to protect the anonymity of my Candidate and not work with this client again?

What are your thoughts and have you ever had a similar experience?



  1. Elyse on June 8, 2017 at 1:17 am

    I think you have an obligation to take i to your client and have it properly investigated.. If it is true, the person needs to be dealt with. Similarly, if it isn’t true they need to have an option to clear their name.

    • Paul Hamilton on June 9, 2017 at 1:50 am

      Thanks Elyse. Will follow you advice.

  2. Mike on June 8, 2017 at 1:41 am

    I would tell your client of the allegation Paul. I have been i a similar situation once where allegations were made about a consultant. I spoke to the consultant and informed them of what I had been told. Above all is in my opinion is YOUR OWN reputation, if the allegations are baseless your client has a right to know what is being touted about them in the industry and take appropriate action to protect reputations. Alternatively if the allegations have some basis then the industry has a right to know also – above all protect your own reputation.

    • Paul Hamilton on June 9, 2017 at 1:50 am

      Thanks Mike, will speak to the client but the candidate has asked for confidentiality which of course i will honour.

  3. Kirsten Keenan on June 8, 2017 at 1:50 am

    If you have been recruiting for the client for 10 years now, you must have had a fair amount of feedback from your placed candidates in terms of the culture of the organisation and how your client is as a boss. People who are serial misogynists cannot hide in the industry, consultants are talkers, we love to discussing people, you would have heard other things before now. If it’s true, he won’t care, if its malicious gossip, you run the risk of damaging your relationship. I would keep my mouth shut. More concerning is your candidate, why email, not discuss it with you first. She is relying on someone that didn’t even meet your client, in comparison to you, who has known him for over 10 years. She is not putting any trust in the recruiter-candidate relationship. People like that are generally high maintenance. Stick with your client.

    • Paul Hamilton on June 9, 2017 at 1:48 am

      Hi Kirsten,
      The experience is actually first hand from the Candidate when she was a job seeker before getting into recruitment herself.

  4. John on June 8, 2017 at 3:08 am

    You need to protect YOUR reputation and maintain your integrity.

    I would speak to the Candidate and seek permission to name her in discussion with the business owner – she clearly doesn’t want to work in that type of environment. I would make an appointment with the owner and raise the allegation with them.

    At the end of the day it it NOT something you can ignore.

    • Paul Hamilton on June 9, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Thanks John. Great advice. Appreciate the input. Will speak to the business owner but the Candidate has asked for confidentiality

  5. Kerri Giannouleas on June 8, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I’d suggest providing the client with the information and insight into how this might affect their ability to hire & keep great talent not to mention their reputation/brand in wider business circles. What the client does with that information is down to them and out of your control, but the way they handle the situation will allow you to make the decision to keep working for them or not, surely it would come down to understanding what type of culture the client wants to build & maintain and if that aligns with your values.

    • Paul Hamilton on June 9, 2017 at 1:45 am

      Hi Kerrie,
      That’s a great response and it really does get down to how the client handles the feedback and if they are prepared to act on it. Thanks for the feedback.

  6. Chris Henderson on June 8, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Hello Hamo, thats a no brainer! if you know the owner you have to have a private word to at least make him aware of such accusations, and give the person a chance to explain or admit fault…
    These days that sort of behaviour is unequivocally not tolerated under any circumstances…the way it is handled would predicate what you do next..if it’s not dealt with professionally or is condoned or even dismissed then a) you have a clear conscience and if its not dealt with appropriately then b) should seriously consider distancing yourself from this organisation..mindful that one rotten apple doesn’t mean the entire organisation is rotten to the core. If they don’t respond appropriately and you continued to work with them, I would suggest you are just condoning that sort of behaviour and potentially making other people who have experienced similar with this person, believe that you are OK with such behaviour, which I know is absolutely not the case as we were colleagues more than 12 years….

    • Paul Hamilton on June 9, 2017 at 1:44 am

      Hi Chris, Thanks for the response. Certainly agree that one rogue operator doesn’t mean the whole organisation is rotten to the core.

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