It’s the end of a long day. I have just finished interviewing, reference checking and writing a full profile for an excellent candidate who is keen to be put forward for an urgent position which has just come in. I feel rather excited for the candidate as I send the information over: it’s a great fit. The role would be a good step up for him, and having thoroughly profiled his personality also, I’m confident that he would fit the rest of the team well and live up to expectations.

Later that evening an email flashes up. I’m keen to read it as I anticipate positive feedback from the yacht in question. However, it simply reads: “Sorry, I have already received his CV”. That’s very odd, I think. I’m sure the candidate would have mentioned it if someone else had already spoken to him about this position as it’s quite a distinctive role. 

I decide to give him a call and, sure enough, he assures me that he had no prior knowledge of this position, nor been approached by anyone about it. Certainly to the best of his knowledge, he hadn’t applied for it and he is actually rather shocked when I tell him that his CV must have been sent out without him knowing.

There is an important balance between speed and quality of service. It should not be some sort of race which potentially lets down both client and candidate.

Naturally, as recruiters, we all want our CVs to be the first that a yacht receives.  However, in my view, there is an important balance between speed and quality of service.  It should not be some sort of race which potentially lets down both client and candidate. Unfortunately, however, the race to the finishing post at any cost is becoming a trend. Our team increasingly come across candidates whose credentials are being sent here, there and everywhere, for positions they may not even be interested in, let alone be suitable or available for.

Experienced recruiters are paid well to provide a high level of service for each and every yacht. To us, this means thoroughness - interviewing, reference checking and really making sure we feel that each proposed candidate is a good solution for the client and the right fit for the crew. After all, we are doing the work so that captains and chief stews do not have to waste their valuable time sifting through CVs and calling people, only to find out that they are not available or not interested. 

As a candidate, I would have been quite annoyed to know that my CV was being sent out without being contacted first to confirm my interest in the role. That’s why I would never dream of doing this to others (unless of course they have specifically requested that I make an approach for any role that I deem to be suitable, given my client knowledge).

So what problems does the situation create for the candidate? Obviously, the first issue regarding the situation is if a CV has been sent out without permission, how can the candidates' interest in the position be assured? Not only is this a waste of time for the crewmember on board recruiting, but it can also be embarrassing for the candidate, having to let a captain know that the position on offer is not at all what you were looking for.  However, underlying the issue is a larger moral question – as recruiters, we are trusted with a great deal of personal information, including contact details; is it morally correct for this to leave the office without the candidate knowing?

Perhaps there is starting to be a re-think in attitudes. There have been a few occasions recently when clients who have received the same CV from more than one recruiter have decided to split the fee. This is welcome because it acknowledges the work that we have put into the brief, profiling and helping to make particular candidates stand out from the crowd. 

However, in my view this situation is far from ideal; it creates confusion and unnecessary work for all parties. So, we will continue to do what we do best: putting all of our knowledge and experience into every brief to come up with the best solution for candidate and yacht. 

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