Multiple recruiters for the same position 

Have you ever received several inquiries from recruiters from different recruiting companies—about the same position?

Sometimes, but not always, these are consulting opportunities and the positions do not appear on the company website. The recruiter will ask you to agree to a “Permission to Represent.’ Once that is in place, they ask for your most up-to-date résumé.

Is the position legitimate? How should you handle this situation?

What’s going on?
Companies are inundated with applicants. To narrow down the list and find potential candidates to interview, the job posting has been sent to several recruiting companies. The recruiting companies submit potential candidates information to the hiring company’s Vendor Management System. When a candidate is hired, the company that submitted your résumé gets paid.


  • Only one recruiter (or their firm) can submit your résumé to the hiring entity.
  • Your résumé can only be submitted once so the first recruiter to submit on your behalf prevents any other recruiter from submitting your résumé a second time.
  • Before a recruiter can submit your résumé, they must have your “Permission to Represent.”

How should you do?

  1. Check online to find as many recruiters for the position as possible.
  2. Compare the salary offering. Usually a per-hour rate.
  3. Select the recruiting firm that offers the highest pay and give them your Permission to Represent.
  4. Follow-up with the recruiter about the position and other possibilities.

Addendum from Barbara Chernin, a career coach and the owner of Trisian-Global Consulting LLC, a business of 14 years, that focuses on Strategic Human Resource solutions. She writes:

Candidates must let recruiters know if they have been approached by another recruiter for the same role so that their resume is not duplicated. In my experience, two things can happen: If their resume is sent by two agencies for the same role or to the same company– the candidate is disqualified because the HR Manager decides they do not want to get involved in battles between two recruiters.

Otherwise, the Manager will simply choose the recruiter that has sent the candidate first to the company for a general introduction and any roles would apply. Recruiters really should back off if they know a candidate has already been sent to the client unless they clarify with the client that they can send them through. I absolutely agree that candidates should make it clear that their resume cannot go forward unless they have given confirmation via e-mail (verbal confirmation does not cut it).

Addendum from Adam Herried. Adam provides account management, recruiting, and solution coordination for the Experis Milwaukee Office, a division of ManpowerGroup.

This is a great candidate centric article and I agree with 90% of what is listed. Working in the industry I would also say that it is important to work with a strong local resource that has a relationship and track record with the hiring company. Some additional questions to ask: How many indivduals do you currently have or have placed at the hiring company? What is your relationship with the hiring company/manager? What is the timeline for acting on this position? What is the need behind the opportunity? etc.

Discussing pay rate can be a touchy subject and a I agree 100% that the candidate should negotiate. However just because there is a “max rate” that doesn’t mean you stand the best chance of getting the position. A better thought is to develop your own “market rate” based on your skills and geographical market to obtain a fair offer.

This post with thanks to Mary Beth Sasso.

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