What to consider when side-stepping the recruiter

Ange Connor

Have you had a bad experience with a recruiter? Sadly, for the recruitment industry, you are probably not alone. You just have to google “recruiters are……..” and you’ll see what I mean. There are certainly some poor operators out there, as there are in any business, however there are also some great operators out there who are doing great things and helping companies recruit top talent and individuals to take that next step in their career. However, if you are one of those people that isn’t a recruiter fan, what do you do when you see your dream job advertised with a recruiter and your preference is to go straight to the company? Should you go direct to the company and cut out the recruiter?

As a recruiter, I’m not going to tell you don’t do it; don’t go around the recruiter. Personally, I have no problems with you going straight to my client and applying direct, for me, at the end of the day it’s about finding the right person for the job. However, as a candidate there are a few things you may want to consider before you take action and try to side step going through the recruiter. In many cases it can end up going against you instead of putting you ahead in the recruitment process like you probably hoped.

Before you pick up the phone and enquire directly to the company or track down the HR Manager’s or Director’s email address and send off your application here’s a few things to consider.

  • What will the business think about being contacted directly?

Every client I have ever worked with has a reason for engaging a recruiter to run a recruitment process. Sometimes that reason is that they simply don’t have the time to deal with enquiries, read resumes and assess candidate suitability. Sometimes, particularly in smaller markets like Ballarat, they want to separate themselves from the process. This is often because they anticipate that people they know will apply and they don’t want to have to manage advising a candidate they have a relationship with that they aren’t suitable for the role they are recruiting for; they want to have the recruiter handle that situation. If you are going direct, you may want to share with the business why you are taking the steps you are taking so they understand your motivations.


  • Can you follow instructions?

In a lot of instances where I’ve seen a candidate go direct to a business, the first thing the business contact asks is “why is this candidate applying to me, can they not follow instructions on how to apply?” This is a valid question if you haven’t explained your motivations forgoing around the recruiter. Most candidates who apply direct don’t explain their motivations for doing so. Hence it leaves the recruiter and hiring manager wondering can you follow instructions or follow a process. And if you can’t follow a process on how to apply for the job, will you follow instructions when you are in the job or will you just do your own thing when you don’t like or agree with a process?


  • Understanding your own motivations and what you want to achieve

It’s worth taking the time to understand your own motivations and why you feel the need to apply directly. Have you had a poor experience with the particular recruiter? Do you know the Director and want them to know that you applied?  Are you just anti-recruiters?

The second element worth considering is what are you trying to achieve and how is side stepping the recruiter likely to improve your chances of getting the job. Are you trying to avoid an interview with the recruiter? Are you thinking because the business contact knows you they’ll favour you?


How you handle going direct to a business could help or severely hinder your chances of winning that job. Before you completely side step the recruiter it might be worth considering contacting the recruiter and the business contact or if you are going to apply direct, do so but copy in the recruiter or vice versa, copy in the business contact. If you are going down this path you do so at your own peril  but definitely consider explaining your motivations for doing so otherwise your actions could have the completely opposite affect to what you are trying to achieve.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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