If you're a job seeker and want to shoot yourself in the foot and really irk an employer or recruiter, then please follow these sure-fire ways to get blacklisted!
1) Lie. Unfortunately, this isn't obvious to a lot of folks. Dishonesty may gain you some tactical wins either in personal relationships or the business world, but lying won't help you win the war nor achieve strategic goals. You'll make a lot of enemies along the way, and trust me.. recruiters have long memories.
"I've never applied for a job with that company."
"I left my employer on good terms due to a general downsizing."
"I was the top sales producer for my company."
"I haven't talked to any other recruiter about that job."
"You're the only company I'm talking to in my job search."
"I'm open to relocating for a job."
2) Take a counter offer. At some point in our careers, we all feel like we're underpaid and overworked (and perhaps even underappreciated). However, leveraging other job offers isn't the way to get want you want from your current employer. Over the years, I've encountered folks who are serial offenders. As recruiters, we coach currently employed job seekers about the potential to receive counter offers from their employer (it's a lot less costly to increase a salary a few thousand dollars than to have to replace someone). As much as we try to control the situation and minimize risk/exposure for our clients, we can't totally remove this prospect from the table.
Early in my career, I had the unfortunate experience of wasting a lot of time with a candidate who took not ONE, not TWO... but THREE counter-offers from the same employer! Yeah, I'm a dumb*ss for continuing to work with that guy after the first one. Needless to say, he's top on my list of people to never ever consider ever ever again (and I've made sure my colleagues know about him as well; I found out a couple years ago he had to relocate out of this market to find employment).
3) Work with multiple contingent staffing vendors. My company is a Tier 1 staffing provider to a handful of large, well-respected companies (over $20B in contingent employment spend combined). We don't sub through upstream vendors and we receive every contract/temp opening that is available at that client company. I make all job seekers aware of this relationship up front. Many of the requests from our clients are urgent and close even before a job advertisement can propagate to the masses. As a result, I have a spreadsheet on my desk of top talent in various skill categories to which I routinely refer when a new req comes in. These are folks who work exclusively with me, and in return receive a higher level of attention than other candidates. They understand the nature of our relationship. The quickest way to get the boot from my list is to accept submittal to a req from another vendor.
Last week, we received a req for a Desktop Deployment Specialist. I referred to my list of Help Desk professionals (already having a guy in mind), and proceeded to make calls. My first call was to a gentleman I had submitted to a couple other openings with this client. Upon explaining the job to him, he told me that he had just been contacted by another vendor who was going to submit him. WHAT? He proceeded to apologize and explain that he hadn't heard from me and didn't know if I had received the same job or not (uh, how about a quick call into me to find out?) I pointedly reminded him about my list and the fact he was my first phone call. If he wanted to continue to be my first phone call for similar jobs, then I need to receive the same priority in return. He understood. This particular client works under a competitive bid setup (as opposed to first vendor in has right of refusal). Apparently my bill rate came in lower than the other vendor. He interviews today.
I need to cut this entry short, as we just received some hot reqs... time to make some phone calls! I'd love to hear other recruiters' thoughts/experiences.