A few days ago I had a phone interview with a client over here in Belgium, arranged through an Irish agency: but before the phone call I had to reply to a mail confirming that I agreed to the terms of a document this agency had sent me, stating that I wouldn't seek to get in touch with this same client for a duration of 6 months afterwards ("consultant agrees not to provide or attempts to provide services other than through , to client...").

I marked my agreement to such conditions, but I never had to do that in the past already at the stage of the interview.

No penalty foreseen in this document if I breach this agreement.

Is it something someone has already seen ? Is it usual ? Cause now, if I ever get contacted, say in 4 months, for another job, at the same client's, by another agency... it seems I'll have to turn offer down ?



In Denmark, it's an unusual - but not unheard of - practice, generally called a 'marketing/sales clause' - meaning only they have the right to represent you towards a specific client for a given time period.

Personally, I have twice rejected such clauses despite them claiming they are 'common practice' (which they are not).

In order for me to accept such a clause, they would need to present a case making it worthwhile for me; e.g. that they have unusual inside access to an attractive client or are offering higher rates.

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Common practice in Germany is that you need to consent that you will not appy for the same positon (note how this is different from the same client) through a different agency.

Practically, you need to decide if you would like to have the interview or not. If you want it, you play to their rules.

And I don't know a single case where a candidate got hold resposible for breaching such a clause. But on the other hand, you should understand the agency as well: Their business would become really hard if they search for a candidate, bring her to an interview and then the customer says to the candidate: We will hire you, but through a different agency which can live with a lower margin because they did not have to search at all.

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