Fordyce Forum

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Dear TFL:

I had a situation when a Vice President interviewed one of my candidates. He left his company and went to another, and took my candidate’s information with him. He hired my candidate at his new company. He pointed out that my agreement was with his former employer, and not with his new employer, so it was not valid. Is there any way that I can protect myself in this situation?

Lori Van Opstal CPC – Your Advantage Staffing Consultants Inc.

Dear Readers:

In a very similar case reported by Jeff Allen (TFL, 5/01), he wrote:

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1. Knowledge of the Hiring Authority that a Fee is Due

On a contractual basis, the objective is to impute the knowledge of the agent (employee) to the Principal (employer). That way, Company B is liable because it vicariously knew through this management employee that a fee would be due. Just as your employees bind your business to things “within the course and scope of employment” so do Company B’s employees.

Since a signed fee schedule is not necessary to bind Company B, this concept of vicarious liability can be an effective way to get paid.

On an intentional tort (non-contractual civil wrong) basis, Company B is probably not liable for conversion (the civil counterpart of theft), fraud, conspiracy or unfair trade practices. This is because it did not participate intentionally in any attempt to avoid your fee.

Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.

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