How-To Get Paid When the Client Referred Your Candidate

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Jeff Allen offers you a tip about what you should do to ensure you never miss out — or get beat out– of your well-earned fee.

What Client Says:

We didn’t hire, but referred the candidate to someone else.

How Client Pays:

Since the client isn’t in the placement business, you’ll be unable to show that it intended to charge a fee. The recipient will deny that it even knew who you were up to the time of the hire.

The way to get paid is to:

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  • Check your fee schedule for any words that might be used to hold the client liable.
  • Get the candidate to tell you how the contact with the recipient occurred.
  • Invoice both, and wait patiently for 30 days (no more). Then if you don’t receive payment from either the client or the recipient, ask for a written explanation of why. Do not attempt to explain your position, send any documentation, threaten or take any action until you receive that written explanation.

The biggest mistake recruiters make is to turn over their arguments and evidence too early.

The biggest fees they get is in nursing that documentation out of the parties. Then having them point fingers at each other!

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at


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