Two situations have arisen immediately after the last issue hit the streets. We asked Jeff for advice:
Situation #1 Major law firm client posts new opening on their website. Recruiter sees it, recruits perfect person and Emails resume. Immediately upon receipt, the client calls and says “Sorry, that person is known to one of our employees and, in fact, we already have a call into her. Even though she hasn’t yet responded to our telephone message, we won’t pay a fee if we hire her.” P. S. – Client has no problem with the fact that the opening was picked off the website since that seems to SOP for this recruiter/client relationship.
No defense as to the prior knowledge of the candidate. Possible defense as to the prior call to the candidate. This is a causation issue, not a race. If the call to the candidate from the law firm “causes” the hire, no fee. If no return phone call or the call doesn’t “cause” the hire, the referral from the recruiter “causing” the hire invokes liability for the fee.
This is why we use referral periods on signed fee schedules they eliminate this nonsense.
The notification by the law firm is a professional response to this dilemma. It shows good faith and. Those kinds of clients should be thanked, not tanked.
Situation #2 – Just recruited an applicant (Director of Payroll) from a competitor of my client. The candidate pointed out to me that she knew many people from my client, she actually did a few presentations at their offices on a new system they where implementing at the time and knows the Dir. of IT at this client.
How do you suggest I handle bringing my applicant to their attention? I do have a signed fee agreement with them, yet I am still not comfortable. This is a brand new client that I just developed. I already have 3 people in play for the job, yet I know this woman is THE ONE. Your suggestions would be most appreciated. Also, the applicant informed me that no one has ever contacted her about this position and me calling her, was the first time she has heard of it.
The candidate’s prior knowledge of employees working for a “client” has nothing to do with the right to a fee. The candidate is not a contracting party, only the subject matter of the contract. I would just email or fax the candidate’s information and state that although she knows some of the employees at the “client,” nobody there has contacted her regarding the opening.
Get the candidate’s authorization to refer her to that company. Here’s what we previously recommended, not only for this situation but for all similar circumstances:
AUTHORIZATION TO REFER
I authorize (search/placement firm) to refer my credentials to the following companies:
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I have not previously sent my credentials or resume to these companies for the purpose of exploring employment opportunities nor have I authorized the referral of my credentials by anyone else, such as other recruiting firms, inclusion of my credentials in a database or through personal acquaintance with any current or previous employee of these companies.
This makes it completely safe for you to refer this candidate to “client” since they acknowledge that you are the one who tapped her shoulder, stimulated the interest and got the deal done.