Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. A few years ago he began documenting them in a weekly collections column. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed. The complete collection is here.
What Client Says:
There was a mistake about who referred the candidate.
How Client Pays:
Of course, these client “mistakes” are always in their favor.
We call the effect on recruiters “causation frustration.” Legally, you need to show causation — that you were the cause of the hire.
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Guide: Practical Tips for Remote Hiring
If you still use that medieval “efficient procuring cause” theory, you’ll be backed into the “but for” rule. You’ll say, “But for my referral, you wouldn’t have hired my candidate.” The client will reply, “Thanks.” Only it expresses its appreciation with, “But for (insert anything you like here) we wouldn’t have hired him.”
Use substantial cause if you feel the need to say something legalistic. Say, “We were a substantial cause of the hire.”
That way, you’re allowing for the inevitable twists and turns in every placement without foreclosing your fee. More importantly, substantial cause has an impressive number of syllables, sounds complicated, and makes you sound like a lawyer.
Use substantial cause well. We do!