Sending a Resume? Get a “Receipt”

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:

You didn’t follow up on the referral.

How Client Pays:

Once you’ve disclosed contact information, you lose all control over the placement.

Where does your control — your power – come from? Contact information. That’s your inventory. Part with it, and you must get a receipt from the customer.

Documentation is even more important than when you’re dealing with the sale of goods, because the client and candidate are meeting. And you’re not invited. Then they marry. But no invitation to you.

Legally, this is known as prevention. The law recognizes that a party can’t interfere with performance of a contractual obligation, then use the failure to perform as a defense.

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At this point, your “receipts” should be:

  • Interview confirmations by e-maill with the fee schedule attached. Don’t have a signature line on the schedule, because it will backfire when it’s not signed.
  • Confirming e-mails from you to the client and candidate. Even though they’re not signed, your documentation will be better than nothing.
  • Replies by e-mail if you can get them. It doesn’t matter whether they’re particularly nice. Even obscenities are fine, as long as they demonstrate your involvement.

Then these can be connected up with your sendout confirmations, debriefing notes, placement workups, etc.

Classic headhunter rhetoric is that you “make placements happen.” You do – but often by letting them happen after you’ve made the right match.

Just showing a client this documentation means a fast five-figure fee!

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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