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:
The candidate assured us you weren’t representing him.
How Client Pays:
There are three ways this attempted waiver of the fee occurs:
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- If the candidate is still at the interviewing stage, the client can casually state something like, “You know we’re not willing to pay a fee for hiring you.” The candidate then simply says nothing or states that no fee should be due anyway.
- If the candidate is at the offer stage, the client can state something like, “Of course, we didn’t expect to pay a fee for hiring you.” I am only aware of one candidate who objected to this in my entire career. He was recovering from the effects of thiopental due to some root canal work just before the interview.
- Then after the acceptance, few recruiters will risk wedging themselves between an employer and employee. There’s no legal reason not to, though. If you’re in business just to lower the jobless rate, fine. But a candidate who isn’t hired (or is fired) because a recruiter hasn’t been paid has rights only against the client.
A candidate who tries to tell you that he is “dismissing” you from “representing” him doesn’t understand contract law. His “consent,” “willingness,” or “cooperation” have no relevance whatsoever on the client’s liability for a fee.
Liability for a full fee — to you!