The Law Doesn’t Care Who Arranged the Interview

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:

You didn’t arrange the interview.

How Client Pays:

Arranging the interview has absolutely nothing to do with your right to the fee. The legal issue is whether your activities caused the hire. You’re not paid for effort, you’re paid for results. That’s what contingency fees are all about.

Let’s look at five justifiable reasons why you might intentionally not set up this interview:

  1. The candidate might respond better to a direct call from the hiring authority.
  2. The candidate might insist on a direct call call from the hiring authority.
  3. The hiring authority might be so excited about the candidate that he wants to pitch the job directly and immediately.
  4. The hiring authority might be so excited about the prospect of filling the opening that he wants to call the candidate immediately.
  5. The parties might need to personally arrange a mutually convenient time (at a trade show, board meeting, etc.).

There’s always the possibility that either party calls or e-mails the other without informing you. Maybe it’s even because they hate you. If love got you paid, you’d be penniless.

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The candidate is the client’s pickpocketing partner.

So just stay close to the candidate. He’s your inventory, and he can’t hide for long. You’ll get paid fast on this one if you recognize that interview arranging is a smattering of mattering!

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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