Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Jeff Allen

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 jeff@placementlaw.com.

Articles by Jeff Allen

For Managers

Get Rid of These 10 Undercover Time-Wasting Over-Workers



Placements and the law logo

Recruiters are always wondering how we’re able to respond so quickly on a national basis. Believe it or not, we work regular hours. I learned the techniques when I was managing a recruiting office.

You can too, if you:

  • Understand where your non-productive time is spent and;
  • Overhaul your procedures.

All the time-management seminars, workshops, books, calendars, timers, alarms, buzzers and electronic voices in the world won’t help you. They’re just pea-shooters in the war against time. Your problem isn’t on the battlefield, it’s in the war room — right there in your office.

Here are the 10 biggest undercover over-workers:

Jeff's On Call!, Legal

Why Having the Candidate Pay the Fee Can Become A Federal Case



ask-jeff3

Hello Jeff,

Every Monday morning, the first thing I do is look for your column. You’ve been my legal guide for so long, and I really appreciate the help.

Is there anything I should know about taking money from a candidate?

A hiring manager wants to make an offer to my candidate, but the COO doesn’t want to pay the placement fee. The position has been open for 9 months, and my candidate is the right person for the job.

At the behest of the director of HR, I sent this candidate to use as an inducement for the COO to hire him. I have a signed agreement with the client to pay the placement fee if it hires anyone I refer.

It’s the candidate’s dream job at a dream compensation. Now HE wants to pay the fee.

On one hand it doesn’t feel right, on the other hand I have the power to make the candidate whole.

This seems so simple, but I just wanted to run it by you.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for helping me get this far!

Dean Mannello
The Sherwood Group

It’s Not That Simple

Hi Dean,

JOC inquiries like yours help all recruiters to know the law. That’s our

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

“Fee’s Too High” Is No Defense When You Have a Contract



Jeff Allen COllection Tip

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 fee’s too high.

How Client Pays:

Recruiters laugh or get angry at the “fee’s too high” position. But courts will arbitrarily reduce placement fees in the name of equity (fairness) unless there is a written, signed, or otherwise fully accepted contract introduced into evidence.

Cold Calling, Jeff's On Call!, Relationships

How To Turn Client Criticism Into A Win



Placements and the law logo

Although it’s rarely discussed openly, the most pervasive problem in doing search is internalizing criticism from employers. It causes recruiter burnout, limits options, stifles creativity and results in low self-esteem.

That is why overcoming objections is such an important part of any placement training program. But overcoming objections doesn’t overcome the effects of destructive criticism. This PTL column will show you how to do so and improve your bottom line.

Let’s start with your role in the placement process. With few exceptions, the relationships between the recruiter and the client are transitory. You’re in a “what have you done for me lately” business. You’re only as good as your last placement. Don’t perform, suffer a massive ego stroke, or overcharge and you’ll be history. This is a reality of business; it’s a value-for-value relationship. That’s why you charge for your services, and that’s why they pay. For this reason, satisfied clients are the key to a satisfied, successful you.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

No Proof Your Fee Schedule Was Accepted? You Lose



Jeff Allen COllection Tip

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 fee schedule wasn’t received.

How Client Pays:

You’ve probably wondered where all those undelivered emails and letters with fee schedules went.

Jeff's On Call!

What’s Wrong With Explaining the Fee? Everything!



ask-jeff2

Hi Jeff,

I must be your biggest fan (but must also share that status), and have read The Fordyce Letter for many years. You have great advice that has guided me through my career in recruiting. After 23 years doing it, I’d love you to answer a question.

A candidate I referred started today. We scheduled a phone interview for him with the client several weeks ago, but the client rep was a no-show.

After a week of trying to get that interview rescheduled along with trying to schedule another candidate, I received an email back from the client’s admin indicating that unfortunately, they had prior contact with both candidates.

Business, Jeff's On Call!

What You Need to Know About Selling Your Placement Business Through A Broker



Placements and the law logo

Some days it seems that everyone in the placement business is looking for ways to leave it. When you’re one of them, you’ll need to know about that mysterious person called a “business broker.” He or she can really help.

Here are the eight questions we’re most asked about business brokers, and the answers we give:

1. What is a business broker?

The obvious answer is that it’s someone who introduces a prospective buyer of a business to a seller, and arranges a sale of the business for a fee. However, the real answers are:

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

Collecting When the Candidate Says “No Charge”



Jeff Allen COllection Tip

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 said you wouldn’t charge anything.

How Client Pays:

This is one of those naive “defenses” only a foolish fee-fighter would allege.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

Why Adam & Eve Won’t Get the Fee (and Neither Will You)



ask-jeff4

Hello Jeff,

As an avid follower of yours, I’m constantly learning the do’s and don’ts of executive search. Thank you for this vital information!

I can’t imagine this is the first question of this kind. But if anyone can help me, it’s you.

My client engaged me in an a VP contingency search for which I introduced a VP from a similar business. It took much convincing to ignite the interest of this candidate and my client was very pleased with the introduction. They interviewed my candidate and formed quite a quick bond — several meetings later, the VP candidate received a verbal offer. After much contemplation, the candidate felt she was not ready to leave her employer for a vertical move and she declined the position.

Here’s where it gets dicey: in lieu of accepting the job offer, my candidate offered up a referral — one of her subordinates who she felt was ready to advance into a VP role. So, in essence the VP candidate who I sent to my client, in turn directly referred a candidate to my client who they ultimately hired.

How-To, Jeff's On Call!

7 Ways to Get Hiring Managers to Say Yes



Placements and the law logo

Require the client to listen to a presentation.

“Oh Jeff, you sound so forceful!”

I really am about this. I’ll show you how to make that hirer listen!

Let’s start with the basics: It costs a hiring authority time, effort, and eventually, money, to hire a candidate. Initially, you compete with the inner thoughts and feelings occupying his or her attention. Then she has to relate your presentation to some prior experience to picture the candidate. As if that’s not enough, she also has to be patient. You’re slowly painting a picture, one brushstroke at a time. But it’s received hundreds of times faster.

There’s much that can be done to get the client to listen more attentively to a presentation. Placement is an art, not a science. Since you’re in charge of each brushstroke you paint, you control strokes and select the colors. This PTL is designed to show you the seven techniques.