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

Cold Calling, Jeff's On Call!

3 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper



JeffOnCall_new

The first and most important thing a recruiter must do is get through the gatekeeper to the prospective client. Smiling and dialing is fine for voicemails you hang up on, but placements aren’t made that way. You might as well be talking to your kids.

If you follow me, I’ll show you where the secret passages are to get past the guards at Placeland.

1. Find the Hiring Authority

More placements are lost by calling the wrong person than any other reason. That’s why the recruiter’s bumper sticker reads, “So many sendouts, so few offers.”

Jeff's On Call!

You Can’t ‘Steal’ An Employee Who Doesn’t Want to Go



ask-jeff3

Hello Jeff -

I enjoy reading your columns. I experienced an incident on which I’d value your opinion.

I submitted a candidate (blind profile) to the recruiting manager of an AmLaw100 firm. A few hours later, I get a phone call from her. She asks  me, “Are you working for us or against us? I know that you sent an email to one of our associates recently (trying to entice them away).”

Now I feel that she won’t consider my candidate, mostly out of spite. Here are the facts:

Collections

Document Your Referral Performance With a Receipt



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:

You didn’t follow up on the referral.

How Client Pays:

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

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

Your Candidate Can Collect Your Fee If You ‘Forget’ To Get A Signed Agreement



Placements and the law logo

As long as the placement industry continues to do business without employer-signed fee schedules, candidate introductions and interview confirmations, it will be on the outside looking in. It’s cold out there, too.

Every day, we hear the “answers” to the question: “Why is it unnecessary or impractical for an employer to sign a fee confirmation?”

Among them:

  • Placements happen so fast, there’s no time to obtain a signature.
  • Hiring authorities aren’t authorized to commit their employers in advance to the payment of contingency fees.
  • It’s “customary” for the placement industry to operate on a handshake.
  • The employer is bound by the “acceptance of referrals” provision in an unsigned fee schedule.
  • The employer has the “burden of proof” to show that it didn’t hire as a result of the referral.

Unfortunately, the correct answer is “None of the above.” None of these arguments budge a judge.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

There Is No Such Thing As A Bona Fide Job Order



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:

It wasn’t a “bona fide job order.”

How Client Pays:

There’s no such thing as a “bona fide job order.” It just sounds legitimate –

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

The Law Doesn’t Care Who Arranged the Interview



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:

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

Jeff's On Call!, Legal

What You Need to Know to be an Expert Witness!



Placements and the law logo

Congratulations! It all sounds so exciting — a real ego blast. You’ve been asked to be an “expert” in court. Not just an “authority,” or even a “dignitary” — you’re a regular celebrity! Name your price. Money, power, fame.

This report will answer the six questions you’re afraid to ask your new “client.”

1. What Is An Expert Witness?

As the name suggests, it’s someone with specialized knowledge of a certain field. In this case, placement.

Unlike eyewitnesses who testify under oath as to what they personally observed or heard, an expert is an adviser. His “client” is a party to the

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

My Candidate Said ‘Yes’ Then ‘No.’ Is My Fee Gone?



ask-jeff2

Hi Jeff,

I’ve been reading The Fordyce Letter for over a decade and thoroughly appreciate your unique insight, recommendations to readers, and knowledge of recruitment law.

Thank you for the many years of selfless value you have offered and your searing wisdom in the midst of despair!

I have a quick situation to share hoping you might offer your advice on the matter:

I recently went through a 90+ day process with a candidate late last year for a very critical senior leadership role for our client. When I say 90 days, that’s from the time of initial presentation to the time of an offer letter in writing. The candidate also accepted in writing after squeezing (with our help) an additional $130K out of our client.  His total package (with family relocation and additional perks) was over $500K, so this was an important placement for the client and our firm.

Just as the candidate was preparing to board a plane in Florida to our client’s corporate office in Arizona for the orientation, our client received a call from him indicating that he was pulling out due to family reasons. That was his only excuse.

Jeff's On Call!, Legal

What Do You Mean ‘Not Authorized?’



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:

You dealt with an “unauthorized hiring authority.”

How Client Pays:

Jeff's On Call!

Have More JOs Than You Can Fill? Hire A Freelancer. Here’s How



Placements and the law logo

Let’s face it. You can’t accept every search. You can’t search and supervise at the same time either. And you certainly can’t afford to have search specialists on your payroll, hoping the right job order comes along. Placement doesn’t work like that.

The result is that you take more JO’s than you can bill — “backup JO’s” just in case you find someone. But you don’t. Some other recruiter does.

Enter the freelancer — a “consultant’s consultant” who does “brokered” searches on a project (one-time) basis.

Freelancers are low-overhead, low-profile recruiters who usually work out of their homes. They don’t market their services to employers, and don’t solicit job orders. Instead, they depend on visible brokers like you to refer search business. This allows them the flexibility to recruit on their own schedule. In fact, many are employed management and technical types who moonlight after hours.