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

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

No ‘Mistake” If You Caused the Hire



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:

There was a mistake about who referred the candidate.

How Client Pays:

Jeff's On Call!

Instant Falloff? Worry About Protection, Not Collection



ask-jeff4

Hi Jeff,

I am a big fan of yours, and have followed the Jeff’s On Call! column for years.

We just just heard something very disturbing, and need your help.

Our client is in in Pennsylvania, and we made two placements with them in the past. We were paid with no problems.

Our most recent hire is a controller who lives here in Florida and was expecting a moving company to arrive tomorrow for relocation to her new position. She just received an email from our client telling her that they lost a big contract, and decided not to have her start with them. She is furious, as you might expect.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

You Said You Were Doing This As a Favor



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 said you wouldn’t bill us if we hired the candidate.

How Client Pays:

Jeff's On Call!

How to Help Your Criminally-Challenged Candidates



Placements and the law logo

About that “new” EEOC policy about candidate’s criminal record in pre-employment screening. In a sentence, it means:

File a charge of discrimination if a candidate isn’t hired (or is fired) for having committed some non-job-related crime.

If you’re doing contingency-fee search, your existing policy in a sentence is:

Race to place.

That means:

  • If it’s not job-related, don’t consider it.
  • If it has no bearing on the job duties (like a conviction for embezzlement of a bank veep candidate), don’t disclose it.
  • No third-party criminal background checks.

But how about a new policy for you too? How about one to help criminally-challenged candidates resume productive, placement-fee-generating careers?

Jeff's On Call!

Promissory Estoppel: The Way You Get Paid When the Client Changes Things



ask-jeff4

Hi Jeff,

I have learned a great deal from your “Jeff’s On Call!” column and also from your National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide. The column is certainly a place where rookies and seasoned veterans alike can get useful tips for the search industry.

I am a veteran recruiter with over 20 years experience. I have done both retained and contingency search.

We have finished an extensive (3+ month) contingency search on an exclusive basis. During the search, the client sent names for us to screen and recruit. Of course one of these candidates landed the position after we screened, recruited, referred, and set up the initial interview. The client has offered to pay only a partial fee since they sent us the name of the candidate.

Unfortunately, I believe this will end up being hashed out in court. Will it matter what the reason is for the sending of the names to our firm? What legal theories does this case center on?

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

Ask For An Explanation, But Send Them Only An Invoice



Jeff Allen COllection Tip

Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse that 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:

We didn’t hire, but referred the candidate to someone else.

How Client Pays:

Since the client isn’t in the placement business, you’ll be unable to show that it

How-To, Jeff's On Call!

A Four Step Program to Improving Your Phone Voice



Placements and the law logo

The phone voice is almost everything in making placements. Even in personal meetings, 38% of the meaning is conveyed by the voice. Surprisingly, the words themselves only convey 23%. What you convey it is more important than what you say.

Since recruiters (and lawyers) talk so much, they tend to become deaf to their own voices. We practice a four-step program of simple voice improvement techniques. We’ve achieved unbelievable results in negotiation and trial using them. Since I introduced them to our favorite recruiters they’ve made more placements. It’ll work for you too.

Let’s get started!

Jeff's On Call!

What Happens to My Fee When My Client Buys the Candidate’s Employer?



JeffOnCall_logo

Hi Jeff,

You have helped me collect fees twice in the past, and the Jeff’s On Call! column has greatly contributed to our success. This is just indispensable.

I have a question that really needs answering, and would appreciate your help.

A client of mine who has hired about 6 to 8 sales reps from me in the last few years gave me a search for a sales person when I ran into him at a trade show in Las Vegas. I placed the sales manager who gave me the search.

I scheduled 8 interviews and he liked one candidate best. They are scheduled to meet for a second interview with the VP of sales again soon. The candidate currently works for a competitor and the word on the street is my client may be purchasing them as soon about the same time as the interview. It has been a rumor for months.

The sales manager told me he did not know if they would pay my fee if they buy the company because the sales rep would be an employee of their company. I told him I didn’t know the legal ramifications, but as far as I am concerned I set up the interviews and will be due a fee.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

Why You Should Never Say “But For” In A Fee-Fight



ask-jeff4

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for all the help you give through your column in The Fordyce Letter and elsewhere. I enjoy reading your advice in the Jeff’s On Call! column and would appreciate any help you could offer about a current situation.

I’ve been in personnel consulting business since 1983 and have some long-standing relationships with other colleagues and friends in our specialty area.

Currently, a situation has come up between me and one of these colleagues, Dean, and we are having difficulty resolving it so it is a “win-win” agreement.

Here’s the scenario:

Dean submitted a candidate back in August/September 2013 on a job order he took for a position at a company that we both do work for from time to time. The client did not hire the candidate at that time for that position. Dean’s submittal policy gives him credit for the referral for 12 months from the time of the initial referral.

Jeff's On Call!

Recruiters, Recliners, Roboters and Realities



Placements and the law logo

Editor’s note: Jeff uses the German word for robot – roboter — to mean the human operator of the robot. Roboters, though, may have a short job life. The sophistication of recruiting robots is growing fast. An Australian university, working with NEC, has developed a mechanical robot named Sophie, that conducts interviews, assesses candidates on both what they say and how they say it, and makes comparisons. More details are here.

Things have really changed. More in the past year than in the 50 before. A new generation of Internet search engines is here. They go far beyond matching resumes to jobs.

They appear to be “recruiting robots” because they actively crawl. They seek, find, and stalk candidates. This is done by globally trolling all online sources (including social networks) for personal and professional information. Anything written by or about someone over the Internet at any time makes that someone a potential candidate. It is a sophisticated matching from keywords the roboter inputs.