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Articles tagged 'askjeff'

Jeff's On Call!

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


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:

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

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


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!

“Substantial Cause” Gets You the Fee When “But For” Is Why Bother

JeffOnCall logo

Note: Over the years, Jeff Allen has answered hundreds of placement law questions from recruiters, owners and others. One that comes up regularly is about the “but for” argument when a fee is in question. This Q&A is a classic, but it is so important an issue that we’re republishing it here. If you have a legal question, email Jeff Allen directly. We only publish questions with permission.

  Hi Jeff,

Jeff I really enjoy your column and I am learning a great deal about the in?s and out?s of the recruiting world. You are an invaluable asset for me!

Here is my situation: a recruiter sent a candidate’s resume to my client back in December. My client did not move on her (this was 2 1/2-3 months ago). She subsequently took another job. I called her not knowing that she had already been presented to my client . She is willing to talk about leaving the job she has only been at for a couple of months, and my client is now interested in talking to her. She did not interview with my client back when the other recruiter presented her, and she would not be talking with my client but for my efforts in tracking her down and convincing her to leave her current job.

Q: Does the fact that she took this other job in the interim negate the first recruiter’s claim?

Jeff's On Call!, Legal

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


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.

Jeff's On Call!

What’s Wrong With Explaining the Fee? Everything!


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.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

Whose Fee? Phantom Recruiters and Contract Terminations


Dear Jeff,

I have been in the industry for over 15 years recruiting across Europe and the Middle East, permanent search and selection for senior management up to board level positions across a variety of industries.

My team and I always look out for your column with intense interest. Even after 15 years in the industry I constantly learn new insights to improve our business and overcome the more unusual challenges. Thank you for that, because we could never get the information anywhere else at any price.

We have a long-standing client that asked us to start a contingent search a few months ago. We sourced a candidate, set up interviews, and finally an offer has been accepted. However they now realize the CV was

Jeff's On Call!

Instant Falloff? Worry About Protection, Not Collection


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.

Jeff's On Call!

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


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?

Jeff's On Call!

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


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.