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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'candidates'


What Top Talent and Top Athletes Have In Common

athletes runners-Sura Nualpradid-free

At Skywater we have a saying we use in our search assignments: “We place the best athlete. “

It’s a metaphorical approach; it doesn’t mean that our candidates have to be fitness fanatics or athletes themselves to qualify for a shortlist. It means we look for the best available talent, the achievers with transferable skills who will go that one step further to meet a deadline; the candidates who demonstrate resilience when the going gets tough.

In essence we seek out those who display the same drive in the corporate arena as the top athletes do on the running track or in field events.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!, Legal

85% Of Fee Agreements Are Defective. Is Yours?



Thank you for the opportunity to get a response.

I have been in the electrical industry for 23+ years, headhunting for 16+ years. I had a concurrent career as in the US Army, Colonel in the Army National Guard, and an Iraq War Veteran.

We have a small, highly effective search firm.

I’ve been reading your advice in The Fordyce Letter for 16+ years and have benefited too many times to recall. It is simply awesome.

Now to my question: When do you officially determine resignation?

Here are the facts:

  • Written agreement with 90 day “replace” guarantee.
  • Candidate verbally communicated intent to resign prior to 90 days and is talked off the ledge and stays.
  • Candidate presents after 90 days in writing intent to resign. Candidate’s last day of work is after the 90 days.
  • Company communicates to me after initial communication by candidate of intent to resign to initiate replacement search. Found replacement and hired.
  • HR offers 50% payment with rationale that there is a gray area because the intent to resign (verbal) and communication to initiate replacement was prior to 90 days.

Jeff, thank you so much for once again adding value to the recruiting industry. In 16+years in the business this was a unique one and once again you came through.

Appreciate you and your expertise.

Thank you!

Jim Pabis
Saratoga Source, LLC


Hi Jim,

Thanks for writing – and for your service in protecting us all. If it wasn’t for people like you, people like us would be – who knows?

I’m so proud to be assisting you, and appreciate you having a laugh with me in spite of your angst. Truly, the pleasure is mine.


No Matter How Big the Data, Don’t Neglect the Human


Big data and people analytics are two of the hottest topics in recruitment this year, but for employers yet to explore the world of HR technology, the wealth of information available can be overwhelming. Hiring managers and recruiters have a broad range of tools at their disposal to streamline the hiring process and make it easier to connect with qualified candidates – but where do they start?

In the race to attract and hire top talent, concern understandably exists over the trend toward forgetting the human element. Successful recruitment is about building trust with top performers. Automated recruitment offers time and cost savings, but cannot replace genuine rapport. 

Candidates, Viewpoint

To Get Good Feedback, Know When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

Confidentilaity - free

Our reputation and success as recruiters are closely tied to confidentiality. We need to keep the confidentiality of both our candidates and clients.

When I reach out for G2 (a government term meaning intelligence) on a candidate or client, the individual giving me information has to trust that I will keep his comments to myself and that I will use this information judiciously and never put him in jeopardy. I always tell people that conversations with recruiters are like conversations with your attorney, physician, or religious leader. We need to know when to keep our mouths shut because breaching confidentiality may cause your client or candidate (or both) never to trust, or work with, you again.

I was glued to Matt Lowney’s article (“Why You Don’t Get Better Client Feedback”). He told the story of a candidate he’d interviewed who didn’t seem interested in the opportunity, and even seemed “annoyed” with some of the questions Matt asked in the meeting. He explained that he gave


Candidate Case Study: Is Kelly the Candidate Worth Your Time?

Feedback - Stuart Miles - free

Things move fast in recruiting. You speak to dozens of candidates daily, giving both positive and constructive feedback.

Today, we are studying the case of a candidate named Kelly G.

Kelly earned an MBA from Duke and worked in mid-management marketing positions at Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines over the past four years. She looks great on paper, but does not get past the first interview. Hiring managers go from excited before the interview to cold as ice afterward. Feedback typically is along the lines of: “Just not a good fit,” and “We found another candidate that was a better fit.” In other words, she blew the interviews.


Are You Ready to Become A Staffing Firm of Choice?

Candidate selection-free

Contract staffing is on a roll and does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

In December, it hit an all-time high with almost 3 million jobs. Some experts predict that 40-50% of the workforce will be contract by 2020. This is great news for recruiters who offer contract staffing, but there is a caveat — competition for top contract talent is getting fiercer. Candidates will be looking closely at how recruiting firms can help them meet both their career and personal goals. How can you establish your firm as the firm of choice for top contract candidates?

Traits of Top Contract Candidates

First, let’s see what makes up a top contract candidate. Of course, you are going to look for many of the same things you would look for in a direct hire. Do they have the required skills set and experience? Do they have a good track record of getting results? But beyond these factors, there are a number of traits that often correlate to great contract candidates:


Get Ready For the New Year’s New Candidates


Job candidates in line - freedigitalIt is readily approaching; the busiest time in staffing and recruiting. The beginning of the year marks a fresh batch of talent, newly ready to hit the market.

This increased inventory of candidates can produce positives and negatives for corporate and agency recruiters alike. Just because there is more of something, does not necessarily make it a good thing. Plenty of grind candidates will make their way through the resume submittal process just the same as quality candidates.

Follow these guidelines to ensure your time is spent with only the best talent.

Industry News

Candidates Getting Quicker to Reject Offers

MRI survey candidate driven 12.2014

MRI survey candidate driven 12.2014The candidate-driven market is here to stay and the pace at which candidates are rejecting offers is quickening.

MRINetwork’s most recent Recruiter Sentiment Study says 83% of the 333 responding recruiters describe the current employment market as candidate-driven. In three years, the percentage of recruiters who say candidates are in the driver’s seat has risen 29 points.


Now Is a Good Time to Remind Your Candidates About Updating Their Resume


ResumeThis is a perfect time of year to reach out to your candidates and remind them to update their resumes. It is an excuse for you to connect and keep your name fresh in the minds of your candidates in an effort to learn about upcoming job vacancies at the companies in which those people work. It’s also smart to prompt your candidates to keep their resumes current so both of you are always on your toes.

Since most candidates need a little help when updating the resume, here’s a little tip sheet you can share.

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