BountyJobs: Legal, Practical. But Is It Right For You?

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May 31, 2013


You have been my most valuable source in the recruiting industry. You articles convey clear concise issues and apply practical and professional result oriented answers.

If convenient, it is getting so ridiculous clients of mine are requiring registration in BountyJobs then recruiter receives an invitation to participate in jobs advertised on this website.

Honestly, I see so many aspects of devaluing executive recruiters to the point of eradicating and diminishing your “on the ground” business relationships with clients who are either branch managers, regional managers etc. It is the same reason LinkedIn could never replace real recruiters who have “on the ground” relationships with clients and candidates, versus “on the internet” candidates. But Bounty is making life miserable because you actually have to make a pitch for the job opening and some goon in HR makes a decision if they like what they hear versus your track record with their own organization. If that wasn?t enough, Bounty holds your fee $ for 60 days and takes a fee out of their cut and recruiters inconvenience.

This is FRIGHTENING! Perhaps, you can use your brilliant brain to expose this nightmare or get a consensus.


Michael S. Evdemon II, president

Jeff’s Response

Hi Michael,

Great hearing from one of the best in the business! I don’t know how you managed to type while wringing your hands, but a grateful placement population thanks you.

Since you asked for my opinion about BountyJobs, here it is:

We call it LockedIn.

Sort of like LinkedIn with a lock.

We haven’t encountered BountyJobs much in its five-year existence. Our clients and readers just don’t find that it’s the “cloud-based solution” for them. “Cloud-based,” yes. Up there in the ozone layer where the headhunters’ spears don ‘t fly.Bountyjobs

Here’s some of what BountyJobs says on its website:

Employers post a job description on BountyJobs and offer a bounty (as a percent of salary or a fixed fee). The bounty represents the amount employers will pay the headhunter who finds them the right candidate to fill the job.

. . . On the candidate’s start date, BountyJobs invoices the employer for the stated bounty. The employer pays one vendor, BountyJobs, and BountyJobs delivers 75% to the successful headhunter. BountyJobs will refund the full bounty to the employers if the candidate does not work out for up to 90 days. Please refer to Pricing and Policies for details about fees and the employment guarantee.

I like BontyJobs’ clear presentation. And its use of the word “employer.” It shows a classified ad graphic, and it’s correctly portrayed as an alternative to “meat sheet,” traditional help-wanted advertising. It probably garners tons of replies, but are the hunters in the herd?

Yet BountyJobs calls the placer a “headhunter.” That’s more than a mistaken misnomer -– it defines why the program sorts out the most effective practitioners.

The placers (too often only players) lured into to this kind of cyberspace casino aren’t even really recruiters. They’re passive, roll-the-dice, resume roulette gamblers. Volume telemarketers motivated to indiscriminately forward resumes to faceless “employers.” I’ll get into this in a few, but I wanted to adjust the noun sound.

Do This First

Before I turn up the volume,

  • Go to
  • Click and read the links on the website to familiarize yourself with the entire BountyJobs program.
  • Go to
  • Click the Placement Fee Collection Quiz button on the bottom row.
  • Take the PFCQ.
  • Click the Answers to Placement Law Quizzes button at the end of the bottom row.
  • Grade yourself.

Understanding fee collection issues is important, because BountyJobs doesn’t collect your reduced fees, and more importantly, your out-of-state litigation attorney’s fees and costs. BountyJobs requires use of a boilerplate fee agreement, and “mediates” (tries to informally resolve) disputes.

BountyJobs leaves you on your own to enforce liability and payment if banging your headhunter’s head doesn’t work. B-i-i-i-g problem for you over a little unpaid unbounty. So unless you really know your stuff about setting up a placement fee collection, you end up walking softly back into the forest.

Anyhoo, let’s go on.

Three Things to Consider

Here are the three considerations in evaluating the BountyJobs program:

1. Is it legal?

As you can see, the arrangement appears to be simple enough. If all parties perform as promised, it should work.

BountyJobs is responsible for billing and collection, takes its 25% cut, and the 60 or 90-day full refund guarantee applies (depending on the fee percentage).

The contract defects that our JOC readers know so well (latent and patent ambiguities, contradictory terms, unclear rights and liabilities, etc.) really don’t exist in the BountyJobs agreement.

It seems legal enough.

If you’re of sound mind, you’ll probably be bound to the contract.

2. Is it practical?

Mechanically, the lock has only a few moving parts.

Again, if there are no issues about the submission of the candidate, no collection or disbursement issues, and no guarantee hassles, it seems okay.

You might think it’s practically crazy, but it’s practical.

3. Is it advisable?

Again, that’s a matter of opinion.

If I was still working a desk, I’d click the red box with the X on the top right corner of my screen.

That’s because the BountyJobs model minimizes the fee — the consideration –– the value — of the placer and the placement.

What You Do

There’s a reason the process is called “making a placement.” This causes those who’ve never done it to think it’s easy. BountyJobs appears be among them, since its program requires that “headhunters”:

  • Agree to the employer’s lowest possible fee, minus 25%, with a full 60 or 90-day refund guarantee if the fee is paid.
  • Take the “job order” literally, as though it’s seriously real.
  • Call around or surf the net to find anyone who can do that “ordered” job.
  • Sell the candidate on the job.
  • Get the candidate’s background and contact information, and
  • E-mail it to the employer to obtain that lowest possible fee, minus 25%, with a full 60-day refund guarantee.

Just pick up the phone or click the icon. Just go through the motions. Smile and dial enough times and placements –- BountyJobs bounties -– happen.

Only not in any jobjungle you’ve ever seen.

There’s the Job Order & Then, the Actual Job

My take on “headhunting”? More valuable than most “employers” can really understand. In fact, you really have to work a desk tJob concept - freedigitalo comprehend why a really well-sourced cold-call recruit is so valuable to a competitor. There’s nothing more difficult yet more valuable to any business. If I wasn’t a new grad who had no idea what an executive recruiter was, and the only jobs around required experience I didn’t have, I’d never have survived long enough to figure it out.

Rough, though. Solitary confinement, pushing up against pessimism, negativism, ostracism. And every form of egotism.

That’s why I got into something easy.

The BountyJobs program assumes that a job is a definable, tangible “thing.” Yet we know employers haven’t got a clue about who they want -– let alone need. How can an army of talking-point tellersellers “fill” some “opening” that doesn’t exist?

Am I wrong here, skullseekers? Did the last warmblood you placed resemble the job order? At all ? Isn’t it likely that the BountyJobs order is really a wish list that has probably changed several times since it was posted?

Don’t Blame BountyJobs

I’m not blaming BountyJobs for this. Doing so would be like blaming recruiters for employee turnover.

Michael, I get that you’re professionally offended at the way you think BountyJobs reduces the “headhunter” to an empty mask. BountyJobs sets the rate you will receive, BountyJobs sets the terms you must meet, and then the employer subjectively defines whether you have performed. Do you sell well when you feel like you’re selling out? Can you really identify with the wonder of that employer as you Gatorade up for the close?

BountyJobs calls itself a “cloud-based solution,” and it is definitely cloud-based. In my 48 years as a headhunter (as that term is properly used), HR manager, career author and placement lawyer, I’d say this cloud is based in the ozone layer.

Nothing in this reply should be construed as impugning the integrity of BountyJobs. In fact, the program appears to be well thought-out and well intentioned. It discloses its terms simply, and it seems legally and practically sound. It may also work well for certain kinds of desk jockeys.

Of course, we’re really not concerned about the viability of the BountyJobs business model to BountyJobs’ investors. We’re concerned about the viability of your business model to you. I agree with you about the fallacy of perceived value to the employer too, Michael. They never have the privilege of working with guys like you. In exchange for telling all comers what to charge, they take longer to hire, get a less qualified candidate, make less profit, and get to do it again because their new hire doesn’t last. Smart.

So I can’t recommend BountyJobs for the reasons I’ve stated. But if it works for you, please let me know. If you’re one of the “10,000 registered headhunters” who can back up your success with verifiable facts, it would be my pleasure to use a JOC to share that success with our readers.

Michael – best wishes always. Truly you are a role model for – Argh! — HEADHUNTERS!

Now get back to your jungle gym,


Image courtesy of ddpavumba /