When the Client Balks, the Candidate May Collect

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Nov 5, 2012

Editor’s Note: Every Monday Jeff Allen offers you a tip about what you should do to ensure you never miss out — or get beat out — of your well-earned fee.

What Client Says:

We thought the candidate would be liable for the fee.

How Client Pays:

This is often coupled with statements that you didn’t cause the hire.

Here are a few likely lines:

  • “We thought the candidate was going to pay you.”
  • “We thought this was part of your career counseling arrangement with the candidate.”
  • “We never agreed to pay the fee.”

The best way to protect yourself is to prominently state on your fee schedule that all fees are paid by the client business, and identifying the client specifically on the schedule.

Then have a heart-to-heart with the candidate about pursuing the fee against him. There’s no law against heart-to-hearts about pursuing candidate fees. Pursuing them, yes. Don’t go there – it’s a violation strictly enforced by your state’s consumer protection agency. But heart-to-hearts, no.

Heart-to-hearts like that send the candidate charging to the client’s HR office. This causes great angst about a wrongful hiring.

Ergo, the candidate is your fierce, free, and forceful collection agent.

What formidable fun – and followed by a full fee!

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