Fordyce Family Council: A Q&A with Jeff Allen

This year at the Fordyce Forum 2009, we are introducing a new session called “The Fordyce Family Council,” moderated by placement attorney Jeff Allen.

The purpose of the Council is to focus on increasing the bottom line of the participants. We want you to leave the session with all of your questions answered – and many new networking contacts.

We recently chatted with Jeff, a long-time and popular contributor to The Fordyce Letter, to learn more about the purpose behind this meeting:

TFL: How did the Fordyce Family Council idea develop?

It was really from a combination of things. We wanted to take the best parts of a “high-biller’s panel,” a training seminar, and a legal workshop. However, we wanted to present it in an informal peer-group atmosphere where everyone could learn from the collective experience of the participants.

When you walk in the door, your surname is Fordyce. No need to reprint your business cards, but bring plenty of them! We’re all family and we discuss family secrets openly. Nobody is selling anything, nobody is competing with anyone else, and everyone is there to add value to the room.

My objective is to have every participant leave feeling that they’ve paid for their registration many times over.

When I first met our Fordyce founding father Paul Hawkinson, he was publishing an amazing series called “Rap Session.” Each sheet of paper contained a specific placement subject to be used for a weekly staff meeting along with a brief discussion guide. It was incredibly effective to explode placements because it ignited interaction between recruiters that never happened, even though they were working side-by-side.

TFL: Who would you like to be on the panel?

We’re looking for people with at least a few years of search experience, since it takes a while to develop a successful system. However, this is not a public speaking or debating contest. In fact, it’s just the opposite; we want spontaneity, fun, and candor.

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There are still some openings on the Council, so those who plan to attend the Forum this June should contact me at I am especially looking to select those who reflect the spirit and goals of the meeting! Everyone else will be there to participate in the audience.

This will be an incredible event – talented people willing to give of themselves.

TFL: What kinds of questions will be covered?

It’s entirely up to the participants, but we’ll probably be exploring things like:

  • Unique ways to obtain quality searches fast.
  • How to become a specialist.
  • How to unlock key accounts.
  • How to get exclusive assignments.
  • How to structure and get retainers.
  • How to close placements.
  • How to cold call in a target business without being accused of raiding.
  • How to market your services in 2009.
  • How to enforce a CAA (candidate acceptance agreement) requiring candidates to take good offers.
  • When and when not to split a fee with another recruiter.
  • When the employer can be required to pay two fees for hiring the same candidate.
  • How referral periods work and why.
  • When just sending the resume means a full fee.
  • Which Internet job postings are illegal.
  • How to cash a partial-payment check and still collect the rest of the fee.
  • When and how to agree to an employer’s PSA (placement service agreement).
  • What can be asked in a reference check.
  • Which business structure protects a search business best.
  • How long to wait before recruiting from a former client.
  • When and how to re-recruit a placed candidate.
  • Everything to know about E&O (errors and omissions) insurance.
  • When to buy EPL (employment practices liability) insurance.
  • Using candidate sign-on bonuses.
  • Giving employer kickbacks.

To learn more about this meeting, contact Jeff directly at The Fordyce Forum is scheduled for June 10-12 in Las Vegas.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.