Chat with us, powered by LiveChat 3 Rules for Starting a Search with a Verbal Agreement

3 Rules for Starting a Search with Just a Verbal Agreement

by | Oct 22, 2015 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

We were all likely taught that you should never start a search without a signed agreement.  This makes good sense for many obvious reasons.

However, what do you do if a hiring manager authorizes you to send people for a search, but does not return your agreement promptly?

Hiring authorities (like all of us) only do things when it is obvious that it will benefit them in a tangible way.  Reading a contract in detail before they receive a candidate is not always at the top of their priority list.

Often, it is your presentation of a star candidate that provides the motivation for the manager to sign your agreement.

Verbal agreements are theoretically binding, but difficult to prove.  However, from my point of view, it’s okay to start a search with a verbal agreement on rare occasions as long as you follow these three rules:

1. Secure the signed agreement before you schedule the first sendout.

2. Present your candidate without revealing their name or current employer.

3. Only send one candidate as a test to see how quickly your prospect responds before putting much effort into the search.

You definitely would want this practice to be the exception rather than the rule.  If you are going to start the search, make sure you have a verbal agreement on the terms.  Then make sure that you stick to the three rules outlined above.

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Gary Stauble, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time.  For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit or call 408.849.4756.

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