Chat with us, powered by LiveChat How Recruiters Stop the 'Check References' Fee Objection

Fee Objection: ‘You Didn’t Check References’

by | Oct 9, 2014 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Jeff Allen, the world’s leading placement lawyer, has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secret cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else.  He’s also the author of 24 books and a regular columnist for The Fordyce Letter, one of the leading publications in the recruiting industry.

Below is Allen’s latest collection tip for recruiters who want to overcome a particular fee objection with one of their clients:

What the Client Says:

“You didn’t check references.”

How the Client Ends Up Paying:

It usually happens like most placements—no documents back from the client.  Who cares?  The hiring authority is returning your calls, interviewing, and even expressing interest.  Would the client like you to check references?  “No, thanks.  We do that ourselves.”

Then there’s a hire, and you think it’s a placement.  But you’re arguing “a five-figure fee for a phone call.”  It’s a good argument, since a placement fee is a finder’s fee.  It would be an even better argument if you didn’t overstate your “consultant” role in your written materials.  Or that you only refer “qualified” candidates.

It gets worse.  Do you write that you “screen,” “check,” and “verify”?  Carefully?

These words move you away from a finder’s fee—a bounty—and impose additional conditions on your right to claim it.  In fact, as part of common law (original judge-made law) contract pleadings, you must state on the complaint:

Plaintiff has performed all acts to be performed, and otherwise complied fully with all terms, covenants, and conditions set forth in the agreement between the parties, and is entitled to the full placement fee herein.

The best way to avoid the defense that you didn’t check references (and a host of related “didn’t do enough” defenses) is to go through your fee schedule and eliminate any marketing overstatements.

Please do that now.  This nonsense is so easy to avoid!

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In addition to being the world’s leading placement lawyer, Jeff Allen is also a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog.  He can be reached via telephone at 310.559.6000 or via email at  Know how to collect your well-earned placement fees?  Test yourself!  Visit Allen’s Placement Law website and click the “Placement Fee Collection Quiz” button.

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