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‘The Candidate Assured Us You Weren’t Representing Them’

by | Aug 6, 2012 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Welcome to our ongoing series of blog posts in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Center: “Jeff Allen’s Collection Tip of the Week.” Each week, we’ll highlight one collection tip from Allen, JD/CPC, the world’s leading placement lawyer.

Since 1975, Allen 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 this week’s collection tip for recruiters, courtesy of Jeff Allen.

What the Client Says:

“The candidate assured us you weren’t representing them.”

How the Client Pays:

There are three ways this attempted waiver of the fee occurs, depending on when it occurs:

1. If the candidate is still at the interviewing stage, the client can casually state something like, “You know we’re not willing to pay a fee for hiring you.”  The candidate then simply says nothing or states that no fee should be due, anyway.

2. If the candidate is at the offer stage, the client can state something like, “Of course, we didn’t expect to pay a fee for hiring you.”  I am only aware of one candidate who objected to this in my entire career.  He was recovering from the effects of sodium thiopental due to some root canal work just before the interview.

3. Then, after the acceptance, few recruiters will risk wedging themselves between an employer and an employee.  There’s no legal reason not to, though.  If you’re in business just to lower the jobless rate, fine.  But a candidate who isn’t hired (or is fired) because a recruiter hasn’t been paid has rights only against the client.

A candidate who tries to tell you that they are “dismissing” you from “representing” them doesn’t understand contract law.  Their “consent,” “willingness,” or “cooperation” have no relevance whatsoever on the client’s liability for a fee.

Liability for a full fee—to YOU!

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(Know how to collect your well-earned fees?  Test yourself!  Visit Allen’s Placement Law website and click the “Placement Fee Collection Quiz” button.  Allen can be reached via telephone at 310.559.6000 or via email at

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