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‘We Changed the Candidate’s Job Title’ . . . You Did?

by | Feb 9, 2013 | 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:

“We changed the candidate’s job title.”

How the Client Pays:

This caper is different from changing the classification and changing the position, because the formal organizational structure remains intact.  No new title is actually plugged in.

The captive candidate is simply giving us a “working,” “functional,” or informal” title that is proudly printed on his or her business cards.  In some cases, it’s even printed on engraved letterhead (“The Office of the ______________”).

As with actually hiring him or her in a different position, you need to unlock yourself from that job order title.  Your fee schedule is the logical place to do it.  “In any capacity” are the logical words.

Beware of job titles tucked away in employer-generated PSA’s (placement service agreements).  This is a common trick of employer lawyers.  Then somewhere in another section of the PSA, there will be a condition (requirement) that states you only get paid if the candidate is hired in that specific job.

If you’re given a title-specific PSA, it is absolutely imperative that you include words like “or similar position” so that you’re protected.

The candidate’s business card or letterhead with another title isn’t evidence for the client.  It’s convincing evidence for you!

Judges know the legal maxim, “Look past the form to the fact.”  Set up the documentation correctly, and you’ll get paid.

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Know how to collect your well-earned fees?  Test yourself!  Visit Jeff 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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