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Recruiters – making sure you’re the effective cause

I’ve blogged about introductions in recruitment before, but a recent spate of backdoor hire cases has prompted me to do so again.

Backdoor hires are one of the primary scourges of the recruitment industry. At Cognitive Law we help many recruitment companies recover those placement fees. Some are easier to recover than others, but in each case it’s essential that you were the effective cause of the placement.

The first step is to make sure your terms of business define when you are entitled to a fee for an introduction. And the second step is always to make sure your terms of business are sent with every introduction, whether it’s agency or perm recruitment. You can’t rely on terms that the client hasn’t seen, or that haven’t been incorporated into your dealings with them.

The third step is to make sure you have been the effective cause of the placement. That means it was you who set up the interview, handled the feedback, negotiated salary or rates, and handled the candidate into the role with the client.

Unfortunately it’s not a case of first past the post with a CV. The ultimate engagement of the candidate must be as a direct consequence of your actions. You must be responsible for the outcome. I hate disappointing clients, but those who come to me saying “but I sent the CV first”, quite often come away empty handed unless they did a little bit more than send an email.

If your terms of business are well drafted, you may have a clause in there about not having to be the effective cause of the placement in order to recover a fee. If you don’t, it’s fair and reasonable to imply that there is such a clause.

Anyway, I know you know all this already, this is just a little reminder that if you want that fee, make sure you’re the effective cause.