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I have been working with this client for 3 years and recruited a number of permanent staff for them (recently there has been changes in their management). A month ago I submitted a candidate cv to the hiring manager, at the time they had no vacancies. Last week I spoke with my candidate who informed me that she had an interview with the same client the week before and accepted an offer via another recruitment agency!

Our Terms and conditions state: An introduction fee will be charged in relation to any Candidate engaged as a consequence of or resulting from an introduction, whether direct or indirect, within six months from the date of our introduction.

Therefore my thought process is I introduced the candidate first to the client and she has been engaged within 6 months of my submission so I should be entitled to a fee?

One of the managers from my client contacted me and advised I am not entitled to a fee for this candidate as there was no vacancy at the time & it was unsolicited.

Any advise or help on this would be appreciated.

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    How do you know that the other recruitment agency didn't introduce the candidate before you? – sf02 May 15 at 15:14
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    This might be better addressed over on the Law SE, but I have a suspicion that your interpretation of your terms might be considered overly broad, since in theory it would permit you to speculatively 'introduce' people to the company and claim exclusivity on anyone you like at any time you like. – brhans May 15 at 15:15
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    Do you have a contract with them? What does it say? – Acccumulation May 15 at 15:41
  • You win some, you lose some. – gnasher729 May 15 at 22:04
  • At the time of my introduction the candidate was not registered with any other agencies and HR confirmed they received her cv after me. Yes have a contract since 2016 but there is nothing included on unsolicited cvs... – ZacRec May 16 at 8:49
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This is the reason why many companies will simply not invite candidates for interviews if they have received their CV from more than one recruiter, as the red tape on deciding who introduced who is more hassle than it is worth.

If your question is regarding the legal aspect, you are probably best addressing this on the law exchange.

If the question is whether it is ethical, I would side with the hiring manager, at the time you sent the CV it was unsolicited. Time passed on and a vacancy opened up and they received the CV again by a different agency, now properly addressed to that vacancy. As they have submitted it for an open vacancy, I would agree that the introduction fee should be theirs, or else as brhans says, you could simply forward all CV's you receive to all companies in the area and claim introduction fee for any hires they do.

If the hiring manager had contacted you, to arrange through you the interviews with the candidate and THEN saw the CV through a different agency, then the fee would be yours as it was your email/CV that introduced the candidate, if they saw the other agencie's application to this role first and only after you brought up the fact that you had introduced that candidate they noticed the application you had sent for an non-existing vacancy, then they are correct in what they are doing.

Otherwise, you would be claiming income for passive work, when possibly the other agency spent time talking to the candidate, preparing the CV for that specific vacancy, sent an email to hiring manager and discussed it with him and then called the candidate to arrange the interview.

  • "you could simply forward all CV's you receive to all companies in the area and claim introduction fee for any hires they do." Well, presumably the company has signed some sort of contract with the OP. Sending CVs to companies that don't have any sort of agreement with the OP would not create any obligation on their part. – Acccumulation May 15 at 15:38
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    @Acccumulation ok....forward all CV's to every company you have a signed agreement with, even if they are not currently recruiting. Still shouldn't get you the introduction fee lol – fireshark519 May 15 at 15:46
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-- A month ago I submitted a candidate cv to the hiring manager

Do you have any kind of evidence (email, contract) with the candidate that specifically states the client and the candidate?

If not, then you have no rights to a referral fee.

If yes, likely for the submission a month ago, then you do have rights and can pursue it.

'I am not entitled to a fee for this candidate as there was no vacancy at the time & it was unsolicited.' seems pretty thin. Perhaps a reduced fee can be negotiated.

This also begs the question (and the ethics behind it) why you are submitting candidates for unsolicited positions and not updating the candidate to gain consent. As a candidate if this happened to me I would strongly consider blacklisting the recruiter from future searches.

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    " Do you have any kind of evidence (email, contract) with the candidate that specifically states the client and the candidate?" I think there are some words missing here. – Acccumulation May 15 at 15:37
  • I have email trails and consent with the candidate of clients I have put her forward to, the previous month in March I was given 3 vacancies to fill of which at the time I filled 1. – ZacRec May 16 at 8:56
  • Does 'of clients' mean this client? Just because you submitted him to one or a couple of clients doesn't mean you are legally representing him to every client. (IANAL = I am not a lawyer) – Jim Horn May 16 at 13:08

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