I worked for a client for two weeks, about three months ago, through a recruiter. The company wanted to hire me, but the negotiations fell through. Is it okay for me to contact this company for temporary or permanent work without the recruiter?

The company is a startup, and they offered me a 50k salary. I countered with 60k, and they told me they were waiting on funding so they said they would make me an offer in a month. Instead, they hired someone else. While I was working with them, they also mentioned that the recruiter fee was very expensive, which probably affected their decision to hire me. I enjoyed the work, and it's been 3 months, so I am wondering if I can legally contact them on my own for a free lance or permanent position.

closed as off-topic by Joe Strazzere, Garrison Neely, Kate Gregory, gnat, nvoigt Jan 24 '15 at 19:27

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  • Possibly a legal question which we aren't able to answer. Did you have a contract with the recruiter and does that mention future work with ex-clients? – Laconic Droid Jan 23 '15 at 18:19
  • What is important is their contract with the recruiter. They might need to wait a spcified timeperiod which is typically fairly long to avoid the recruiter finding the person and tehn the company just wating untuil they don't have to pay the person. It is possible they will have to pay the recruitere for a year or more. Typically once you have contracted a company through a recuiter, the recuiter will get paid for quite some time afterwards if they hire you. – HLGEM Jan 23 '15 at 19:02

In general, the types of recruiters you are describing require:

  1. Three or four months of the first year salary as a finder's fee, and
  2. A one year blackout period from the time of first introduction. This means that the company cannot hire you without paying the fee, unless you both wait a year.

Whether the fee disadvantages you or not is an open question. I personally find value in a recruiter making introductions and getting me interviews. The employer finds value in the pre-sreening process and having the recruiter do the leg work.

I have worked with employers who complained about the fee. My message to them is: if you can't afford to pay the fee, then don't enlist the help of recruiter.


It will likely depend on the agreement the company has with the recruiter. For example, we usually have agreements that say if the recruiter is the first to send a candidate to us, we are obliged to pay them a finder's fee if we hire the person within a calendar year.

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