I was contacted by a recruitment agency in mid April for a software engineering position. I never heard back and ~1 month later I reached out to a company hiring manager directly for a different role/title (QA Engineer).

The recruitment agency somehow caught wind of this and now wants a recruitment fee from the company. The two positions are different. The HR department is investigating what can be done. Unfortunately, this is stalling the hiring process.

Can the recruitment agency do this? I don't see how this is legal. The hiring manager did mention that it is possible there is some restriction on the contract they signed with the recruitment agency.

This is the only legal type document I had to give the recruiter (via email). It is very specific in that they are only representing me for this position!!!


I John Doe give Recruiting Company A the right to represent me for the role of Software Engineer dated (today) 4/21/2016. I am only giving permission to Recruiting Company A to represent me for this job posting with IT Company B. We have agreed to submit you at the salary/hourly rate of $0.00. You also confirm that you have not previously been submitted to this role by any other staffing firms and that you will grant Recruiting Company A the exclusive right to represent you to this specific role. I agree to immediately inform you of any feedback from your submission and to prepare you thoroughly in the event that you are selected for an interview

Please respond to this email with “I accept”


closed as off-topic by Masked Man, Lilienthal, Richard U, Dan Pichelman, Magisch May 12 '16 at 20:09

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – Masked Man, Lilienthal, Richard U, Dan Pichelman, Magisch
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  • Could the terms be revised at a later date? – JB King May 12 '16 at 18:17
  • There is too little detail for us to comment anything. We don't know what the company signed up for with the recruiter, this kind of thing is better to be handled by a lawyer. It sucks but there is nothing much for you to do here. The company and the recruiter will have to figure it out. In the meantime, keep applying to other companies. – Masked Man May 12 '16 at 18:17
  • Legal questions should be asked of legal professionals. – Lilienthal May 12 '16 at 18:28
  • 1
    That is the agreement between you and the recruiter. There is a separate agreement between the company and the recruiter. That agreement is not necessarily limited to the first position. – paparazzo May 12 '16 at 18:32
  • 2
    The mention of an hourly rate makes me think this is not a recruiting company, but an agency. – DJClayworth May 12 '16 at 20:50

Not your problem

The recruiting company wants a recruitment fee from the hiring company.

Whether they are entitled to that fee is a matter between the lawyers of those two companies, based on whatever contract they have between them.

Since you're not a party to that contract, this is not your problem.

(It is entirely possible that the contract says they get a fee for everyone the hiring company hires that they introduce).

If you believe this issue prevented you from being hired, don't let that recruiting company ever represent you again.

  • 2
    Agreed. I don't think the agreement the OP agreed to with Recruiting Company A is relevant, this would be an issue of whatever agreement exists between Recruiting Company A and IT Company B, which the OP is not privy to. – Carson63000 May 13 '16 at 1:22

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