Don’t Pay for Poached Candidate Placements in Business and at Work


During my 25+ years in HR and Recruiting, I’ve worked with / managed a good portion of contract recruiters. At this point in my career, thankfully I have a few solid go-to contract recruiting partners locally – contract recruiters who operate and were trained like inside corporate recruiters, who I either manage as subcontractors for clients, or refer directly to colleagues and clients with confidence. (BTW – if you need a referral, please feel free to direct-message me).

If you’ve never worked with a contract recruiter, the going contract recruiter fee right now is anywhere from 20 – 30% of your new hire’s first year of compensation. So if you’ve hired your new Controller, for example, as a result of working with a contract recruiter on a contingency or retainer basis at a salary of $100,000 a year, the contract recruiter’s fee upon hire can be anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000, depending on the level of the hire and/or degree of difficulty of sourcing the candidate. And with our current low unemployment rate, there are several candidate categories currently that are pretty hard to hire – it’s a candidate’s market.

I’ve worked through difficult candidate markets several times – and that’s where a professional and reliable contract recruiter can be a great resource, and completely worth the investment of paying their hard-earned fee.

However, buyer beware – it’s the unethical contract recruiters that ruin it for the good contract recruiters. The unethical contract recruiters are merely salespeople who also give salespeople a bad name – no HR training, therefore no HR ethics. The unethical contract recruiter thinks nothing of recruiting their own placements back from you to place at another client, even if the candidate has only worked for you for 18 months – because the main goal is to earn another recruiting placement fee from another client for the same candidate – the earning potential of the unethical contract recruiter is the main goal here.

The best way to avoid this pitfall? Just as recruiters will require you in the Contract Recruiting Agreement they ask you to sign to pay them their fee if you place a candidate they referred to you within a year of  the referral – you can ask for similar consideration by securing their commitment not to poach the candidate they have placed with you within a reasonable time-frame that you define.

How will you avoid paying for poached candidate placements in business and at work?

Outsource Note Showing Subcontracting And Freelance

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