I left my former legal recruiting firm after 8 years recently to start my own shop. The entire time I was with my former firm, I was singled out as the best performing recruiter the agency had ever had and the owner had often referred to me as her partner (though I was not). After not being able to convince me to stay, upon my departure, my boss and I had a discussion of what would happen with my commissions if she placed any of my candidates within a relatively short period of time after my departure. It had always been her feeling that if a recruiter was not employed on the date of an offer and acceptance, that recruiter was entitled to nothing even though, but for that recruiter, there wouldn't be a placement. I had strongly disagreed with this idea and told her I believed that after 8 years of service, I deserved to be compensated for the work I put into bringing the placements along even if I wasn't there when and offer and acceptance happened. She agreed to compensate me (probably not at the 50% I would receive if still employed but an amount she would determine depending upon ho much work she had to do to close the deal). I left believing she would make good on her word. Well....

Now, that she has placed two of my candidates (they were referred to me personally not her agency, she never met either candidate and I chose which firms the candidates should be presented to and I set up the initial interviews and debriefed them before I left the firm). The commissions she has made come to $102K on these 2 placements and she has told me she has no recollection of offering to compensate me in any way. She says I am entitled to nothing.

As you can imagine, I am pretty unhappy. Why is our business so mean and cuthroat? Why can't recruiters stick together so that agency owners can't take advantage of the recruiters like this. I wish I could start an organization for recruiters rights! I would love some feedback from other legal recruiters. Many Thanks! Casey

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Morning all.

I was prepared to sit on the sidelines today - you know - actually work (it is Wednesday after all) but I had to point something out. Another example of "quote mining" if you will.

It was a "dagger" in Karen's back Sandra - not a "knife" as you now alledge she said.

Have a great day all you wonderful people!

Perhaps you can get your former boss to pay you commissions on candidates you sourced while there, but did not place, in exchange for an agreement that you will not work, for a period of 6 months, with any clients or candidates with whom you developed a relationship while employed by your former employer. At least this concession would give the former boss incentive to reconsider. Absent of that concession, I would never consider paying commissions to former employees on placements made post-employment.

I wouldn't have promised to pay the commissions post-employment - verbally or otherwise, so at least I'm honest. And I know I am highly ethical, contrary to your opinion. My employees are made aware - in writing - of our commission policies, including if their employment terminates (voluntarily or otherwise). I see no unethical behavior...

I do have one interesting question that might change your perspective. When you discussed the idea of getting paid commissions on placements not completed, did you ask if that would be the case even if you decided to leave the company, but compete? Maybe if you discussed the various scenarios of what you post-employment situation would look like (i.e. leaving the legal search field, but staying in recruiting, leaving recruiting industry altogether, joining a competitor, starting my own firm and potentially hiring other employees of your firm, etc.), your boss would spent more time contemplating this issue...but then again, you may not have liked the answer.

In the end, I strongly advise that you don't look back; you're not going in the direction! Hope this helps and good luck!!

Casey said:
I'm sorry you condone this type of behavior on the part of recruiting company owners? I don't condone it. I think it is wrong to treat hardworking, long term, well liked and highly successful employees this way. unless an owner makes it worth someone's while, many recruiters go off after a while to open their own shops. there doesn't seem to be any reason to me for this unfair treatment, animosity and greed. My boss opened her own shop, she should have understood and have been supportive so we could have both continued to benefit from the relationship. She reneged on an agreement. Yes I wanted to be paid on placements that were close to closing and but for me would not have existed. Why would that be unusual?


Thomas Patrick Chuna said:
casey - let me get this straight.. you announce your intention to leave the company to go start your own show, and THEN you start making demands about what the company you are leaving must do regarding commissions for placements that hadn't closed yet, AND you expected to get paid by the company you no longer worked for when the deals closed?

No offense, but you have some interesting expectations.. With no written agreement, the owner just patted you on the head and sent you on your way. Not that anyone would ever sign an agreement like that in the first place - Why on earth would anyone do any favors for someone who will hurt them financially in the near term by leaving, and in the long term by competing?

Maybe she was your friend and you trusted her, but you have to be realistic - the concept of fairness isn't even found in the bible, much less practiced by emotional humans faced with losing their moneymaker.

best thing is to orient yourself to winning, and beating your former employer in the marketplace.
you slay me :)

Jerry Albright said:

Manatees are sometimes called sea cows, and their languid pace lends merit to the comparison. However, despite their massive bulk, they are graceful swimmers in coastal waters and rivers. Powering themselves with their strong tails, manatees typically glide along at 5 miles (8 kilometers) an hour but can swim 15 miles (24 kilometers) an hour in short bursts.

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Manatees are born underwater. Mothers must help their calves to the surface so that they can take their first breath, but the infants can typically swim on their own only an hour later.

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Lest we forget the words from one of the expert, Charles "I Think" Yett...

Years later, it continues...

Heather Bussing said:
Things that make you go hmmmmmm. Someone who emphatically insists that people should not take advice from the internet and then spends an inordinate amount of time giving it, repeating it, defending it, changing it and contradicting it.
yikes - it's an ugly time to be in a California jail...

Heather Bussing said:
...I suggest you consult the statutes about practicing law without a license, which in California where you live, are located at Business and Professions Code section 6125 et seq.. It is a crime punishable by jail time and fines.

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