Fall offs. It's a term no recruiter likes to experience, or even hear. So, my apologies in advance for using it! 

It started out as a typical placement. After signing the agreement, we submitted a total of two resumes to a new client. One candidate we knew was a slam dunk fit! Over the course of six weeks or so, our candidate (let's call him 'John') had two phone and two face to face interviews. The hiring manager loved him; the corporate big wigs loved him; from Ireland to the US, HR was told "hire him, he's the one for the job."

After some low ball negotiations, a starting salary was agreed upon, and a start date of two weeks later was determined.

Then typical turned irregular. A week or so after John accepted, but prior to the start date, the hiring manager -- the report to guy -- was let go. Hmm. 

The client gave great reasons for letting him go: they are moving their business in the direction which our candidate excelled, that's why they hired him, and the hiring manager lacked that background. We were told it was an even greater opportunity for John, as the director level was pretty much his for the taking.

Our candidate started as agreed.

Immediately upon becoming the client's employee, John learned things... bad things. The client had failed to disclose problems with their quality systems, to both him and us: manufactured materials had been recalled because they weren't up to snuff. Let's just say when the FDA issues warnings, it's a problem. 

There were bad, deep-seated cultural problems, too. For example, the client's main customer was on site, and John asked an assistant to order lunch for them. The assistant said she didn't have the authority to do that, only top bananas could. No one had authority -- or the balls -- to do anything. Except John, who knew the trigger had to be pulled on certain things if the FDA was to be calmed, and for him to successfully perform his duties.

John tried sticking it out, but was 'let go' six weeks after starting. A fall off! :(

The very next day, the regional HR person called, and asked for the money back. He seems to be setting things up as if WE did poor work: "you only sent two candidates... he's not the same person we interviewed..."

We have since been in contact with the original hiring manager, who told us that his superiors instructed him to NOT reveal certain things to John during the interview process.

Naturally, I have gone over the fee agreement with a fine tooth comb. (Yes, we did that before signing it, too.) There is nothing about a candidate being hired for one job, and being utilized in another (the hiring manager would have been a great buffer between corporate and John). There is nothing that applies to deceptive practices. Just that in the "event the candidate's employment is voluntarily or involuntarily terminated for any reason other than workforce reduction," we have to provide a full refund.

What would YOU do, and why??

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I agree with you, but she sign the refund policy. That is her fault

Barbara Goldman said:
If possible, do not give the company a refund. Quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of companies using our services, and then not disclosing info, etc.In our contract, we have a clause that protects us in case of a deceptive hire. Since you signed their contract, you may feel stuck, but first try to talk to someone who will understand that this is not your fault.

I wish you luck. Perhaps you won't have to give the money back if you talk to the right person.

A quick update: talked with the client; cut a check; and, even mailed it. :)


Happy holidays, and a healthy and prosperous new year to all!



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