Having the upperhand being the main corporate 3rd party recruiter and having other recruiters submitting to you

I have an interesting situation.  I have great client of mine in where I have a personal relationship with the CEO of hiring company.  I did a great job on some searches now they want to use me exclusively (ie. no other recruiters).  Well recently one of their west coast offices identified a candidate through another recruiter and now my contact has told the other office they (the office and other recruiter) must go through me.  What would you think would be fair for me to do here?  In theory, I could qualify the candidate from the other firm and give them half the fee, or I could split the company side with them and give them full credit for the candidate (25% me) or something in the middle.  Just curious on the community's thoughts and experiences here.


I seem to have been on the other side of this where a large company is the main vendor and has the client relationship, but I have a relationship with the client too.  But only the large company is the MAIN approved vendor. 

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Richard, if you decide to move forward with this candidate it is "fair" to do a 50/50 split. If the client isn't putting any guidelines in place, the decision and details are left to you, but there are many factors to consider. What if this CEO leaves the company, will the other people in the company feel the arrangement with you still works? Are you going to alienate a hiring manager in this company if you "block" the candidate? Are great candidates hard to find, will you be depriving the client of the chance to hire a terrific person? The list goes on.

If this hiring manager wasn't aware of the new "exclusive" you have with the company, it seems like at least finding out why the candidate was presented and if it's worth having a discussion with the other recruiter.


I'm not sure the decision is really yours to make just yet.  If the other recruiter provided a candidate to an agent of the company, there may be a contract in place based on the west coast's office accepting the candidate from this recruiter. Courts have been known to rule this way. 


I suggest you understand the other recruiter's position before making a suggestion about what is best for you.  Until the CEO has alignment and clear communication to all those engaging recruiters this will be a messy deal for you.  His employees are creating contracts that his desire to use you exclusively will not be cause to ignore. 


You may want to define a fee for the service you provide when screening other recruiter's candidates.  The company would then need to define the payment they will make to the other recruiters and your service would be an additional charge.  You owe it to your friend to keep him or her out of legal battles because this preference to use you "exclusively". 


Since you have been on the other side of this, maybe you will understand how this should work.

If you have an agreement with the company for exclusivity the company, ie the west coast hiring manager who accepted the resume, should notify the other recruiter that he was not aware of the agreement with you but if the other recruiter is willing to go through you they will move forward with the candidate.

I have had this happen. I told my contact that in the best interest of the company I was willing to split 50/50 with the other recruiter if they were willing to contact me. The other recruiter did so, we signed a split agreement, the candidate was hired, we split. My client indicated they were pleased that I was willing to be part of the solution in not causing a good candidate to be lost. The other recruiter felt the same way but moving forward did not submit other candidates due to my exclusive agreement.

If the West coast hiring manager signed an agreement it is up to the company to decide if they are going to honor it. If they feel that although it violates your agreement they have to honor it and the other recruiter refuses to split you may lose this one but my guess is that if you offer to split and the other recruiter refuses it will be the only placement he ever makes with them.

You do not indicate whether the candidate has been hired or not so I assume only identified. If that is the case and the candidate is not hired, make sure moving forward that the CEO makes it clear to everyone that they use you exclusively and if they are contacted by other recruiters they should be referred to you. If you are willing to do a few splits to keep your client happy you could end up with a grateful client and some good split partners.

Well detailed Sandra. 

Part of your responsibility as an exclusive provider is to educate your client and keep them out of court.  Taking the long-term view of this is the way to address any short-term situations.  I would not view situations like this as opportunities to "find" revenue but rather as a way to "refine" the process moving forward.  The win will come over the next few years, not with the next placement.

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