A hiring manager sent us an email after we submitted a candidate.  He said that he was already aware of the candidate, so he doesn't feel that he should have to pay a fee.  The candidate informed us that he had no conversations with another recruiter or anyone from the client company.  When we inquired as to his meaning of being aware, he indicated that a day earlier he discovered that the candidate viewed his LinkedIn profile and he in turn viewed the candidate’s LinkedIn profile.  His next step was to contact the candidate via in-mail.  

Does anyone have this particular feature on their LinkedIn account and was it sold for the above purpose?

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Did he contact the candidate via linkedin before you submitted him? Also, did the candidate view his profile because you told him about the company? If there's been back and forth on linkedin prior to you submitting the candidate...and back and forth means the candidate replied back to that email, then there could be some validity to the claim.

 

However, if the candidate viewed that contact because you told him about the company, and the contact then looked him up on linkedin after you sent him over....that's not the same.

 

LinkedIn is not a resume database. People on linkedin are similar to names in a directory, they still need to be recruited.

 

That inmail feature is designed for this purpose, but it's much the same as email....sending an email or making a cold call does not make a relationship unless the call or email is answered and interest established. 

This kind of stuff just really bugs me! 

 

I'd like to know - is this your first experience with this company?  If it is - then right off the bat it looks like a company who wants to make sure they don't use an agency.  I'd bail now.  Too many companies would love to have your attention today. 

 

If you've worked with them (successfully) in the past - then it just looks like you need to refine the ground rules a bit.  But I personally wouldn't stand for it.....

 

Good luck Ken!

@Pam,

I informed the HM that advising the candidate in researching the company with social media tools such as LI is a part of our recruitment process.  And I would be very disappointed if he didn’t follow good advice.    He later passed on the candidate as being too expensive/experienced.

 

@ Jerry, Good question & advise, this is a new client.  But this is the also the first time I've  run into this excuse to avoid paying a fee.  I was also curious if anyone else had the same experience, if so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as a new clause in fee agreements.  Then what?

Ask your candidate if he viewed your hiring manager's profile after you made him aware of the company. If he did then ask your candidate to respond to the hiring manager's in mail and let the hiring manager know that was the case. And that he would not have done so if you had not made him aware of the company or the open position.

It sounds like the candidate had not responded to the hiring manager's in mail prior to the hiring manager receiving the candidate' resume from you. If that is the case, I would take the position that the candidate looked up the hiring manager on linked in exactly as he would look at the company website after you told him about the job and did not apply online because the candidate knew his resume was being submitted, thus the reason he did not initiate contact with the hiring manager simply was reviewing who his resume was being sent to.

If you did not identify the company to your candidate, he found the company and hiring manager on his own without knowing his resume was being submitted, you may be toast. The hiring manager reached out to the candidate in good faith not knowing why he was looking at the HM's profile so a lot may depend on your timeline of when you told the candidate about the company and what your candidate honestly did and is willing to say.

I would try taking the position that in this case linked in is like a candidate looking up a company or a person in the phone book. He places a call but leaves no message. His name shows up on caller ID so somebody looks him up,finds
out he is in the same industry so calls him back and leaves a message. He has not responded to the voice mail so
nobody knows the reason for his original call. Your candidate may have called but he didn't leave any message that he was looking for a job or ask anyone to call him back. Ask your hiring manager if he would consider every person who looked at the company website as a candidate if they did not apply online or submit a resume. Would they send an email to every hit on the website then consider that hit a candidate if they never responded.

Good luck, tread lightly , sell it as a but for my efforts you would only have had a name but not a resume. The phone book and linked in both have a lot of names and profiles but they aren't candidates until a resume is submitted.

Ken,

You won't see this as clause in fee agreements. If you do, solution is simple. Don't sign the agreement.

Ken  - It's not sold for that purpose no. It's an interesting pickle though. The candidate is yours if you are asking me. The HM however is paying your fee so I guess that's his call.

 

Technically though, no the candidate is yours.

I have had hundreds view my profile but only a handful every made contact with me;  and did not receive any offers.  It would seem without at least an email or some real contact they do not have a "recruit".

I've run into this nonsense before, and without knowing the size/reputation of the company, there is no possible outcome that will benefit you. As mentioned by Jerry, don't waste your time.

 

As you know, in this business you're either a client or a source. For every company willing to take this stance, there are 3 competing companies that do not. Find out who there competitors are, then tear 'em up.

I would have to think seriously about investing a bunch of time with this company.

I have the "business plus" account which gives you a certain amount of "inmails" per month.  However that being said its a moot point because your client didn't contact him (you did) and you asked the candidate
prior to submittal if he applied directly or if anyone else contacted
him about the openings...right...?  Intent and doing are to separate things.

 

The short answer--Depending on the strength of the relationship you can either rebuttal with a simple phrase (which I'll get to in a second) or its a battle you'll most likely loose and should either find a new candidate or move on making that client a target for other/future client needs.

 

If yes then you have a case (but major uphill battle) but will most likely loose because they're your "client". 

 

"At some point everyone is on the internet and too be honest with you client I can find Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny if I search long enough.   In all seriousness though, prior to submitting Jon Doe I informed him who my client is (as I do with all my candidates) and asked him/her if they were aware in any way shape or form of you and the opening/need. They informed me I was the only one to introduce/represent this opportunity to them.  After screening, interviewing and meeting the candidate I felt he/she merited your attention for submittal."

 

Now does your client know his salary expectations or why the candidate left prior employers or what he wants/seeks in his next position...You bet your ass he doesn't...But YOU do! Like I said intent and doing are completely two different things and just because the candidate viewed your clients profile and vice-versa doesn't hold any weight.  And perhaps your candidate is smart enough to find out (after you introducing the opportunity and client) to go on LinkedIn and check out his potential peers and or Managers who work there.  No harm in doing that...Employers do it to potential employees all the time.

 

Anyhow best of luck Ken, let us know how it turns out.

 

-C

So what if he's in the Linkedin database? He's in the phone book too. We had this happen last year and the company ended up making an offer which was turned down once the candidate learned of this behavior. Now we get a signed Authorization to Represent from each candidate which protects us.

Why not consider a phrase in your Recruiting FEE Agreement as "all candidates referred to you are deemed to be introduced SOLELY by XYZ Agency."  We've had similar 'nonsense' by SOME firms as well.  "If I can find their resume on "Workopolis" then we don't feel we owe you a fee" is the type of comment we typically get.  They're surprised when we mention that we: 1. don't recruit or use resumes 'pulled' half heartedly down off the 'net' and 2.  they MAY wish to be a little 'less' enthusiastic' thinking that their "Superstar" can be so easily found...on or off the net.  We get this as well from clients who compete against us, by running their own ads on the internet or their own website and then wait for our candidates to 'reply'...usually AFTER we've introduced them!  "Oh, they responded to our ads on our website."  (Again remember, it's first in gets first credit...)

 

Also, as noted above, timing is everything, and if you can prove that YOU spoke to or possibly 'referred' the candidate to your client's existance and need, BEFORE the firm noticed the candidate's 'peeking' on Linkedin, or replying via THEIR website, then the client owes you a fee IF they proceeded. 

 

Our best advice would be:  1. get them TWO OR THREE more superstars to replace the one they found looking, so there's ultimately no dispute and 2.  For goodness sake 'clam up' if candidates are guessing 'who' your client is, and are going direct!

 

Tim

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