Happy Tuesday!  So, I'm working with a new client and my contact lets me know that he sending me another candidate to payroll so I give the contact info to my recruiter and they schedule him to come in.  Little did  know, the candidate had been introduced to my client by another agency prior to.  I know how to play nice in the "staffing sandbox" and know that the employee should go through the agency he was initially  presented by.  However, my contact was told by the candidate that he was going to be fined 20% by the other agency if he had gone through us so he cancelled his appt.  My personal opinion is that I don't think it's right for an agency to fine a candidate and any type of "fines" or discrepancies should be between the client and agency.  Is this normal to "fine" the talent?     

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I don't understand the scenario exactly.  But, the answer to your question is no.  It is not normal to collect or try to collect money from the candidate.

Hi Bill - i'm still trying to get more clarification on the scenario myself.  But my main question was if other agencies charge candidates.  Apparently they have it written in their contract "if you get hired by a company that XXX introduced you to, you will be fined 20%."  Does that seem fishy? 

More than fishy, unenforceable.  Unless... is this an H1B situation?

What seems kind of fishy to me here if i understand this situation correctly is that your client asked you to payroll a contractor who was sent to him by another agency.  If another firm sent the contractor to your client your client should ethically contact the firm who sent him to the client rather than ask you to payroll him.  You should tell your client that you cannot payroll a contractor that the client got from another recruiter.  End of story.  Think of it in terms of how you would feel if you sent this client a contractor then the client turned around and asked the other firm to payroll your contractor.


As to the other firm telling him that they would change him.  That depends on what kind of agreement he signed with them.  If he is H1B and they hold his visa and he agreed to work exclusively for them if they would fund his visa or pay them 20% of anything he makes working for a company they do not send him to then that is a different matter.  Not being an attorney i have no idea if that kind of contract is enforceable but obviously he believes it is and cancelled his appointment with your recruiter rather than get in a mess between two firms.

You might ask him to bring you a copy of the contract he signed indicating the 20% fine and ask an attorney to review it or tell him to have an attorney review it and advise him on the enforceability of what he signed.

Hi Sandra - I agree with you that my client having to go with the agency that presented them first.  We would want the same thing to happen to us if the situation were to happen in reverse.  What was alarming to me was that contract and 20% fine the candidate has encountered.  I wanted to see if this was a familiar practice in the staffing world since I'm still learning the ropes.  Thanks for your feedback!

If it is for the same job, you are most likely out of luck and the candidate has to go through the first company.  If it is not for the same job, you might want to ask your contact how long ago it was when the payrolled-employee-to-be was first presented to your client.  If the time has passed beyond the scope of the contract with the other agency, the to-be-employee would then be yours to represent.

In any case, when you hear about an agency needing to do things like fining those they submit or anything else very unstandard in the industry, it makes people question if they are a viable business...after all, the contact did refer the payrolee-to-be to you and not the original agency.  I would ask your contact as well about that whole situation.  I would suspect the other agency might be on the outs from your client.

Incidentally in one of my previous jobs, the agency that represented me was not offered any more work from the large company I consulted with because of some irregular policies the agency had and I suffered through.  The company was great, the agency was extermemly poor and lost.

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