Hello All,

This question may have been asked before, but I thought I would throw it out and get the thoughts of many of you internal recruiters out there. I'm interested in getting your thoughts on candidate ownership, and what, in your mind, is a proper and equitable definition.

As a headhunter, I am serious about bringing value to my clients, and double submittals are at the top of the list of no-no's. But a recent gray area situation came up where a claim was made simply because an internal recruiter had heard of the person before - with no communication or resume. I graciously let it go as I do a lot of business with them.

So my question to internal and corporate recruiters is, at what point do you consider ownership? A resume in your ATS? A name in your ATS based on research? Two-way communciation?

Thanks for sharing your professional opinions.

PJ

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Hey PJ,

I'm not an internal or corporate recruiter. In response I would say the "But/For" clause is applicable for a fee in this situation. They may do a lot of work with you and if they do, they should want to give you credit where credit is due. I can't tell by this description whether they are bringing them in and offering a position etc or if they just told you they already have them in the system and that was it.
This is a perfect example of companies not doing data mining on candidates in their own system and utilizing it to bring talent to the table for consideration. Lemme know if you are not familiar with the "but/for" clause.

It could be a waste of your time/effort if this person isn't a player anyway on this position, so without more info again...

I would need more information on this like -
What date do you have them added into the system?
Any notes on why they haven't been contacted/pursued for this position?
Are they familiar with the But/for clause?

I guess the way I look at it overall, if they are a good client they appreciate you as much as you appreciate them then you will get things worked out. If you are throwing them a bone on this...ask for something in return
- exclusive search on next role in your sector for 2-4 weeks ..whatever
- opportunity to work on another position within a different dept and same above on exclusive
- oppty to work on some contract work there
- oppty to meet another HM that you've been trying to get face/phone time with

I think you get the idea, "give but get" something - I never walk away from a table or a phone call without something for me.
It does not matter what internal corporate recruiters feel about this. It is what is stated in the contract you as the recruiter sign with them. what dean is referring to - The But For Rule - Drives many a successful relationships between recruiters who do split business But for the fact I sent this candidate to you, you would have never made the deal. Your contracts amongst other things should say that if I bring to you information that allows an interview to be set up, an offer to be made and a yes to the new job, I'm a getting paid. Names Names they are everywhere these days and they don't and should not amount to a whole lot. It is the relationship in the third party recruiting industry that matters. These are things you must discuss with your clients and potential clients.
There appears to be a need in our space for contract language. Maybe this could become a special area here on RBC?

"No matter what, the "But For Rule" will rule this contract. IF I bring information TO YOU that allows an interview to be set up, an offer to be made and a yes procured from a candidate to a new job, I'm getting paid, NO MATTER that you have the candidate "in your database." Period. Double Period. No argument."
In that situation you mentioned, I would have probably pushed a little, asking the person for clarification, "so you know of this person, so that means you've already thought of them, contacted them and they're interested in the position? No? Okay then, I think we can both agree this is my referral then right? Since you think highly of the person, let's schedule an interview?" Or something like that, if you walk them through it nicely, and they take a moment to think about, they should do the right thing and realize that they had nothing to do with generating that candidate's interest, you did.

However, many clients do have policies in place where if the candidate applied previously, even if they were never contacted or interviewed, but are sitting in their ATS, they won't pay a fee. Usually what happens is they also won't contact or interview the candidate because they realize the unfairness of the policy, but then the candidate and you, the recruiter lose out. Fortunately I have some great clients who 'get it' and just go by the but/for and realize that a resume or name in a database does not equal a candidate, since they did not reach out to that person, you did.

Every client does feel differently about this, so you just need to make sure everyone is on the same page with how things will go before you begin a search.
Maureen,
I like the gist of this wording!

Maureen Sharib said:
There appears to be a need in our space for contract language. Maybe this could become a special area here on RBC?

"No matter what, the "But For Rule" will rule this contract. IF I bring information TO YOU that allows an interview to be set up, an offer to be made and a yes procured from a candidate to a new job, I'm getting paid, NO MATTER that you have the candidate "in your database." Period. Double Period. No argument."
I'm an internal recruiter but have +/-10 years agency experience so have been on both sides in similar circumstances. We now have an ATS in place and outside recruiters submit their candidates via the ATS If we already have the candidate on file, they receive an email telling them so and that's usually the end of the story unless the agency recruiter can come up with a good reason for us to consider paying a fee.

If, for some reason, we don't realize that duplication has taken place until well into the process, we generally either negotiate a reduced fee or pay full fee, depending on the circumstances.
I think that this is exactly what causes problems and this is what I think represents a huge inefficiency that prevents the best recruiters from being interested in working with a company that subscribes to the way your company deals with it. I really believe that just because a name exists in a database, should not mean ownership. I think it encourages recruiters to throw resumes to the wall hoping something will stick - meaning not in your ATS. If the recruiter brings you a candidate you know but you are not currently talking with them, credit should go with the recruiter, after all, he got them interested, the ATS did not.

Candace said:
I'm an internal recruiter but have +/-10 years agency experience so have been on both sides in similar circumstances. We now have an ATS in place and outside recruiters submit their candidates via the ATS If we already have the candidate on file, they receive an email telling them so and that's usually the end of the story unless the agency recruiter can come up with a good reason for us to consider paying a fee.

If, for some reason, we don't realize that duplication has taken place until well into the process, we generally either negotiate a reduced fee or pay full fee, depending on the circumstances.
Thanks for the thoughts Slouch. I completely agree, although it's the grey area that makes it a difficult topic. I work with a fair amount of start-up companies, and they hire contract recruiters to build them pipelines (In their ATS or database) of specific/tartgeted individuals for future use - perhaps for specific skill sets, out of specific companies, etc.. You're right in the sense that that doesn't justify the value of screening, interviewing, and selling of the opportunity that agency recruiters do - but it's their job and I respect it. Again, I agree with your thoughts but unfortunately the ownership of candidates varies from one recruiter to another.
If a recruiter calls me and says "I met this great candidate and tried to submit but was blocked" and can sell me on why we should work together on the candidate, I'm open to the argument. I have, and will continue to, checked to see when we originally got the candidate and how, before making a decision.

The flip side to this, which you may not realize, is that if a candidate is originally submitted via an agency, we honor that 'ownership' in our database for a year. I have done searches in the ATS and contacted agencies about viable candidates they've submitted in the past, so it works both ways.
Regarding other agency submission - absolutely

Candace said:
If a recruiter calls me and says "I met this great candidate and tried to submit but was blocked" and can sell me on why we should work together on the candidate, I'm open to the argument. I have, and will continue to, checked to see when we originally got the candidate and how, before making a decision.

The flip side to this, which you may not realize, is that if a candidate is originally submitted via an agency, we honor that 'ownership' in our database for a year. I have done searches in the ATS and contacted agencies about viable candidates they've submitted in the past, so it works both ways.
This is one of the reasons why as a corporate recruiter I keep my vendor list very short. I have just a couple vendors I work with that I trust (and who trust me) and try to work closely with them in hopes that we won't be duplicating efforts. This has come up at least once with one of those vendors and (as I tend to feel that if a candidate was sitting in my database and I didn't find them, I haven't done my job! Duh!) even though contractually I can't offer payment on the candidate in this case, I always try to offer an opportunity to make some money on another opening (exclusivity, opening up a new position to them, etc.). It doesn't make the loss go away but it takes some of the sting out and as these are my "partners" they understand that I'm doing my best to work with them and give them as much quality business as I can. After all, I am paying them to go above and beyond to find the candidates that I can't.

We all know not every search ends in a placement so sometimes we've got to put on our big girl panties and move on. (for those of you who don't know me, I have done work on both sides of the desk here so I can say that!)

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