, picking out 50 companies and asking a candidate to sign some sort of agreement that if they submitted them to any of those companies they would be due a fee. Under the circumstance of no job order it is in my non lawyer opinion not only illegal but very unethical. I suppose anybody can sign anything agreeing to anything but if the company honors your referrals for the period of a year your agreement with them would supercede any thing he signed for the next two months. Particularly if he told this gal that he had already been submitted to that company by another recruiter within the past year.
I tell candidates that when any recruiter asks them to sign any kind of contract or any agreement other than a permission to check references they should limit it to that specific job if they are dumb enough to sign anything at all. There are some recruiters who ask a candidate to sign a release for them to submit to their clients to prevent someone else from just picking up a resume off the net and firing it in without contacting the candidate but most companies will honor the first referral they get from a recruiter and tell anybody else to take it up with the other recruiter. The company gets to decide who they will accept referrals from either by timeline or approved vendor so all the signed garbage in the world does very little except intimidate the candidate.
I agree he was foolish to sign it. I would have suggested to him that he call her and tell her that he was still under the timeline referral from your company so she would need to tear up the silly thing he signed. If she refuses then tell her that if she can not produce a viable job order then she has no standing to ask for a signed agreement to represent him to a company that is not their client.
And we wonder why people think recruiters are snakes. Maybe it is because a lot of them hiss.