The principals, laws and ethics behind recruiting firm “non-solicitation” policies
Part One of a Three Part Series
First, this article is not intended to be the last word from a legal perspective. We are not providing legal counsel but we have made an effort to present both the legal, ethical and business perspective of what is becoming a nagging issue as the candidate talent pool tightens and recruiting firms become forced to better define clients versus non-clients for the purposes of sourcing talent.
Secondly, let us define what we mean by “non-solicitation” as it applies to the search and recruiting/staffing industry. For the purposes of this article, “solicitation” refers to a recruiting firm’s seeking out via some form of contact, a candidate and then representing such a candidate who is at the time of the dialogue currently working with a “client company”.
The definition of “solicitation” itself can be nebulous as quite often candidates seek the search firm out, get referred to the search firm, etc. rather than the search firm “soliciting” (pro-actively contacting) the candidate. Yet this is the term most often used when addressing the issue of a search firm’s representing candidates working within a company that is using that same search firm’s service.
Thirdly there is the problem of defining who or what a “client” is which can differ drastically from the search firm’s perspective than the client company.
Who is a client? How long are you a client for? Are you a client if you have not used the firm’s services for a year or more?
It is because the term “client” and “solicitation” are rarely well defined in fee agreements with search firms that cause such misunderstandings to begin with.
IN OUR NEXT ISSUE WE WILL ADDRESS THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THESE TOPICS AND ANSWER EACH ONE – STAY TUNED!
- Frank G. Risalvato, Certified Personnel Consultant Member of the National Association of Personnel Services Author, Speaker, Recruiter and Search Industry Veteran
Copyright, March, 2007