Not too long ago, I got lazy and broke a cardinal rule: I sent a resume “on spec” to a prospective employer.
It was all so tempting. I had a hiring manager on the phone. I told him about a stellar candidate. He asked to see a resume.
So, I deleted the candidate’s contact information to mask the person’s identity and sent a resume. I figured we’d work out the details—such as my fees and guarantees—later. But that never happened, since the manager never called me back to arrange an interview.
Imagine my surprise when I learned a few months later that the candidate went to work for the company. Different hiring manager, but same company. Did the candidate or the employer admit to my role in making the introduction? Nope. Can I prove it in a court of law? Probably not.
And if I could, would I ever collect a fee? Not likely, considering the company never signed an agreement.
All it takes is one slip up to ruin your whole day. But that’s why there are rules in the first place: as a means of protection from damaging situations.
Two Rules to Live By
Sometimes I forget that recruiting is an incredibly competitive business. And that people will look for loopholes and try to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.
By turning a blind eye to the risk of sending a resume (however sanitized) to an employer without a fee agreement for protection, I ended up sleeping in the very bed I’d made for myself. Sure, I’m disappointed that the candidate and the employer acted less than honorably. But I can’t blame them for my carelessness.
In the future, I’ll make certain to observe the two fundamental rules designed to protect third-party recruiters:
* Rule Number One: Never work on a job, refer a candidate or disclose the identity of your client without first obtaining a signed fee agreement.
* Rule Number Two: Never forget Rule Number One.
Strange as it sounds, I haven’t changed my belief that people are basically honest, trustworthy and helpful. If this weren’t the case, I would have chosen another career long ago. Temperamentally, I have low threshold for ill-will. And besides, how can you build a referral-based business without the help of perfect strangers?
Or without a fundamental level of trust?
BILL RADIN is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books,
CDs and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. Bill’s extensive experience makes him an ideal source of techniques, methods and ideas for rookies who want to master the fundamentals—or veterans ready to jump to a higher level of success.