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Articles > Archive - Candidate Referrals - The Fordyce Letter, May 2005 Volume XXXVII
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Archive - Candidate Referrals - The Fordyce Letter, May 2005 Volume XXXVII

By James Del Monte, JDA Professional Services, Inc.

This is becoming more of an issue especially with the larger commodity type buyers that have their own agreements.  First when we set up the agreements we have to define the rules on engagement.  What is considered a referral and for how long? What do they do with our resumes and how do they purge their system?  What online databases do they use and is their domain anyone listed on them, anyone ever listed on them or specifically submitted to them for a specific position?  If their domain is anyone listed on a job board we need to make sure that our candidates are not posted anywhere (part of our application form).  This is difficult with most active candidates.  We might agree to send a blind resume and hope they donít run a keyword search.  If itís someone who submitted themselves to them, again we clarify how long ago and for what positions that itís good for.  In some cases we have been able to get them to show us proof of prior contact such as an email that the candidate has submitted themselves and that they had some kind of contact with the candidate or intent to contact the candidate (sent an email).  This has helped level the playing field.  We have also had situations where we have been the trigger for them to look in their system and the candidate has been submitted by someone else and they have interviewed them through the other agencies or on their own because of a prior posted or submitted resume.  This just isnít fair but who said life is fair?  In most cases as we review the contracts and question the spirit of the agreement and ask the hard situational questions, most purchasing or HR people understand and do not want to take advantage of us, they just never thought about the situations where this would come up.  Most recruiters donít read the contracts they agree to or challenge the intent.  This is what the HR and purchasing people tell us Ė no one has ever asked those questions.

In most cases, their goal is to find and hire the best talent and they understand the limitations they have in managing their own resources.  There are a couple of companies that will search the net to see if a candidate exists anywhere and, if so, they consider that to be a public candidate and thus voiding our referral; or companies that will only honor our referrals for 90 days and not purge their system and consider our referral theirs after that time.  These companies that we have not been able to get a favorable work-around with just donít get it and become our recruiting targets.  As long as we understand the rules of engagement itís our choice to play or not to play.

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