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Recruitment headaches

Two agencies, both wanting to be paid!

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We have recently taken on a new employee who was "introduced" to us by email:

Agent 1 - Emailed CV first  ** interviewed - offered the position - employed by us - agent paid.

Agent 2 In-between times (** above) Emailed same persons CV - no interview, but the agent wants to paid because they believe they made the introduction.

The sums involved are not small, so I was hoping to gather together experiences from Accounting Web to fight our corner.

Thank you in advance

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26th Jun 2019 16:09

I take it you've got a timed log of emails from the two agents. When did you arrange the interview ? As opposed to conduct the interview.

Either way, should be easy enough to show that Agent 1 sent you the cv first.

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26th Jun 2019 16:15

Did you sign a contract with either or both agents? If there is no contract with agent 2 it's hard to see how they could pursue you, particularly as you would be able to prove you have paid agent 1. I’m playing the barrack room lawyer, but that’s my opinion.

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to bobhurn
27th Jun 2019 09:22

Many thanks for the response.
There were signed contracts with both agents, but agent 2 was, I understood, to be related to another employee we hired from them. Thankfully, we have timeline emails that establish Agent 1 introduced first

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By frankfx
26th Jun 2019 16:19

Did you instruct the agents.

Or did employee instruct the agents.

Employee can be on several books and you as employer can enlist several agencies.

Ask both agents for the Code of Practice.

This must be a common situation.

When lucre at stake and commissions are fought over you become the prey.

Let us know outcome.

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By tom123
26th Jun 2019 16:20

We have been caught by this. The hiring manager was not particularly aware of the rules..

Agent 2 was a much better agent, but we had had the CV from agent 1, so had to pay both.

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to tom123
26th Jun 2019 16:39

tom123 wrote:

We have been caught by this. The hiring manager was not particularly aware of the rules..

What are the rules, Tom ?

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to tom123
02nd Jul 2019 10:40

You should ask Agent 2 for your money back
1st to introduce gets the fee - simples

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26th Jun 2019 17:22

I dont know the law but didn't Agent 1 arrange the interview and feedback etc, whereas Agent 2 didnt do any of that? How would you have known how to contact the employee (most CVs Ive seen have been redacted in terms of contact information).

In our experience I am sure emails and evidence of input would be easy to prove.

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By frankfx
26th Jun 2019 18:35

Agents must know real world issues in this mine- ridden field.

Lack of professionalism on their part has resulted in your concerns.

Check out if they are members of a recruiters organisation. Obtain guidance.

I would be shocked if you were out of pocket and inconvenienced by this.
You should not be in this position.

As said before let us know the outcome.

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By zarar
27th Jun 2019 01:17

Do you have a contract with both?

If so, then I think you have to pay both

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to zarar
27th Jun 2019 06:56

Perhaps stating the obvious, but did you not advise the second agency, as soon as you were aware of the candidate’s identity, that he had already been introduced by another agency?

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By Mr_awol
to Wilson Philips
27th Jun 2019 12:48

Probably not. We get dozens of CVs - unsolicited and at our request - from various agencies. If we like the look of one for a role we have, we ask the agent to set up an interview. If not, we either say no thanks or ignore it. Most of the time if we ignore it (and we have requested CVs) the agent will contact us to ask for feedback.

I would never think to cross-reference the CVs, and they might not all have been sent to me - some go to other partners.

That said, I think a simple email to Agent 2 explaining that the candidate had been introduced already by another agency should be enough to get them to go away? I know these parasites are not known for their fair and open business practices but most of them would skulk off at that point surely?

Thanks (1)
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By Mr_awol
to Wilson Philips
27th Jun 2019 12:48

Probably not. We get dozens of CVs - unsolicited and at our request - from various agencies. If we like the look of one for a role we have, we ask the agent to set up an interview. If not, we either say no thanks or ignore it. Most of the time if we ignore it (and we have requested CVs) the agent will contact us to ask for feedback.

I would never think to cross-reference the CVs, and they might not all have been sent to me - some go to other partners.

That said, I think a simple email to Agent 2 explaining that the candidate had been introduced already by another agency should be enough to get them to go away? I know these parasites are not known for their fair and open business practices but most of them would skulk off at that point surely?

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By Ian Bee
27th Jun 2019 11:35

When I was recruiting, it was quite common to receive a candidate's CV from multiple agents. As you have done, I applied the rule that the first one received would be the agency used, and the agents then were quite happy with that (I am sure one of them told me that was the law anyway.) This was 20 years ago and thinking back, the CVs came by post so establishing which one arrived first would have been more difficult than with e mail.

It should be easy to demonstrate which CV arrived first, and also which agency set up the interview.

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27th Jun 2019 11:58

Surely suggesting that Agent 2 go and have carnal relations with themselves is in order here.

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02nd Jul 2019 10:18

My question is when you received the CV from the second agent did you reply and say you had received it already as this would of made the agent aware up front and saved the issues now.

I have experienced this from the side of being the employee in question. In my case I had also sent my CV to the firm without agent before either agent got involved. One of the agents accepted the facts they weren't first and took the view that the long term relationship with candidate and firm was more important than the fee. The second agent did not take the same view but did agree not to take a fee in the end but I wouldn't use the agent again after the conversation I had with them and the first agent I have used and recommended to others to use since.

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02nd Jul 2019 10:31

This is common.
1)
If you signed a contract you are liable under the terms of the contract.
If you can prove, good in law, that you dealt with agent 1,first, and the staff came via agent one, send the proofs to agent 2. You may be lucky.
If the commission is small enough for a small claims court, You may have to take your chance.
Sadly, I am not surprised by this. I had thought that most accountants knew about this duplicate agency risk. House agents or employment agents

Also, some of you, do not be po-faced.
I know that many employers will do anything to weasel out of an employment agency's commission. Sometimes simply as a matter of principle.

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02nd Jul 2019 10:37

Just tell Agent 2 that Agent 1 introduced the candidate first so gets the fee.

I would also tell them off for not checking with the candidate whether they had been introduced already!

It's embarrassing for the candidate and a waste of time for the client when 2 agents send the same candidate - some play the speculative, "send it in and hope to be first"

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03rd Jul 2019 10:55

peter-AT-pschapman.plus.com wrote:

It's embarrassing for the candidate and a waste of time for the client when 2 agents send the same candidate - some play the speculative, "send it in and hope to be first"

I know some firms that if they received your CV twice bin them both to avoid OP issue.

A proper recruiter wont send it in and hope but some lower quality ones will and they are the ones who give a bad name to the industry.

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02nd Jul 2019 14:18

Maybe refer Agent 2 to the response in Arkell v Pressdram? Sounds about right if they were second to the game and did nothing to warrant a fee

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