Hi Danny,
Recently I had a candidate that applied to my client two weeks prior to me reaching out to them. They did not apply for the position that I was recruiting for but applied for a position in a different capacity. Furthermore, two weeks ago, the client did reach out to the candidate regarding the position I am recruiting for but the candidate politely expressed no interest in it stating “I did not apply for the Director position”. When I reached out to her she said she had a change of heart and is indeed interested in the director role.

I proceeded to present the candidate to my client for that very Director position I am assisting them with. I should state that their communication and follow through has been very poor-which I know is my first BIG red flag anyways. They proceeded to reach back out to my candidate directly and have scheduled an interview for her. I know to some degree they already knew of her existence and qualifications. However, had it not been for my involvement and diligence she would not be back on the table as a candidate for them.

They have now gone dark on me and my assumption is that they are interested in her but do not feel they should have to owe any fees for it. My question is how do I get the message across properly that in doing my part she is now back in the running with them and had it not been for my efforts she would still have been left to the wayside? Moreover, my goal would be to get the point across that even a lower or discounted fee would not acceptable. At the end of the day would I turn down some money when the only other option is no money? Of course I wouldn’t, but I would still like some insight on to how best handle the situation at hand. Thank you very much!
ATD Response:
Okay, let’s be real first and then we’ll talk strategy. Your situation reminds me of the scene in the Bill Murray movie, “Meatballs” where he coaches a ragtag team of awful basketball players. They are getting trounced and in a time out a player says to Coach Murray, “Coach, they’re faster, taller and have better basketball skills than us, what are we doing to do?”

Murray says, “We’re going to lose.”

So, I admire your pluck but with the facts presented, you need to know you have zero legal leverage. They can prove they had contact with the candidate. They even spoke to the candidate about the position. There is no way on God’s earth you are going to convince them that “If the candidate had a change in heart, they wouldn’t have at some point expressed that to us, knowing we had a direct conversation about the position. And then we would have responded, without you or the accompanying fee.”

So, uh, yeah. This is tough. BUT LET’S TRY.

Since they have gone dark, try email. Here is the subject line. “A Change of Heart is the Essence of Change” (if they don’t respond I’m still going to embroider this on a pillow)

The Email CANNOT be a “The story of the situation in 5 heartfelt pages.” Bullet Points.


RE: Sherry

I totally get that you had prior conversations with her

I also know that she rejected the director’s position initially

And I know that my conversations with her, and my skill set, on your behalf, made her reconsider.
…and I know there is work to do if you have interest in her. Managing the offer and acceptance process, including other offers and a counteroffer, is the hardest part of what I do.

Let’s be real with each other. Even I don’t think I deserve a full fee. But I do think I deserve to be paid. And I think I can deliver her.

Can we take a few minutes and discuss terms so we can move forward with Sherry’s candidacy?

No reason to play games here. Shoot straight. Waste no words. If you got half your fee in this situation you are a miracle worker and S-M-O-O-T-H!! Take it and be grateful.