A hiring manager sent us an email after we submitted a candidate.  He said that he was already aware of the candidate, so he doesn't feel that he should have to pay a fee.  The candidate informed us that he had no conversations with another recruiter or anyone from the client company.  When we inquired as to his meaning of being aware, he indicated that a day earlier he discovered that the candidate viewed his LinkedIn profile and he in turn viewed the candidate’s LinkedIn profile.  His next step was to contact the candidate via in-mail.  

Does anyone have this particular feature on their LinkedIn account and was it sold for the above purpose?

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Ken, I have to basically agree with Jerry on this.  If your client is going to nit pick with you about "sourcing candidates" on Linkedin, even if he or his organization has not had any contact with the candidate, it means he's going to do whatever's necessary to avoid paying you for your services.  I would walk away from this hiring authority, he doesn't hold you as a value added resource but rather as a necessary evil.  Don't waste your time.  Try cultivating relationships with other people in the organization that he reports to or department heads he's trying to service in his own organization.  It may not happen immediately, but eventually, if you create value-added relationships with other people in the organization, he'll have to use you and, more importantly, treat you with the kind of professional courtesy and respect you deserve. 

Ken,

 

You asked about the viewing feature on LinkedIn. . .

 

On the home page you can see your views.  There is a box that says "Who's Viewed Your Profile?"  on the right hand side.

 

 

 

Not a great potential client or client representative, perhaps, (IMO)

So what? Isn't everyone (almost) on LI? If the candidate is already in the data base, then why wasn't he/she contacted? Todd's solution is a good one. 

I've had this happen to me a few times this year.  I would find a candidate via linkedIn, submit them to the client (same client in both cases), and then come to find out they were "already in the database".  The candidates were flummoxed. In both cases, they scoured their email inboxes and they found the inMails, which they had disregarded as spam.  They were both poorly written and were obviously not targeted to the candidate. 

 

I was able to get ownership in one of the cases, but the candidate came back to me and said he didn't want to work for a company that would try and screw over recruiters like that.  He felt it set a bad precedent for how it would treat him.  I sent that message back to the firm and I haven't had a problem since (it's been since Feb).

 

I run into this problem constantly.  I've found the best resolution to be to inform and educate the client about staffing and recruiting SOP.  Tell your client with confidence-- " 'Whomever initially establishes first contact with potential candidate, thoroughly qualifies and receives authorization to submit his/her resume' is the industry standard protocol for staffing & recruitment firms and departments."-- then wait for an answer from the client.  More times than not it works.  I've heard this analogy used as well-- "Just because you 'know' of a strawberry farm doesn't mean you can argue with VON's about getting your strawberries at a wholesale price." Um... hello?  We don't do this for free, sir or madam.  If you find your client is really cheap?-- then you have to decide whether to continue the business relationship or not-- and not waste your efforts.

The HR Department ATS "Candidate has previously submitted their resume." is the most frustrating though--- SO many grey areas the client argues to not pay a fee--- and candidates looking for work don't remember submitting their resume because they're randomly submitting online to any and all positions they might qualify for.  Hmmm.....  well-- the candidate's obviously qualified, why haven't they been contacted?  Is this a "real" req-- or are they just filling the position from within?  yada-yada...

Hi Ken:

 

I usually front-load, or try to prevent this from happening in the early conversations before the

recruiting starts. I'll encourage the HM to go through all the company HR database files etc. before we commence work, because I don't want him/her "disappointed when we deliver recruit(s) and they find out (later/after they hire) that they already had them in the database".  Usually the response is "we don't have the time to do that" or " that's why we want to hire you" or some similar response indicating their compliance. As a catch-all, we started including this clause in our fee agreement:

 

"Your prior receipt of a candidate’s resume or other material from the candidate or any other source, including (but not limited to) social media sources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., shall not affect your obligation to pay our service fee, unless the candidate was under active consideration by you for this position at the time of our referral, as evidenced by scheduled interviews."

 

The companies which decline to sign the agreement are probably the ones who would later say "we were already aware of this candidate" so this helps us to qualify, and work with, the companies who really value our services.

 

Gary Gardiner

GGPS

Not so fast ladies & gentleman.  This is not about a HM trying to weasel out of paying fee.  They have been doing that for years and that will continue to be a part of the game of headhunting.  The real issue IMHO is what’s happening on the back end of LinkedIn.  There is an aggressive push for paid subscriptions, given their anticipated IPO.  So the question is: do they track user activities on the site and provide that Intel to paid subscribers (employer). 

What’s the first thing a candidate will do after he learns about a job that he could be possibly be interested in?  He’ll jump on LinkedIn, start following companies, looking at profiles, to find information he can use.  That piece of information could is a great value proposition; initiated by free subscribers (headhunters) and offered to paid subscribers (employers).  So basically headhunters are unearthing passive candidates and driving them directly to employers without getting a placement fee.  Pretty smart… 

Ken,

I am a paid subscriber and have used the Linkedin paid job posting feature. 

If I post a job on linkedIn i have never gotten any candidates who were sent any kind of notice of a job.  They looked at jobs posted either on the site or in groups.  So my experience has been that having a paid account has never generated anything from the backend of LinkedIn.

 

The question is, are there really any passive job seekers on LinkedIn except the ones who have their profile set as private and are not ope to receiving inmails or contact requests.

 

There are a lot of internal so called recruiters who are doing nothing but going through linkedIn sending emails to any and every person they can find in their industry then adding the profile to their database whether the candidate responds to the inmail or not.  One of the joys of having what amounts to a resume posted on the net.

There are job sites doing exactly the same thing.  I think we are going to be in a position pretty soon that a big number of linkedIn profiles will have found their way into multiple company databases without the candidate knowing it was there as they had never applied or talked to anyone at the company.  We could be in a position soon that we have to start asking clients who say they have the person in their database, "Did the candidate submit the resume or did your people copy it off of LinkedIn and stick it in the company database without the candidate's permission. 

 Another reason we better be nice to our candidates so if this comes up the candidate will be some kind of outraged that his/her information has been included in a database without permission and will be somewhat hot with the companies who do it.  I think that as more internal kinda recruiters start doing this stuff they are going to experience some of the ire that has been directed at headhunters for a long time. 

 

Another type of privacy issue that always results when people post information in a public venue then wonder why it ended up somewhere they didn't want it to go or at best without their knowledge.  Human nature being what it is if most people check their profile stats and see that somebody has looked at their profile they will look at the lookers profile.  Will we reach the point that the remark will be , "Well we have looked at each other's profile so a contact has been made".  ludicrous i know but based on some of the silly crap i have heard as to how a company knows a candidate it would not surprise me.

Sandra,

I hear you, and you brought up some good points.  What type of membership do you have?

I viewed a webinar of LinkedIn Recruiter.  This is not a product that they are pushing in your face because it’s a contradiction to their model of a free social networking site for professionals.  However this is truly a unique product that takes headhunting to a different level.  I would jump all over it, but it’s on the expensive side.  On the other hand, it’s a no brainer for savvy employers where cost in not an issue.  If you spend the money, LinkedIn is in a position to deliver, because they have the goods.  We willing put our information in their hands-so every time we connect, search, mail, update, they know who you are and will help you.  They even tell you who you should connect with and which groups to join.  They are becoming more like Facebook for professionals.  And they will use your information to generate revenue for employers while placating to headhunters.

The feature to see the names of people viewing your account and also block your account from being viewed comes with the premium account I believe.  

 

The hiring manager is doing what is right for his company, other than ruining a relationship with your company.  

Hi Ken,

This service is available to all who are on Linkedin and there is no cost. I believe  we will see more of this type of situation in the future.

Again, the fact that someone has simply 'viewed' a person's linkedin profile or an organization's website, does not a SUCCESSFUL 'match' or recruitment search make.

 

Seeing as YOU introduced the candidate's resume and recommended them to the client (after doing a rigourous recruitment search, and ideally speaking with the candidate previously), what would be the harm (now), in contacting the candidate immediately, letting them know that you introduced their file to this client, and simply ask the candidate to contact you...should the company attempt to reach them?  

 

The benefit of the candidate doing so, is receiving YOUR committment that you'll be able to better brief them on what the company is looking for, what the job entails, and other key factors that would enable them to SUCCESSFULLY interview for this job, and hopefully 'ace' an offer (vs. them going in 'cold' the other way.) 

 What's the harm in the candidate saying "yes, i've spoken to Ken already about this opportunity - several times, and I was waiting for his call to set up an interview." 

 

If the client attempts to set it up an interview directly with the candidate anyway, what would be the harm in the candidate saying, "thank you asking about my availability, I'll have to check my desk organizer at the office....just have Ken call me to set something up...in the morning."

 

It would show that both you AND the candidate are on the same page, you've spoken to them at length (ALREADY) to get them 'motivated' and open to this superb opportunity.  I doubt if the 'client' would persue it further without your input and assistance.

 

The bottom line is that this client is being absurd in thinking that just because someone 'viewed' their profile online that the candidate would be immediately interested in any job that the company may 'throw' at them - which is not true.  Your position is that the candidate only SAW their web presence because of YOUR advocating about their open position. All it would take is ONE candidate to say 'no, it would not be right to go around Ken...' to be effective and stop this nonsense.

 

Act now to establish the ground rules with this client or let them TRY to get the candidate's cooperation (after you have already gotten the candidate's committment to do nothing without your involvement.)

 

TIm  

 

 

 

 

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