Now that we have talked about how prevalent the problem is, I want to start getting into the meat on how to find them, and what to do once you find a Backdoor Hire.
First, let me give you my definition of a Backdoor Hire so there is no confusion. A Backdoor Hire is when you present a candidate to a company, and they hire that candidate without your knowledge. The presentation is not limited to recruiters. If you provide a contract or temporary staffing, and that person is hired without your knowledge that is also a Backdoor Hire. Over on the staffing and contract side, the fee you are owed is typically referred to as a conversion fee, but for the sake of argument and to not confuse anyone I will just refer to all issues as a Backdoor Hire.
You need a systematic approach to keep track of your biggest assets, and that is your candidates. Keep in mind that the numbers do not lie, and the numbers tell me that if you send out on average 100-150 candidates (regardless of the industry), then you have already been a victim to a Backdoor Hire and are not even aware of it. On average, our clients tell me that roughly 150 candidates are sent out per desk or recruiter; if you have been a recruiter for 10 years with an average payment fee of $20,000, then you should have an extra $250,000 in your bank account. That is a lot of money especially when you consider that is just on average over a 10 year period. I have clients that have been recruiters for forty plus years. By my guess, they are owed one million dollars.
You need to set up a tracking system, whether it is a mechanical system that you personally or your assistant follows up on every 3 months or it is an automated system. You could keep a spreadsheet and simply check LinkedIn or call the company and your candidate to touch base, or you could set up a calendar item in your CRM that is repetitive every 90 days just to make sure the candidate has not been hired by your client. There are low-cost services in the Philippines and India that have cost-effective virtual assistance that helps with that type of stuff as well. In the end, you have a number of choices.
Here is the problem with a mechanical system: it is “People Dependent.” I have run my own companies for almost 30 years, and one thing I have learned is do not expect what you do not inspect. I also know that if I am personally responsible for a systematic task, it will not get done as often or as well as it should be. I think it is just human nature. The other thing that working with recruiters has taught me is you are as bad as me when it comes to microtasks.
You can place someone and collect a $50,000 fee for 2 hours of work, but when you come to the conclusion that something is not going to produce revenue it is taken off your desk and it is out of sight and out of mind. You simply move on to the most probable revenue generating task. That is not a bad thing, it is a necessary skill in order to become successful. You do not major in minor things and do not micro-manage employees. I get it; I am the same way, and it has been very beneficial to my success. I focus on the most probable revenue generation task and delegate or forget the rest.
What are your options? You can do all other tracking methods that I suggest, but I also believe that it will be like picking the low hanging fruit; you will find most of your Backdoor Hires by accident. At the end of the day, that is ok as well. You have your opportunity cost.
There are other options, but let me say I am always reluctant to mention or promote our company’s other services in the education projects that I work on for the staffing and recruiting industry. I feel that this is my way of giving back to an industry that has taken care of me and my family for over 25 years. I also know there is a cost effective solution to the first part of the problem of Backdoor Hires, and I would not do you nor the industry any services if I did not mention the resource to fix it. We have created a free product that you can use to find Backdoor Hires.
It is 100% free to use. The only time it cost you is when we find a Backdoor Hire and you invoice them, and if they pay we will invoice you 10% of what you collected for your fee. If your debtor does not pay, then we simply ask to help you collect the debt at our standard rate; we do not charge you anything extra. The software solution that will find your Backdoor hires is called “Back Door Hound”. I respect your time so instead of spending a chapter promoting our product, just go to the website Back Door Hires and learn more about this FREE service.