Beware the ‘offer of help’ from recruiters!

Recruiters can be loved or loathed but if they are not approached with care, you can be left with a hefty bill for little or no benefit.

Businesses are increasingly bombarded with CV’s from recruiters on a purely speculative basis and it is common to receive a CV for the same candidate from several recruiters.

The problem comes when a candidate is hired.  A finder’s fee is payable to the recruiter but which recruiter?   Increasingly, businesses are facing invoices from several recruiters for the same candidate.

Even if you have not asked for a CV or contacted the recruiter to enlist their help, it is surprisingly easy to find that you have, in law, engaged them by accepting their standard terms and conditions via a series of email exchanges.

Recruiters want to protect the value of the service they offer and they do this through their standard terms and conditions which will say you have to pay (1) a finder’s fee; or much worse (2) a multiple of the finder’s fee if you hire the candidate without telling them.  This may well be because you considered the candidate was introduced by a different recruiter or you did not think you had engaged the recruiter as you had not signed anything with them.

Recruiters try to ensure that you accept their standard terms as soon as possible, usually via email footers which refer to, or attach, or embed a link to, their standard terms.  Once you have exchanged a few emails with the recruiter you may be found to have accepted their terms even though you haven’t signed anything.

What can you do?

  • Keep a spreadsheet of CV’s and the recruiters who sent them so you can cross check.


  • Consider replying to unsolicited emails stating that the CV was not requested and that you are not engaging the recruiter and you do not accept their standard terms.


  • If you do want to engage with the recruiter, have total clarity on the terms. If you want to change their standard terms, get the change confirmed in writing at the very start.  Do not continue to exchange emails with the recruiter whilst you are waiting for this confirmation. It will muddy the waters.


It can be very stressful when your business is being overwhelmed by offers of help by recruiters.  We can work with you quickly to resolve any difficulties and help you avoid them in the future. Contact our dispute response team at MLP Law on 0161 926 9969