July 8, 2024(1)

How to Get Paid When a Candidate is Backdoor Hired

Kristen Moyher

When you've tried to refer or recommend a candidate for a job, it can be disheartening if the company hires them through backdoor channels without acknowledging your contribution.

If you find yourself in this situation, here's how you might approach getting paid for your efforts:

Understanding Backdoor Hires

A backdoor hire occurs when a candidate who has been presented to a company by a recruiter is hired by the company without the recruiter's knowledge or involvement. This often happens when a candidate, after being introduced to a company through a recruiter, circumvents the recruiter, applies directly to the company, or is hired through another channel, such as an internal referral.

From the recruiter's perspective, this can feel like a betrayal of trust and a loss of hard-earned income. After all, recruiters invest time, effort, and resources into sourcing, screening, and presenting candidates to clients, expecting compensation for their services upon a successful hire.

Protecting Your Interests

While backdoor hires can be frustrating, recruiters have options to protect their interests and ensure they get paid for their efforts:

  1. Clear Contracts: Establishing clear contractual agreements with clients is paramount. Contracts should outline the terms of engagement, including fees, payment schedules, and clauses addressing backdoor hires. A well-defined agreement helps mitigate disputes and provides a legal basis for pursuing compensation in the event of a backdoor hire.
  2. Communication: Open and transparent communication between recruiters and clients is essential. Recruiters should maintain regular contact with clients throughout the hiring process to stay informed about candidate status and any potential red flags indicating a risk of a backdoor hire. Timely communication allows recruiters to address concerns proactively and reaffirm their value to clients.
  3. Candidate Exclusivity: Negotiating candidate exclusivity agreements with clients can help prevent backdoor hires. Exclusivity agreements stipulate that the client agrees not to engage with other recruiters or source candidates independently during a specified period. This assures recruiters that their candidates won't be poached by the client or hired through alternative channels.
  4. Legal Recourse: In cases where a backdoor hire occurs despite contractual agreements, recruiters may pursue legal recourse to recover lost fees. Engaging legal counsel familiar with employment and contract law can help recruiters navigate the complexities of pursuing compensation through litigation or settlement negotiations.

Taking Preventative Measures

Prevention is often the best defense against backdoor hires. Recruiters can take proactive measures to minimize the risk of candidates being poached or hired directly by clients:

  1. Build Strong Relationships: Cultivating strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect can deter clients from making backdoor hires. When clients value recruiters' expertise and professionalism, they are less likely to bypass them in the hiring process.
  2. Educate Clients: Many clients may need help understanding the implications of backdoor hires, or the value recruiters bring to the hiring process. Educating clients about the risks and consequences of bypassing recruiters can help foster greater appreciation for the recruiter-client relationship and discourage backdoor hires.
  3. Candidate Engagement: It is crucial to maintain regular contact with candidates throughout the hiring process. Recruiters should keep candidates informed about their status, provide support and guidance, and address any concerns or questions they may have. Building a strong rapport with candidates encourages loyalty and reduces the likelihood of them seeking employment opportunities independently.
  4. Stay Vigilant: Vigilance is key to detecting and preventing backdoor hires. Recruiters should remain alert for potential backdoor activity, such as candidates bypassing communication channels or discrepancies in candidate feedback. Early intervention can help recruiters address issues before they escalate into backdoor hires.

Collect Unpaid Fees with Back Door Hire Solutions

Track backdoor-hired candidates effectively to ensure you receive what's due to you with Back Door Hire Solutions

Our specialized software is tailored to monitor and trace candidates hired through informal channels, enabling you to identify instances where fees are owed for successful placements. By staying vigilant and proactive in tracking backdoor hires, you can protect your revenue and ensure fair compensation for your recruitment efforts. 

Choose Back Door Hire Solutions to streamline your tracking process and secure your desired payments.


Backdoor hires pose a significant challenge for recruiters, jeopardizing their financial interests and professional client relationships. However, by implementing proactive measures, maintaining open communication, and leveraging legal safeguards, recruiters can minimize the risk of backdoor hires and ensure they get paid what they deserve for their hard work and expertise.

Ultimately, navigating backdoor hires requires a combination of diligence, assertiveness, and strategic partnership with clients. By advocating for their interests and building robust relationships built on trust and transparency, recruiters can safeguard their business and continue to thrive in the competitive world of talent acquisition.

Throughout my career, I have consistently established my capability as a top performer by demonstrating my total commitment to the attainment of targeted goals and objectives. Being innovative and extremely dedicated, I have always identified and pursued new opportunities and strategies to meet the needs of stakeholders and exceed the set goals of an organization. With the extensive communication and training skills I have developed, I proactively developed and maintained successful relationships with internal key stakeholders and readily act as a liaison between property and regional/corporate systems support.