November 4, 2020

Dear Miss Deed,

I spoke to a doctor, told him about my client's job opportunity, got his permission to submit his curriculum vitae, prepared the email and called my client to let her know the good news that I had a candidate for her only to find out she already had him. Since the doctor didn't know anything about my client, I asked how this could happen. My client said that she has worked with the referring firm a long time and the recruiter just sends in the CVs.

Does a long-term relationship with a client change the rules?



Dear Unclear:

No! While it's nice to have the kind of relationship you described the other firm has with your mutual client, it is definitely a violation of the Ethics Code and unfair to other recruiters (such as yourself).

The Code is very specific in Section III. A., 4. that unsolicited CVs are verboten (and also unethical). The relationship one has with one's client can never supplant the fact and spirit of the Code. Many firms have long-standing relationships with clients. If the Code allowed for exceptions based on longevity, situations like yours would continuously arise causing chaos and serious ill-will with the offending firms.

Send your client the Code, point out the applicable section and ask her to require all firms to clear the name(s) with her before submitting the candidate. When you've done all this, go out and have a few beers. You done good!


Miss Deed



October 7, 2020

Dear Miss Deed,

I believe I was the procuring cause for a placement, but Sky Blue Recruiting claimed the candidate because they had him sign a Right of Representation letter. Does Sky Blue Recruiting have a legitimate right to the placement? 


Desperate for a Fee 

Dear Desperate: 

Procuring Cause is an action which sets a series of events in motion which ultimately leads to a placement. If you made a valid referral (got the candidate's permission and cleared the name with the client) then your claim for the fee is valid.

Sky Blue Recruiting's strategy was clever but unethical. A Right of Representation letter signed by a candidate simply asserts that the recruiting firm has been granted formal approval to represent the doctor, usually just to the specific client(s) discussed. It is a helpful tool when
making your case for a valid initial referral when the client has received an unsolicited curriculum vitae on that candidate from another firm.

However, when a valid referral has been made, as in your case, and Sky Blue Recruiting attempts to undermine that valid referral by inducing the candidate to sign a Right of Representation they have in fact, violated the NAPR Code of Ethics, Section IV: Ethical Rules, subsection A, Relations with Clients and Potential Clients, paragraph 16: "A Member shall not utilize a Right of Representation document to supersede another organization’s properly made prior Referral."

Having the candidate sign a Right of Representation after the fact, to create the firm's case for their fee entitlement is clearly underhanded and violates the Code.

Good luck and go collect your fee!


Miss Deed



 September 9, 2020

Dear Miss Deed,

I am a physician and listed my curriculum vitae on the World Job Bank. I received the following e-mail from a recruiting firm: "We have great practices for you around the country. Please tell me where you want to go."

I am annoyed because I took the time to spell out my geographic preference and don't have time to read silly, non-specific e-mails. Do I have any recourse with this firm? 

Yours truly, 

Expected Moore, MD 

Dear Dr. Moore: 

Yes, you do! In Section III, Ethical Rules, subsection D. 4. a., the NAPR Code of Ethics states "additionally, no candidate registered with the World Job Bank, Cooperative Mailing Program or any future member service may be contacted for any purpose other than to present practice opportunities (jobs)". In other words, the firm who contacted you should have described a practice(s) or in some way given you details about a job. Because the e-mail failed to describe any aspect of a practice/job, the firm has violated this section of the Code. 

The Code allows the Ethics Committee a choice of several disciplinary actions. Although your annoyance is significant, removing a digit from the right hand of the firm's owner is not one of them. Because this is both a first-time offense and a new section of the Code, the firm will be cautioned against committing future similar violations. 


Miss Deed