Poll: What is Your Refund or Replacement Policy as a Recruiter?

We recently conducted a poll of Top Echelon Network recruiters by posting a question in the Members’ Area.

That question was as follows:

In a fall-off, which best describes your refund or replacement policy?


The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of recruiters that selected each one:

  • No refund and will NOT find replacement — 0.9%
  • No refund but WILL try to find replacement — 64.8%
  • Prorated refund and will NOT find replacement — 3.7%
  • Prorated refund and WILL try to find replacement — 14.8%
  • Full refund — 8.3%
  • Other — 7.4%


As you can see by the results, the majority of poll participants (64.8%) will NOT provide a refund, but they WILL try to find a replacement.  No other answer was even close to being as popular as that one among Top Echelon Network recruiters.

In fact, “Prorated refund and WILL try to find a replacement” was a distant second at 14.8%.  Only 8.3% of poll participants provide a full refund when one of their candidates fall off.

While they represent smaller numbers, there are Network recruiters who will NOT try to find a replacement.  Those recruiters either do not refund the placement fee (0.9%), or they provide a prorated refund of the fee (3.7%).


When it comes to recruiters’ refund or replacement policy, it appears the majority of them feel as though they should help to rectify a fall-off situation.  That’s because nearly 80% of them indicated in this poll that they WILL try to find a replacement in such a situation.

However, most of the recruiters who are willing to search for a replacement are NOT willing to refund the placement fee in its entirety.  What does that indicate about the recruiters’ attitude regarding fall-offs?

Well, based upon these poll results, it could indicate the following three things, among others:

1. The recruiters keep the fee because they believe they earned the fee by completing the search and presenting a candidate that was hired—even if that candidate didn’t last beyond a predetermined time frame.

2. The recruiters want to maintain a healthy level of goodwill with their clients, as evidenced by their willingness to search for a replacement once the fall-off occurred.

3. The recruiters might also feel some degree of responsibility for the situation, either for the fall-off itself or for making sure that the position is filled (and stays filled) and that their client receives the value they were expecting to receive.

Do you agree with this analysis of the poll results?  What is your refund or replacement policy as a recruiter?  Why have you chosen this policy?  Feel free to comment below!

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2 responses to “Poll: What is Your Refund or Replacement Policy as a Recruiter?”

  1. Ralph Dahm says:

    Our policy regarding fall offs is to replace the candidate, sometimes well after the guarantee period has expired, in the interest of promoting client goodwill. We do not refund fees as they are earned. Why is it the recruiting firms responsibility when a candidate quits or is terminated after joining a firm? We do not control the corporate environment. Many times a fall off occurs when a candidates is told something during the interview process that is false or changes. Why are we responsible? Also there can be a change in management and resulting policy changes that cause a candidate to be disillusioned with the company. Again, why are we responsible? There is already too much “blame the recruiter” mentality as it is without giving them the opportunity to claw back our well-earned fees.

  2. Matt Deutsch says:

    Ralph, those are all great points.

    I’ve never been a recruiter, but I agree with you. The fee has been earned, so there is no reason to give it back. However, helping to find a replacement IS advisable in the interest of promoting goodwill with the client in question.

    I think that kind of approach represents a fair balance, both in the short term and for the long haul.