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Would you take money from a recruiter to accept a job? Would you, as a recruiter, pay part of your fee to close a deal?

Apparently it’s happening. Jessica Lee, writing at Fistful of Talent, says she heard of this practice through a friend.

“I’m still kinda baffled by this and something about the scenario just doesn’t sit well with me,” she writes. There are a few reasons why this is strange:

In this third party recruiter’s mind – he’s doing the client and candidate both a favor. The candidate is right for the job. The client is a great fit for the candidate. It’s a match made in heaven and to please all parties – the client, the candidate – what’s $5K in the grand scheme of things? To deliver the ultimate client service possible, to get that candidate in the door and the offer package he really wants, why not give $5K to the candidate personally if that’s what’s needed to close the deal?
If really, truly I can’t squeeze another ounce out of my company’s budgets to add in that $5K needed to seal the deal, but you as a third party recruiter will close the gap, doesn’t this bode poorly for the candidate that a third party is literally stepping in to meet their expectations? Because really, that third party surely won’t be around come time for future bonuses or performance reviews… If salary expectations can’t be met from the get go, how will they be met later?

More troublingly, a recruiter that’s essentially bribing a candidate to take a job may be concerned with more than a good match. If you have to have money thrown at you, maybe it wasn’t such a good fit in the first place…then nobody wins except the recruiter who pocketed all but $5000 of his or her fee.

To be fair we’re not saying that any but a small minority of recruiters engage in this practice. But hearing that it happens at all is pretty eye-opening.