Let me tell you about my experience with backdoor hires and how HIRABL (formerly Fee Catcher) started.

In 2013, I was CEO of HealthCare Recruiters International, a 16 branch permanent placement firm in the States.

In the first half of 2013, I had recruiters notify me on 3 separate occasions that they had identified a "backdoor hire" (when a client hires your candidate without your knowledge). More than £1,000,000,000 a year are lost to backdoor hires globally.

In each case, my recruiter was sourcing for a current requisition and had stumbled upon a candidate working at a client that they had presented them to in the past. The candidate had been hired, but the recruiter had no knowledge of that hire.

In short, we collected $71,000 in placement fees that we did not know we had earned.

That is when the lightbulb flipped on – I thought, "if I can collect $71,000 without looking for backdoor hires, then how much will I find when I actually look for them?"  

Well, I quickly learned there was no easy way to do this. The established best practice was to ask recruiters to call every candidate they had submitted at the end of every quarter, and ask where they were working at that time.

For me, as an owner, that was too much time and focus away from my recruiter's current deals. Which is how I came up with the idea for HIRABL (formerly Fee Catcher).

We developed what is now the first and only technology solution to identify backdoor hires, and help firms maximize their profits.

We began HIRABL in late 2014 and quickly learned that backdoor hires are a systemic problem. Across 50 million candidate submissions, we've identified backdoor hires at agencies of every size, speciality, and geography.

We've also learned that very few firms have an active process for tracking and collecting these missed fees, and that in nearly every case, the backdoor hire was not made with the intention of avoiding a recruiting fee.

The most common reason the recruiting firm was never notified of the hire was due to personnel turnover at the hiring organization OR at the recruiting firm. 

It is very clear that there is a strong correlation between recruiter turnover and missed fees.

In thinking about this, it became apparent that recruiters could benefit from tracking ALL of the relationships they maintain to uncover both missed fees and new sales opportunities.

HIRABL has taken that insight and built a service that is delivering outsize ROI to nearly 100 recruitment agencies worldwide.

By monitoring the key relationships in your recruitment lifecycle, we can let you know things as varied and important as:

  1. When a candidate you presented has been hired, promoted, or left the company, creating a "backfill opportunity".
  2. When a hiring manager you have done business with has been promoted or changes employers, thus creating new sales opportunities for you.
  3. A recruiter at your firm leaves and exposes you to backdoor hires, or new sales opportunity when they go in-house at one of your clients.

We always want to hear from recruiters to hear how we can help them use their data in new, profitable ways.

If you would like to discuss stopping backdoor hires or improving your sales process, please email me at jon@hirabl.com.


Jon is the founder of HIRABL, a big data company that helps recruiters track their candidate submissions and has uncovered $18 million in missed fees for its customers. His "Aha!" moment came during his 10+ years experience working as a recruiter and constantly losing revenue to "back door hires". Previously, he was President and CEO of Healthcare Recruiters International and grew its franchise operations to fourteen offices across the United States.