Candle gets burnt

Candle IT&T Recruitment has been caught out by what it calls 'sharp practice' by a Christchurch firm.

Candle IT&T Recruitment has been caught out by what it calls "sharp practice" by a Christchurch firm.

Its Auckland office says an agency slip-up meant the firm was able to avoid paying “thousands” of dollars in commission for finding someone a job.

Candle says that a few weeks ago a Christchurch firm phoned seeking someone with “leading-edge skills”. The agency found a likely candidate after advertising and sent personal details to the new client. Things “went quiet” for a week, says Auckland operations manager Christine Fitchew, after which the firm contacted Candle to say the candidate had already contacted it directly, prior to them receiving the information from Candle, and had been given the job.

But Candle says the English candidate had recently entered New Zealand on holiday and had given the agency authorisation to represent him. He told the agency he had not contacted the firm and had never heard of them until they approached him for an interview.

Fitchew says staff were “so excited” at finding someone for this hard-to-fill vacancy, they erred in sending some contact details to the employer, when usually these are all removed. The agency also failed to supply its terms and conditions.

“We were silly. We dropped the ball,” says Fitchew.

Candle has tried to appeal to the company’s “better side”, but attempted contacts have not been answered. “Legally, we don’t have a leg to stand on,” Fitchew says. Candle has considered tightening up procedures, but is wary of making processes bureaucratic.

Lachlan Sloan of Protocol Personnel in Auckland says every agency has had similar problems at one time and it can be hard making clients pay up.

Sapphire Technologies Auckland general manager Amanda Van Ryn cannot recall anything similar at her firm, but says some clients try and renegotiate fees when halfway through the recruitment process.

“We do intensive credit checks clients and ensure they know the fees and rules before going forward,” Van Ryn says.

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