Back Door Hire Discovery, Collection and Prevention

‘Back door hires’, ‘back door placements’, or ‘back dooring’ is a regular and frustrating occurrence for Recruiters worldwide. This is when a client engages a candidate without letting you know thus avoiding your fee. Sometimes it is a deliberate attempt to avoid payment, often it is simply poor process at the client or a misunderstanding of their obligations. The back door can take place shortly after the introduction, or can be months after, and the candidate may be employed in a position other than the one they were initially put forward for.

Keeping track of back door cases is time consuming, can distract you from productive work and can damage your client relationships. Of course uncovering a back door is just the first part of the process, usually when they occur the client isn’t anticipating an invoice so getting them paid can be difficult.

Sterling Outsourcing provide services to guard you against back door cases, track them down, and get them paid, all in a manner that is most cost effective for our customer whilst retaining their client relationships wherever possible.

Finding Back Door Cases:

Sterling offers two levels of service for finding back door hire cases:

HireChecker Back Door Hire Discovery System:

In the majority of cases a back door hire causes some sort of electronic foot-print that is then traceable by Sterling’s system. HireChecker trawls the most obvious destinations with web and Linkedin searches, but it also looks deeper into other data sources that are less obvious are more likely to give accurate matches even when the candidate hasn’t publicised their new role.

Once HireChecker has done it’s work we carry out a manual check on the results to ensure that no stone has been left unturned and to check for false positives (if your candidate is called John Smith and the client is IBM then electronic searches need a little manual intervention!). We then send you a report showing all results and evidence where a back door case has been found.

Of course many agencies are already searching for back door hires using manual methods. This can be extremely time consuming, especially to carry out a thorough search. The key to having a successful discovery process is to run it regularly, either monthly or quarterly. You never know when the evidence of the back door placement will appear, the engagement may occur months after the interview, and it may take months after that for it to be traceable. Sterling’s system automates the process so that you can spend your time fulfilling new placements confident that any back doors that do occur will be uncovered. We suggest you use the system regularly to get best results (monthly or quarterly).

Back Door Hire Investigation Service:

Some Recruiters specialise in verticals where the candidate can leave zero electronic footprint. This is often when the role involves little or no use of IT such as some healthcare workers. In these situations, where the customer has a suspicion that a back door has taken place, Sterling provide a manual service to discretely gather evidence of the engagement using manual effort. Sterling charge on a case by case basis for our investigation service, please contact us to find out more.

Once we’ve uncovered your back door placement you are then able to invoice your client and request payment. Often back door cases are a genuine mistake, so you may wish to try a gentle approach initially. If your client does not respond favourable then you can engage Sterling again to collect.


Should your client refuse to pay for the back door placement, then you can engage Sterling’s debt recovery service to collect on a commission only basis. You should provide the correspondence from your client, we will examine the case, advise you of any issues, and commence action. Your terms of business may allow for a higher rate to be charged where the client has not informed you of the engagement, if this is the case we will pursue the higher value, plus additional fees under the late payment act.


Debtors and their solicitors will often look for any weakness in your terms of business and how they were put in place in order to get out of payment.

It is therefore important that your terms of business are watertight and that they have been incorporated in the correct manner.

We often come across cases that will not stand up in court simply because the terms of business have been sent to the client at the wrong time in the process or in the wrong way.

And our solicitor is able to assist you in tightening up your terms of business to put you in the strongest position should a back door placement occur.