Job seekers should NEVER pay a recruitment agency

I can’t believe I am having to write this blog but after a telephone conversation with a candidate, yesterday, I feel the need to do so.

Long story short, a candidate we introduced for a hotel management vacancy called me with his feedback following his interview. He was really pleased that the interview went well and was even happier that the employer was pleased with him too, and, that they would like to offer him the position.

A couple of hours went by and the candidate called me back to say thanks for introducing him and to ask how much money he owed us. “Money for what” I asked “for introducing me to the hotel, he replied” I explained to him that there were no charges to him and that it was the hirer (the employer) that paid agency fees out of their recruitment and advertising budget.

Congratulating us on having such a candidate friendly approach, he went on to say, “that’s a really good policy to have, you should advertise it, you’ll get loads of candidates”. Aghast at his response I replied “well, whilst it is our policy to provide candidates with a free and confidential service it is also the law. Agencies cannot charge job seekers for finding them work, it’s not only immoral it’s also illegal”.

He seemed rather taken aback and went on to explain that the agency he registered with before us had told him that they would charge him (as a candidate) the equivalent of his first month’s wage, as a fee, when they had placed him. The agency wasn’t abroad either, they are based in London. It was for placing him that they would charge him – not for visas to work abroad, or DBS checks, the fee was for finding him a job!

So, to any candidate reading this blog

Recruitment consultancies, recruitment agencies, employment agencies, staff agencies, staff bureaus or whatever you want to call them should NEVER EVER charge you for finding you a job. It is the hirer (employer client) that pays agencies for finding and recruiting talent to join their team.

Here is a link to the legislation that explains more –

If an agency ever tells you that you must pay for work finding services or if they charge you then you should report them at