I’ve seen a trend over the past few months where companies are asking recruiters to wait 90 days after their candidate starts working before the client is required to pay the recruiting fee. What disturbs me is recruiters are agreeing to this nonsense. This is not good for your career. In fact I think it's total garbage. Here's some basic advice for full cycle recruiters: DON’T AGREE TO CRAZY TERMS! If you’re going to be a recruiter the sooner you grow a backbone the better.
Just because some corporate attorney puts a clause in a recruiting contract does not mean it’s reasonable. Say NO to terms that hurt you as a recruiter. Picture this: you go to buy a set of tires and after installation the service person says, “That will be $800.” What would happen if you responded with, “Please sign this paper that says I can drive these babies around for 90 days before I pay”? They would take the tires off your car.
The response to a contract that asks you to wait 90 days for payment is, “No”. End of story. Walk away if it’s a deal breaker. If you’ve read any of my advice you know I believe recruiters offer great value. If you don’t value your service and hard work, find another line of work! Just because something is written in a contract does not mean it's fair, reasonable, or cannot be challenged. Don't give someone permission to steal from you. Theft is theft. Don't wait 90 days to be paid for work that took 30 - 90 days before a candidate was hired.
A better response is, “I cannot agree to these terms. During the search process I work for you for free. Once you interview a great candidate I also follow through to make sure that candidate accepts your offer, resigns without incident, and starts the position with your company. A lot of effort went into finding a great candidate who fits your criteria. At the point of hire I expect to be paid within ten days and with your payment a 90 day Guarantee For Replacement kicks in. Should the candidate you approved and hired leave your company within 90 days I will replace that candidate at no extra charge to you. How does that sound?” Tie your guarantee to the condition of being paid promptly.
A big mistake some recruiters make is setting the tone to be treated like a clerk. You’re a consultant. Use your recruiting skills to establish equal partnership-status relationships. Guess what happens when a company ‘wins’ and you ‘lose’? You won’t want to work on their search and you shouldn’t!
When you stand your ground and expect respect more often than not, you easily get what you want. It is reasonable to be paid for work completed. Those of you who’ve read my book know I usually (unless the search has caused me extra brain damage) offer a $500. Discount if my invoice is paid within 5 days. 99% of the time I get paid within 5 days.
The second benefit of saying ‘No’ to stupid contract clauses is the client begins to see you as a strong professional. Everyone recognizes a winner when they see one and people like to work with winners. Be seen as someone who can think, and ask for what you want. Demonstrate you are nobody’s fool. Be someone who makes things happen. Your client will treat you better.
Recruiting relationships are a two-way street. Stand your ground and choose to work with fair-minded clients. You’ll be glad you did.
by Kimberly Schenk, Headhunter, Trainer, Author.
If you need a recruiting coach to help you solidify a more successful mindset, that’s my specialty. Thanks for reading.
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