Don’t Tie Yourself To A Title In Your Fee Agreement

Article main image
Jan 6, 2014

Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse that you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. Over the last 18 months, he’s documented one a week. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed. The complete collection is here.

What Client Says:

We hired the candidate in a lower classification.

How Client Pays:

A lower classification allows the client two ways to attempt avoiding the fee:

  1. The job title is different from the one on the job order; and
  2. The lower starting salary automatically translates into a lower fee.

It doesn’t take much to change the job duties to appear different from the JO. Statistically, this happens over half the time anyway. An employer doesn’t really know what the job will be until it hires someone.

If the candidate’s ego will be bruised by a lower title, a different one can always be used. The client just says you weren’t engaged to perform a search for that job.

Additionally, lowering the starting salary is a corporate shell game that is only stopped by fear. The candidate is likely to cooperate in concealing the promise to defer the other compensation – or even the salary itself.

What can you do? Exclude anything in your fee schedule that ties you to a title, and instantly review the actual job order at the actual annualized compensation with your employed, but still active candidate.

The client will know you’ve done this, and invariably “clarifies” the “misunderstanding” with the candidate.

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed daily!