What Not to Say, and What You Need to Say to Get Paid

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Sep 9, 2013

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.

The client claims: “We hired the candidate as a consultant.”

What you should do: Over the past decade, employers have been cashing in on the consulting boom.  Unfortunately, contingency-fee recruiters have been the paymasters.

When you send a fee schedule that contains any of these 10 words, you’re aiming your recruiting revolver at your fee-free foot:

  1. Applicant
  2. Bonus
  3. Employee
  4. Employer
  5. Hire
  6. Job
  7. Payroll
  8. Position
  9. Salary
  10. Wages

These all lock you into payment only if a candidate is directly hired as a salaried employee. But they lock you out of payment if the employee is hired as an “independent contractor” — a “consultant.”

Now you can aim straight for the fee with words in your fee schedule like:

  1. Assignment
  2. Candidate
  3. Company
  4. Compensation
  5. Consultant
  6. Engage
  7. Independent
  8. Perform
  9. Project
  10. Services

Modify any PSA (placement service agreement) you get from a client this way too. If the search is worth doing, this is worth doing!