Get Contract Signed and Check Credit
Okay, so as we come to the close of another year, I feel it is timely to discuss a few basic things that you can do to help insure that you get paid in a timely fashion and hopefully reduce the need for my collection services in the coming year. There is never a better time than right now to eliminate a few bad habits and replace them with sound business practices.
My first recommendation is to check your client's credit to see if they have not paid other recruiters. I cannot tell you how many times I have the same companies placed for collections more than once.
I want you to do at least the three following Items:
1. Google the company. About 5% of the debtors that come in here for collections have so many bad reviews and scam alerts that have been placed by other recruiters that I am amazed that anyone would do business with a company with such a bad reputation.
2. Go to our website at www.aercollections.com and click on our free debtor search. It's fast, it's easy and it's free. You will have access to thousands of records on debtors that have been placed for collections. However, let me remind you that if someone is listed, it may just mean that they had a dispute and paid. So call me at 800-452-5287 Ext 6578 if you see a company listed and I will give you the full details. Also, please do not assume that if they are not listed then they must be a good credit risk. It just means that they have not been reported or placed for collections with our firm.
3. Go to the website of the Secretary of State that is located in the state where your debtor is located. See how long they have been in business, see who the officers are, and make sure you are dealing with the correct company. The reason I want you to have their correct legal name is for two reasons. First, if the deal goes bad, you will need to know who it is to sue. I cannot tell you how many times I get in a collection and the debtor says they dealt with ABC Company and we closed that company down and this is ABCD Corporation. It sound like semantics but it is the difference in getting paid and not getting paid. The other reason is that you will need to have the correct name on your fee agreement or engagement letter.
That brings me to my second recommendation, which is to ALWAYS get a signed fee agreement. I can tell you that yes, we collect a lot of money for clients that do not have a signed fee agreement; but I can also tell you that we collect a lot more money for clients that have a signed fee agreement.
I want to share with you below an email excerpt from a debtor's attorney that is arguing that our client and the debtor never agreed to pay our client's fee. I quote from his one line email: "There was never an agreement between the parties." We can argue that his acceptance of the resume was proof that they agreed to terms and conditions or we could also argue that the debtor certainly did not think our client worked for free.
But at this point, we are now in a position to either sue the debtor or, with our client's permission, start settlement talks with the debtor's attorney. I can surely tell you that we would be in a much stronger position if our client had simply waited to get the signed agreement BEFORE they started the search.
Sometimes it is just logistics that the debtor does not sign the agreement; other times, it is something far more concerning and that is they do not plan on paying you from the start. Either way, if the deal goes bad and the candidate leaves around the guarantee period or your hiring manager leaves before you get paid, it creates additional risk that could have simply been avoided.
One last word on this: if you ever deal with any company from the state of Massachusetts, always make sure that you get a fee agreement signed; about 10 years ago, their state supreme court ruled that if you do not have a signed agreement, then you do not have an agreement.
I wish all of you continued success and remember an ounce of prevention can save you a lot of frustration over the long haul. If I can help you with a free investigative report on any company, please contact me at 800-452-5287 Ext 6578 or email me at Wilson@aercollections.com.