17 February 2012

How tight are your terms?

Already this year I have had a number of enquiries or questions from members and readers about client behavior with respect to their terms and conditions of business.

It seems pretty clear to me that clients are taking a long hard look at the terms being presented to them and the terms they have signed, to find a position that best suits their argument or needs.
 
I expect this trend to continue as the economic uncertainty with respect to employment continues.
 
The specific areas that are in the firing line are:
 
As optimists, we always think that the client will ‘do the right thing' however that's a very risky position to take. What if your contact wants to ‘do the right thing' yet has a boss who has never met you and has no vested interest in the relationship with you? That boss will probably scan your T&Cs and find any legal way to advantage their organisation.
 
Without doubt, all recruiters are investing more time for less return. Nigel Harse, the author of the RIB Report, states in the latest Scott Recruitment newsletter that the current Average Perm Productivity per Income Producer (all placements divided by all income producers) is only 14 placements per annum, a massive 27% reduction from the 2006-2007 peak of 19 placements per annum.
 
We are entering a period where, more than ever, we have to be vigilant in ensuring our investment of time and resources is supported by our client-agreed and signed terms of business.
 
If you haven't reviewed your T&Cs recently, I strongly suggest you do so IMMEDIATELY.
 
Now is not the time to be finding out the hard way that your terms of business do not support your best intentions and rose-coloured expectations of client behaviour.

3 comments:

  1. Neil Damerow17/2/12 12:15 PM

    Hello Ross, it is very interesting that the industry standard for replacement guarantees seems to be almost unconditional (save for retrenchment, change of job specifications or employment conditions) where the guarantee can still be for things outside the recruiters control.

    We provide a guarantee effective from the commencement date of the candidate, where it is identified that there has been a negligence or flaw in the service (recruitment process) attended to by our company. In other words, we guarantee processes that we were directly involved in - we cant and wont guarantee things that are outside our control.

    It would be interesting to see what opinions exist out there, and what other recruitment firms actually guarantee.

    Neil Damerow
    Brisbane

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Neil. I looked at another recruiter's terms the other day and this is what they have included in their terms:

    'The replacement guarantee does not extend to situations where you have
    materially contributed to the candidate leaving your employment such as in circumstances of redundancy, bullying, harassment, any other breach of workplace laws, or in cases of you imposing unreasonable working conditions on the candidate, or intentionally misrepresenting the role of the position to the candidate.'

    I think this is very wise for the reason you state - why should the recruiter bear the cost of a client's incompetence or negligence?

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  3. Aoife Brady21/2/12 11:22 AM

    What a great replacement phrase Ross, our's reads similar however I think a lot of agencies including some of the big ones could learn from tha. Thanks for sharing.

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