Sometimes recruiters can be a pessimistic bunch. Some fear doing split deals. I see recruiters that are on edge about how their trading partner will fulfill on the promise that was made regarding a fee split, a payment, a meeting time, and a hundred other variables. In nearly 10 years of observing and monitoring all the things that could go wrong, I can say with confidence that your recruiting peer group is way more honest and worthy of your trust than you may suspect. Yes, there are bad people out there but overwhelmingly people are good and do most of what they say they will do. Sometimes it is slower or perhaps on someone else’s schedule and not yours, but they usually do pretty much what they said they would do.
Trust. For many trust is earned and not given. I have been on both sides of this equation during my lifetime. Personally I have found it far better to offer trust. I find the issue is ultimately more about communication and expectations than it is about trustworthiness. It takes time and saps you of energy to have a constant fear of others…being untrusting. Yes, people will let you down. But spend more time, particularly with business partners, confirming, communicating, setting and leveling expectations than worrying about the big and nebulous trust factors.
So if you are beginning a trading partner relationship with a split fee partner, what should you consider? I would say confirm a few things in writing:
· Consider a split fee agreement. There are many good split fee agreements out there…Google “Sample Split Fee Agreement”.
· Agree to payment terms. How you will be paid and when you will be paid are reasons for concern. Currencies and things like wire payments versus a check might make a huge difference to you.
· Make sure you have agreement on whose guarantee rules the placement. Honor the agreed-upon guarantee.
· Agree upon the time from submission to feedback. This is the number one complaint I hear. Communication can be lacking and you need to know that someone has your candidate(s) and what they think of your submittal.
· Make sure you have a rule on what happens if the client has a sudden interest in going direct to your newly-introduced trading partner.
· What is the rule on referrals that your shared candidate makes to the new employer?
· The old Reaganism of “Trust but Verify” comes to mind. I call it expectation-setting and measurement. You have expectations, but until you share them and they are accepted, they are just wishful thinking. Get them understood and committed to before investing time.
· Have a walk away point in mind. If you invest 5 or 10 hours and every expectation is being missed, cut your losses and walk away. If you have set expectations properly, your note to your former trading partner is easy. Just list that they have not met the agreed upon expectation and you are going to invest your time moving forward only with partners that meet the expectations consistently. No need for drama or blame.
Now let’s talk about trusting candidates…that is a topic for another day…