Recruitment Agencies from the Quality Viewpoint: marketing, contracts (2/2)

Marketing, contracts, goods, advanced training, internal quality audit (part 2) 

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"The customer doesn’t want to sign a contract for many reasons. He doesn’t need to cheat you. There are perfect contracts, under which nothing was paid. And at the same time a lot of services were paid simply on parole.  However, the future belongs to clear and firm contract relations. The good-developed documentary base is an element of your technology, an indicator of your agency’s solidity. Putting his seal the customer select reliability, prestige and quality…Probability to close an order ‘without contract’ is lesser by 30% against the contract de jure. The ‘urgent’ vacancies (‘Fire! Get the resumes, quick! We close them at once!’) are being closed, as a rule, in relation of 1:10 and not ‘at once’ but after 1-2 months of the heavy moroka (troubles)” [85]. 

The agency shall ascertain and fix in the contract the following: the schedule framework; obligation of the customer on nominees hired after the contract’s expiration and/or to another vacancy; factors of the contract’s termination or modification; obligation not to pirate the agency’s nominee or any customer’s employees within an agreed period; confidentiality agreement [116, 117]. 

 The agencies are trying to include the prepayment requirement into a contract

[2, 5, 23, 47, 68, 70, 71 and 75]. Here the mutual reproaches and distrusts clash with each other. On the one hand – "I don’t make prepayment being not convinced in quality” (some agencies did not close a position though having the prepayment) [23]. On the other hand - "an erroneous standpoint exists…that deception of the agency through non-payment of an order is not an indicator of low business-ethics and business-culture” [16]. I personally prefer a pragmatic, without excessive emotionality, wording of the answer to the question – why the agency asks a prepayment? [19]: "…in order to be convinced of the client’s seriousness of intentions. The client shall undertake that we will not run free.  The prepayment shows also that the client respects the agency solving a problem essential for him. Why the client is ready to make the prepayment? He ensures his peace of mind, since he will be serviced in the first place. Many recruiters apprehend the prepayment as an emotionally and psychologically discomfort condition increasing their personal responsibility. The received money has to be worked off by all means. So, not all of them are too eager to ask the prepayment”. 

Before effecting a deal finally, the parties stipulate thoroughly for the guarantees. At sourcing and recruiting without agencies participation about 30% of all newcomers meet with failure within the first year [80].Having first-hand knowledge of this fact and paying for rather expensive services of high-professional recruiting, certain employers would like either to guarantee free replacement of unsuitable nominee or get back part of the payment (the whole payment if possible) [6, 13, 19, 23, 27, 38, 48, 57, 65, 70, 71, 73, 74, 85 and 86]; moreover, some of them may require the "missed profit” percentage from the agency plus unlimited number of replacements. As a result, only 5% of the "heads” leave their companies before expiration of the guarantied time [116]. 

At composition of this review many versions of guaranties were met. The most powerful and comprehensive one is developed by the Canadian Agency AMROP: free replacement of dismissed/resigned/deceased nominee or return of the fee within 2 years; at the same time the fee totals 35% of the total package (salary, car, bonuses etc.) plus payment of all the technical expenses of the agency during work under the order (17% of the fee amount) [19].  

Another example is described in [80], where the money paid to the agency for sourcing of an officer executive was equal to the sum to be paid for replacement of the whole sale department in amount of 30 people through the leading, i.e. not cheap, agencies.  

The usual salary-guarantee ratio is a single replacement within 3 months at the fee amounting 20-25% of the nominee’s year salary (2.5-3.0 month salary). 

The cost of services and unreadiness of employers to pay for them is a separate, very favorite and very sensitive theme of recruiters. I would like to restrict myself by the following citation from [77]: "Sometimes the consumers are becoming ‘deafened’ by opening that not all agencies make their living at expense of people getting job, and they receive this news inadequately. Some of them remain in a state of psychological trauma and respond in the following manner: ‘we don’t work with agencies because of our negative experience in similar collaboration’, ‘your fee within the framework of a single salary is quite enough’ or ‘show me the resume, and I think over, if this resume deserve such money’., ‘for me only the result is interesting, but I don’t want to know how it was reached. It is great that you have mastered the direct sourcing, however I had an experience in inviting the agencies of standard methods for finding managerial personnel - and their services were cheaper”.    

Development of any agency consists in constant professional growth of its employees. The leaders "perform training every three months for cultivating habits of effective interaction and sharpening professional skill”[68], they elaborate their own training methodologies [52, 76], participate in projects dealing with preparation of professional recruiters on the basis of specialized faculties in high school [87] and at training facilities of personnel associations [115].

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