Wise words from Sandra. I agree completely. When I left the agency I worked at for many years, I had several deals in process, but only the ones that closed before I left were considered 'mine'. So, I essentially left money on the table too, quite a bit. But, as Sandra said, it's fairly standard in sales and our industry.
If you feel that this is a wrong process you have the perfect opportunity to change it. As you are starting your own shop ,when you hire a recruiter to work for you set up a policy that if they leave to compete with you, you will pay them commission on anything they were working on before they became your competition.
The question would then be: do they get commission on deals that have not closed when they leave but candidates have been interviewed?Do they get commission on candidates they recruited but have not been sent on an interview? There has to be some cut off point. Where will yours be?
The other question is , if you placed someone before you left , were paid commission and the employee quit before the guarantee period was up but after you left, would you refund your part of the commission or replace the employee at no charge for the agency you left? Probably not. Does it seem fair to you that you received commission but didn't have to honor the guarantee? It is also standard that the agency is left with the responsibility to honor guarantees but normally a departing recruiter does not have to pay back commission or replace. Would you want to change that standard?
Good recruiters are the only ones who should every try stepping out on their own. The dilemma here is that good recruiters always have sendouts going on......so it's a catch 22. If you're good enough to start your own practice - then you've got a few interviews going on. You just gotta hit the eject button and roll on.
It has been my experience that very rarely (never?) are commissions paid to recruiters who left. Now that I think of it - I can remember the vultures circling a desk shortly after each resignation - just KNOWING there were a few placements in there somewhere.......
Ah. The good ole days!
I don't know where you are in the process with this situation but if it has not reached the "to hell with you" stage, you might consider more talking with your previous employer. Maybe go back to her and say, "You know i want to maintain a good business relationship with you and hopefully we can work splits just as we did before when i was here. Then neither of us have to totally give up what we worked to build together for 8 years."
"You know that we discussed me being compensated for these last two placements that were about to close when i left. I realize that with me leaving you stand to lose the benefit of the revenue that i brought in so i can understand that perhaps you would be resistant to paying me for something that had not closed. In the interest of being able to work together in the future would you consider paying me 25 % of what you made on those if i am willing to agree to refund that amount to you if they fall out? Realizing that i built the base for my own business while working here i would be willing to share all job orders and candidates with you for the next 60 days so both of us do not have to take a total loss during the transistion period. We could split 50/50. After that period of time we can work together anytime either of us needs help on a candidate or a job.
If you feel it would help you get your new business started and a relationship with her would benefit both of you in the future, be willing to put an offer on the table in order to achieve something of value for both parties.
You are no longer an employee. You are business owner so perhaps negotiating as one business owner to another instead of staying in the damaged employee mindset might be the better way to go.
No business deal is ever all to the advantage of either party. She is losing her top recruiter and you are losing some commission that you feel you earned. If both of you can get over being pissy and talk business like big girls you may be able to work something out that both can feel better about.
Running your own business is always full of "sticky points" that do indeed have to be considered carefully as well as what they will mean in the future. Best of everything in your business. The bottom line on this situation in my opinion is put it behind you one way or the other and focus on the future. Let's face it, in the future you will be making 100% of all your efforts (less overhead of course) so you just got a 100% raise.
It is not the business, per se, but the people who are not always the most scrupulous. If you did not get the agreement in writing, you have learaned an expensive lesson in trust. I am sorry that this happened to you, and I think that your trust was a sign that you have a higher level of integrity than the person you are writing about. Too bad for her, she may have made 102K now, but she will not be able to replicate it in the long run, since you are gone. Move on, and be successful (the best revenge is doing well without her).