Anyone have any suggestions on collecting from an unruly client who signed an "exclusive" agreement but then hired on their own and refuses to pay? Any thoughts and comments? Ken

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Did they hire your person?
No, they hired someone on their own without telling me. It was exclusive, "candidates considered for the listed position will be fully screened and reference checked by SESG, regardless of originating source" is verbiage in the double signed contract. The word "exclusive" is throughout the contract as well. Ken
pam claughton said:
Did they hire your person?
Ken,

The only thing you can do is

A) Suck it up, and shut up. ( you have no clients who do that {B.S. we all do})
B) Visit your last placed person in the company, and get their internal company phone list.
C) Use this disreputable firm as your primary poaching ground.

Unfortunately, we Pirates, Thieves, Head Hunters, Privateers and all-around nice guys will run into these companies because we want green/gold and talent.

So with this company the only sensible thing to do, is use this company's human talent for other placements.
One last thing, you can change the wording, you can go see a lawyer. In the end, you will have wasted time and money for nothing.

We deal with little more than a gentleman's agreement. We will never break the contract as it's in our best interest to get more posts to fill and money when we fill them. If they want to break it, we just have to go on.

Even if you have an ironclad contract, and they hire directly or they hire your guy or they just wait a few days after interviewing your guy, you really can't do anything.

They are the client and clients are ALWAYS right, even if they are wrong. If you take them to court, or threaten to, they will drag out paying you and they will say nasty things about you & your company and lastly, you will get no further business from them.

So be a good pirate; call on their competitors, poach their staff and make them bleed talent as you fatten your wallet.
Ken,
A true “exclusive” contract is one that includes a retainer. However, if you are talking about a contingency agreement, then the word “exclusive” is a misnomer. If you have a client that relies on you and tells you that you are the only firm they want to use, then that is as much commitment as you are going to get as there is not any legal teeth in the contract to keep them from doing otherwise. That being said, the same is true on a retained search, but the upfront financial commitment is what gives this type of agreement its strength.
this is typical unless the agreement says that you have the exclusive and that means that no matter who the source or what rock they found the candidate under, you get paid. That is really what an exclusive search means.
Charles...a true pirate's response [I like]

Charles Russell said:
One last thing, you can change the wording, you can go see a lawyer. In the end, you will have wasted time and money for nothing.

We deal with little more than a gentleman's agreement. We will never break the contract as it's in our best interest to get more posts to fill and money when we fill them. If they want to break it, we just have to go on.

Even if you have an ironclad contract, and they hire directly or they hire your guy or they just wait a few days after interviewing your guy, you really can't do anything.

They are the client and clients are ALWAYS right, even if they are wrong. If you take them to court, or threaten to, they will drag out paying you and they will say nasty things about you & your company and lastly, you will get no further business from them.

So be a good pirate; call on their competitors, poach their staff and make them bleed talent as you fatten your wallet.
Ken,

Were you working on a retained basis? Or contingency? If retained, then you still get paid. If contingency, you don't. An exclusive contingency just means you have no competition, but you still have to produce the person who is hired.

~Pam

Roger Lopez said:
Charles...a true pirate's response [I like]

Charles Russell said:
One last thing, you can change the wording, you can go see a lawyer. In the end, you will have wasted time and money for nothing.

We deal with little more than a gentleman's agreement. We will never break the contract as it's in our best interest to get more posts to fill and money when we fill them. If they want to break it, we just have to go on.

Even if you have an ironclad contract, and they hire directly or they hire your guy or they just wait a few days after interviewing your guy, you really can't do anything.

They are the client and clients are ALWAYS right, even if they are wrong. If you take them to court, or threaten to, they will drag out paying you and they will say nasty things about you & your company and lastly, you will get no further business from them.

So be a good pirate; call on their competitors, poach their staff and make them bleed talent as you fatten your wallet.
To clarify, and this wording is included in the contract, the retainer was "held in abeyance", so it was retained but without the check being cut. Also, I have no intention or desire to work with this client again. Just looking for hardcore collection/strongarm tactic at legally getting them to pay, without calling Cousin Guido (I am originally from the south side of Chicago, I can say that). The contract also states, "fees are earned and non-refundable whether or not actually received by SESG". To reiterate, the contract also states, "ALL candidates considered for the listed position will be fully screened and reference checked by SESG, REGARDLESS of the originating source". I do have an attorney working on it as well, but more expensive than any other ideas you all might have. Ken
Not sure what your "exclusive agreement" is... but as someone that uses outside recruiters on a regular basis I use either a contingent or retained search agreement. My contingent agreements normally start with an agreed "exclusivity" - simply meaning I will no longer advertise (outside of our web site) or engage any other recruiters in the search for a pre-determined amout of time (normally 30-45 days). If durring that time I were to find a internal candidate, referral or someone who applied through our web site and was qualified I would most certainly hire them and not be obligated to pay any fees, nor would the recruiters I use expect any payment. They may be a bit depressed but it goes with the job.
I agree, but this was a retained agreement, they agreed to the retained search, just a bit apprehensive about paying the money up front. I know, red flag, but the contract even has "retainer in abeyance" as the document title. It was understood this was a fully retained search; that is all I do is retained, while that almost always includes an up front payment, sometimes we start the search before the check is sent. This time I agreed to delay the payment of the retainer until such time the Partner was comfortable with our service, although I made it very clear it was a full exclusive search in the retained sense. I like the discussion points though, keep em coming!!

ajcayer said:
Not sure what your "exclusive agreement" is... but as someone that uses outside recruiters on a regular basis I use either a contingent or retained search agreement. My contingent agreements normally start with an agreed "exclusivity" - simply meaning I will no longer advertise (outside of our web site) or engage any other recruiters in the search for a pre-determined amout of time (normally 30-45 days). If durring that time I were to find a internal candidate, referral or someone who applied through our web site and was qualified I would most certainly hire them and not be obligated to pay any fees, nor would the recruiters I use expect any payment. They may be a bit depressed but it goes with the job.
As others have pointed out, you will likely never see this money. We are at the mercy of our clients. If they don't want to pay, we are out of luck. If you sue, the legal costs quickly outpace the amount owed. If it is small enough, you could take them to small claims court, but few fees are that small. And, since the client found their own candidate, in their minds they got no value add from you, so they choose to ignore the exclusive agreement. You could hire a lawyer to write letters, but that will probably be good money after bad.

Sorry to hear of your situation. We have a client who wants to pay us, but doesn't have the money. This is happening a lot right now due to the economic crisis. Smaller clients are easier to land but getting your money can be a challenge. Large corporations are more likely to pay, but getting in is the challenge there.

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