It’s a lot of money to hire, however it’s even more expensive when a senior hire doesn’t work out. There is a financial cost which might include the recruitment fee, the persons salary when they were getting up to speed and any notice / settlement to make a clean break. There is also the emotional cost to the team into which you hire, of hopes raised and dashed especially when workloads are high and help is really needed.
So, what’s fair in terms of a rebate from a recruitment agency for a mis-hire?
I was speaking with an agency who specialise in sales people yesterday and their view was they have worked hard to find you the candidate and then it’s up to you! They offer a sliding scale from 90% in week one to nothing in week ten. This isn’t unusual albeit perhaps at the less generous end of the norm.
My fellow founders and I have adopted a different approach at Trace. We offer a full refund if the hire doesn’t work out in the first twelve weeks. Why do we do this?
- We may have worked hard finding the candidate – but hard work isn’t what we are paid for – we are paid to find candidates who fit – who are going to do well for our clients and hopefully stay with that firm for the longer term.
- If we have done our job well then, the candidate will have relevant experience, will have demonstrated that they are competent in the key tasks that the role demands and that they fit with the culture of the team and organisation – so they will work out
- We feel we are in a partnership with our clients. It is no easy thing hiring a star performer and given we are dealing with people every so often, however robust your process, people can behave unpredictably. In these rare cases, we feel we should share the pain. If we are there in the good times we should be there in the bad
- We are after long term relationships with our clients rather than short term gain – so it’s not benevolence that makes us offer 100% refund in the first 12 weeks.
So, one question that speaks volumes about a recruitment agency is “what happens re fees if someone doesn’t work out?”