By Rachel Woods
When you think of a recruitment agency, what comes to mind? Most likely, you picture a company or group of people that specialize in recruiting staff and filling empty positions in other businesses. For those in the staffing and recruiting business, you might even know some of the hidden aspects of these agencies like their salesmen who are constantly finding new clients or the legal team that ensure client contract agreements go smoothly. One of the things that people often forget about is what happens after a staffing agency successfully places an employee with a client. This is not where the transaction ends; this is where a collection specialist needs to step into the picture.
More times than not, a client will pay the staffing agency after they place an employee without any issues. Staffing agencies do, or really should do, most of the hard work in the beginning by drawing up a contract on how much the client will pay before entering into a business relationship. After a placement has been made, the client will pay the agreed amount and both companies will move on in their relationship. A collection specialist will oversee these transactions just as an added precaution to make sure there are no issues. As I said, more times than not a collection specialist will really just oversee and manage payments. The reason it is necessary to have a specifically trained collection specialist in your agency is for the few times that a client does not follow the agreed process, and this can present in a number of ways. You need to be prepared for every possibility.
A side note: an important reason you want to have a collection specialist on your staff is because this person will be handling some more sensitive problems for your company. This needs to be someone that you can trust to protect your company which is why you should be careful in choosing your collection specialist. If at all possible, do not contract out to collection specialists. There are very trustworthy collection firms out there, but if you keep one on your staff it allows you to choose and train them to fit your company specifically.
One of the first ways that a collection specialist can be a necessary asset to your recruitment agency is when a client rejects one of your candidates then hires them outside of your recommendation. This is what is referred to as a backdoor hire. The reason you stay in business is because clients come to you to provide them with the best staff for their company. If they reject your appointment and then hire the person on their own, they can avoid paying you the finder fee that you are guaranteed through your contract. You need someone who has dedicated time and skills to working with other companies on collecting what they owe you. A collection specialist has the training and ability to handle these situations along with your legal team. Another way that a collection specialist can help your company is in a situation where another company has an issue with an employee you place with them, and generally these issues are beyond your control or scope of knowledge, and they refuse to pay for your services. There are many reasons that an employee might not fit after they are placed. There can be a variety of behavioral issues that cause them to not gel with the team or the environment of the company. Unless it is stated in the initial contract that they do not have to pay if the placement does not end up as a good match, the company still has to pay you for your work, and you will start over again with a new candidate. This is not a fight that you want to go into on your own, so a collection specialist can be a huge help as you turn it over to them and let them handle the situation for you. A good collection specialist will work with the client and try to resolve the problem amicably, but they do have the experience and skills to collect in a non-amicable situation. Particularly in these situations which can be delicate due to the behavior of an employee that put you there, you need a collection specialist who can navigate and settle it with hopefully minimal trouble for them and your company.
One more way that recruitment agencies need a collection specialist is when a client sues your company in order to prevent paying what you are due. There are a thousand reasons that they can come up with to sue you and most of the time they are hoping you will settle and just avoid the situation entirely. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS TRICK! A collection specialist can work with your legal team or whoever is representing you to make sure that the lawsuit does not stick and that you get what is due.
A collection specialist can be a great asset to your recruiting agency. You need staff to carry you through the entire transaction with each of your clients and a collection specialist is going to be your closer. Take our advice and recruit one for your company so you can be the very best staffing agency out there.