More and more recruiters are seeing thevalue of split fees to fill voids in their pipeline of business, to address the need for speed, and to leverage relationships into new niche areas. The National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS), a US-based recruiting industry trade association, has published the following set of guidelines. To learn more about NAPS, go to www.recruitinglife.com.
The guidelines address commonly negotiated aspects of cooperative placements. However, no set of rules can ever be complete enough to address every possible situation. Therefore, it is imperative that both parties enter the agreement in good faith, committed to full and open communication and a willingness to negotiate exceptions and idiosyncrasies.
- Exact fees and guarantee agreements with a client/employer shall be fully disclosed by the Job Order firm and agreed to by the candidate firm prior to any candidate referrals. Placement fees must be billed in accordance with this agreement.
- Placement fees received by a Job Order firm should be shared as agreed. In the absence of an agreement, fees will be shared on a 50/50 basis.
- The candidate firm’s portion of the fee, accompanied by a copy of the employer client’s check, shall be disbursed immediately upon access to funds following deposit of payment from the employer/client.
- All shared candidates and job orders shall have been originated by each firm through its own recruiting or business development methods, and not from any third party to whom a financial obligation is or may be due unless all three parties agree to a three-way split, before any candidates are sent.
- Confidentiality shall be observed at all times. Information received from one firm shall not be disclosed to any other firm without the consent of the originating firm.
- Guarantees shall be honored fully; each firm shall remit their proportionate share of a refund within five (5) calendar days after notification of liability. The Job Order firm shall coordinate the refund or replacement process.
- If the Job Order firm has a replacement rather than a refund guarantee and a fall-off occurs on a cooperative placement, the portion of the fee paid to the candidate firm must be refunded given back to the Job Order firm within ten days of notification of the fall-off.
- No unsolicited resumes shall be sent from one recruiting firm to the other. If assistance is requested and the candidate firm sends a candidate already on file with the Job Order firm, the split fee still applies, if the actions of the candidate firm were a procuring cause of the placement.
- During the course of the cooperative placement, the client shall be contacted only by authorized representatives of the job order firm.
- During negotiations between a candidate and a client company, the Job Order firm shall be considered to have complete authority and responsibility for all related communications. The candidate firm shall not interfere and shall cooperate fully with whatever assistance may be requested by the Job Order firm.
- Candidate firms shall respect the client company relationships of Job Order firms and shall not use shared information for any business development purposes for six months after the job order is closed.
- Candidate referrals are valid for one year. During that time period, candidates responding to any solicitation or follow-up to determine availability, either written or verbal, shall still be considered split-fee candidates – whether or not they have changed employers since the original referral by the referring firm.
- Within one year of the original referral, whenever a candidate is contacted for any reason by the Job Order firm, the person making the contact shall identify the candidate firm.
- The Job Order firm shall not contact a candidate for networking purposes or to obtain referrals for a current search without the explicit consent of the candidate firm. If referrals are subsequently solicited from the candidate firm’s candidate, or if that candidate refers other candidates with the knowledge of the Job Order firm (for the same job order), these must also be considered split-fee candidates and the candidate firm shall be furnished the candidate’s resume information.
- Any significant step involving a candidate’s prospective employment (i.e. initial interview, second interview, offer, turndown) shall be reported to the candidate firm as soon as possible.
- The candidate firm maintains control of the candidate for one year following the referral, and can deny contact with the candidate by the Job Order firm if the candidate is in negotiation with one of the candidate firm’s clients or has accepted a job for which the candidate firm has been paid.
- All referrals, job orders, or other related information exchanged between the cooperative firms must be non-discriminatory and shall be in strict accordance with all applicable laws pertaining to Equal Employment Opportunity.
- Any dispute under this agreement shall be resolved by final and binding arbitration before the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) in accordance with NAPS’ rules for final and binding arbitration then in effect.
Although every situation is different, I hope that NAPS’ guidelines give you some idea of what should be expected and gives you motivation to work out the details in advance.