Collection Tip: Be Careful of the Words You Use

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Jeff Allen offers you a tip about what you should do to ensure you never miss out — or get beat out — of your well-earned fee. And FYI: Meet Jeff at the upcoming Fordyce Forum in June. Register now, save $200, and become eligible for a free, private, confidential one-om-one consultation with Jeff at the conference.

What Client Says:

We hired the candidate as a consultant.

 How Client Pays:

Over the past decade, employers have been cashing in on the consulting boom.  Unfortunately, contingency-fee recruiters have been the paymasters.

When you send a fee schedule that contains any of these 10 words, you’re aiming your recruiting revolver at your fee-free foot:

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  1. Applicant
  2. Bonus
  3. Employee
  4. Employer
  5. Hire
  6. Job
  7. Payroll
  8. Position
  9. Salary
  10. Wages

These all lock you into payment only if a candidate is directly hired as a salaried employee.  But they lock you out of payment if the employee is hired as an “independent contractor” — a “consultant.”

Now you can aim straight for the fee with words in your fee schedule like:

  1. Assignment
  2. Candidate
  3. Company
  4. Compensation
  5.  Consultant
  6. Engage
  7. Independent
  8. Perform
  9. Project
  10. Services

Modify any PSA (placement service agreement) you get from a client this way too.  If the search is worth doing, this is worth doing!

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at


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