Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse that you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. Over the last 18 months, he’s documented one a week. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed. The complete collection is here.
What Client Says:
“We hired the candidate at a lower starting salary.”
How Client Pays:
The victim of this is the salesperson placer. Since the candidate’s base rate is the only promised (“guaranteed”) compensation, the client argues that commissions aren’t included in the fee computation.
The variations are endless, ranging from actually paying the candidate less at the beginning (often with a wink and a promise) to excluding the value of perks (up to 40%). For this reason, vigilance plus verbiage is necessary.
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Vigilance is your responsibility. Verbiage is mine. Here’s what I recommend:
The estimated gross compensation includes projected commissions, bonuses, incentives, and perquisites. It shall be estimated at not less than the amount earned by the candidate in his last position.
If that scares you, then start placing at a fixed fee.
Otherwise, you’re a visible victim.