Don’t Fall for Money Back Guarantees From Your Recruiter!


Your recruiting firm should top your list of key business partners. After all, hiring the right employees is your most important role. So you need to start by hiring the right people to help ensure that you make this happen.

What’s the Difference?

Some recruitment firms offer money-back guarantees under which you are reimbursed for all or most typically a portion of their fee should a new hire resign or be terminated within a reasonable period of time. Others – as part of an ongoing commitment to client loyalty – offer a guarantee that they will replace bad hires at no additional charge.

  • A money-back guarantee gives an agency the option to walk away when a hire goes sour, returning a small portion of your fee and then leaving you hanging, with a position still open and the added stress of having to rehire.
  • In the long run, you’ll spend more time and money working under a money-back arrangement. You’ll still spend thousands of dollars, recoup only a fraction of it, and be back at square one with filling your vacancy.
  • Most reputable firms will not subject themselves to the risks of the client not wanting to “replace” a requisition due to a recent merger, acquisition, lay-off, business closing, new management, and many more reasons outside of their control. These are not the “fault” of the “recruiter” and therefore a good recruiter will not risk having to give back their well-deserved commission for a job well done.
  • Many desperate firms will use this clause to “land” and “undercut” a new client and play on their fear that “don’t worry; you will get your money back.” But is that what you want? To be in the same spot in 90 days with all the costs of a mis-hire on top of it?

Look for a firm with a rock-solid replacement guarantee and a history of doing right by their clients and servicing them to 100% satisfaction. As part of your ongoing relationship, your recruitment agency should be agreeable to this arrangement.

  • Discuss all the possible outcomes of a hire with your staffing firm before agreeing to any specific terms.
  • Shop around for the best agency and partner with one that has a proven track record of success in your specific industry. How many refills have they had to do? Why? Can you call those as references?
  • What is the on-going reputation of the recruiters firm? Is it their livelihood to keep you as an on-going happy client? That is what you want. Not someone that is willing to give up and a history of doing so.
  • Many smaller firms that try this approach will not even have the money to give months after the fact. Do you want to be chasing that down?

The bottom line – what is more expensive? Using a firm that has a history of getting it done right in the first place and will stand behind if you something truly out of their control goes south? Of absorbing the huge cost of a wrong hire for months, getting some (or all) of your initial fee back, and being in the exact same place that you started in another 90 days?

What to Look For

Recruitment firms that offer replacement guarantees make a statement that they have confidence in their own performance and the quality of their sourcing and hiring methods. This means that you can have confidence, too.

  • Seek out a niche firm. This is an agency that matches your business and market. By working with a specialized recruiter, you’re likely to shorten your time of hire and enhance your quality of hire, as they offer industry-specific candidate databases and robust professional networks.
  • Determine their experience level. How long have they been recruiting in your industry? Google their names. Find out how many jobs they fill in your niche area every month. Too few indicates that they are not truly successful as hiring specialists. Too many may indicate that they spread themselves too thin and fall short when it comes to quality.
  • Check references. Request names and contact information for their current clients. When checking them out, ask for specific examples of situations where rehiring became a necessity. Were these companies well taken care of?
  • Evaluate their ability to assist in various hiring steps. These include making and negotiating offers and serving as a successful candidate/client liaison. Fifteen percent of positions filled are unsuccessful because a recruiter failed to address candidate concerns or used pressure tactics to get an offer accepted.
  • Clarify their fee arrangement. Get it in writing. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. The best firms are happy to explain every detail of a client contract.

For additional guidance on finding the recruiting partner who best meets your company’s needs, read our related posts or contact the experts at Fillmore Search Group. As recruiting specialists with years of industry experience, we understand how to recruit the ideal talent for your position. To learn more about our recruitment services in the Bay Areacontact us today!

Call us today for help with strategic hiring for 2016!


blogAisha Quaintance