Recruitment debts owed by large corporations can often be caused by poor communication or weak process in the debtor’s business. They can often be difficult to collect, with managers within the corporation being bound by internal rules, which for them overrule contract law.

Our client, a recruiter specialising in the water services sector, had approached a sales manager in a global utility company regarding a new role. The sales manager was not interested in the role,  but the discussion quickly turned into a new opportunity as the sales manager himself was recruiting for an account manager in his team. There was a discussion about the vacancy and our client sent through TOB’s* and CV’s for two candidates the same day. The sales manager said he was interested and would forward the CV’s to HR and request that our client be added to the PSL.

And then all went quiet.

Despite repeated attempts to contact HR and the sales manager, our client could not get a response. Later that year they learned the candidate had been employed by the client 4 months after the introduction.

Our client raised an invoice and sent it to the corporation. The HR department responded, saying that no fee was due. They explained that there was no contract as they were not on the PSL, that they had not registered any vacancy with them, and that the candidate had approached them directly for the vacancy via Indeed.

Our client engaged a debt collection agency (not Sterling) who wrote to the debtor. The debtor replied with the same dispute. The collection agency emailed the dispute back to our client and suggested they refer the case on to their solicitor (working on hourly rate) to submit a claim.****

Our client was nervous about taking legal action against a big corporate with deep pockets, and did not want to throw good money after bad. They searched for a debt collection agency specialising in the recruitment sector and found Sterling.

Sterling wrote to the debtor’s HR department, outlining the case. We provided evidence and explained clearly how our client’s terms of business had been incorporated (despite them not being signed, and despite our client not being on the all-important PSL), we explained the importance of the clause in our client’s TOB’s stating that they need not be the effective cause of the engagement**, we explained the fees involved, and our next steps should they refuse to acknowledge the debt.

We received a response from the debtor’s legal department within days and a call was arranged to discuss the m