Thursday, March 28, 2013

Do You Want All the Business You Can Handle?

Strategic alliances and partnerships often start out with that promise: All the business you can handle. One individual or organization has connections with jobseekers, and they promise to send a flood of new clients your way...usually in exchange for a commission or profit-split.

But developing the wrong kind of relationships can put your resume writing business at significant risk. They can make promises to you about providing a volume of clients that can be enticing — but can they deliver? And at what cost (both in terms of finances and the commitment it will require from you)?

Going into these relationships armed with the right knowledge and information can help assure you pick the right recruiters to work with — and negotiate an agreement that works for you — and for them. Here are some guidelines for working with a third-party individual (recruiter) or organization, excerpted from the "Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters" special report. (These same principles apply no matter who is promising to send clients your way!)
Page 10: Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters

Questions you should ask before entering into a strategic alliance or partnership:
  • Will you (the firm) be the “client” or will I be working with (and billing) the job seeker directly? 
  • What kinds of clients do you work with? Any specialties? What salary ranges do you usually work with? Remember that “generalist” firms in particular might send you some clients you don’t usually work with. If this is the case, you might want to make arrangements ahead of time with a subcontract writer to handle those clients. 
  • Do you anticipate these project to be resumes only, resumes and cover letters, or other types of materials (bios, portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, etc.). Would you be interested in offering any other services to your clients — i.e., career workshops, interview coaching, salary negotiation advising? 
  • How many projects do you think you will be sending me (per week, or per month)?
  • How do you anticipate the client management process being handled (how I normally conduct business, or do you have something else in mind — i.e., meeting the client at your offices, or representing myself as your agent?) 
  • How will referrals be made? Online? Will you email me the client information and I make contact? Will you set up a formal affiliate page and/or link? Or will you give the client my contact information, and the client will contact me? 
  • How will sales be tracked? Are you responsible for tracking leads and clients, or am I? 
  • How will payment be handled? Will the client pay you, or me? 
Issues to address when structuring an agreement (these are addressed in detail in the special report, but here is an overview):
  • Tracking referrals 
  • Compensation 
  • Scope of commissionable work 
  • Reporting requirements 
  • Pricing 
  • Contact details 
  • Clients you don’t/won’t work with 
  • Client ownership and ownership of work (copyright) 
  • Nondisclosure/confidentiality 
  • Payment details 
  • Expense reimbursement 
  • Defining the nature of the relationship (“status”) – i.e., independent contractor, employee, or agent 
  • Responsibilities of each party 
  • How default/breeches are resolved 
  • Limits of liability 
  • Term of the contract 
  • Contract termination 
The special report contains definitions of each of these items and how they may impact the contract you come up with (no matter how informal!) with your partner.

Excerpted from: “Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters” by Bridget (Weide) Brooks.

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