Block Management Recruitment: Read the Small Print
Before selecting your recruiter, do your due diligence
It may be the last thing you consider when recruiting for a member of staff. You need someone quickly, the outgoing property manager is on a month’s notice, you hope you find the right PM for your block management firm and that they’ll stay. For a long time.
Block Management Challenges
Whether you are an expanding block management firm and need more staff or you’re on the hunt for a replacement for a tricky portfolio, more than ever good property managers are few and far between. And too many think the grass is greener rather than rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in.
So in this current climate of PMs with itchy feet and real talent increasingly hard to find, checking the recruiter’s terms and conditions carefully is essential. After all, you are signing a contract so the last thing you consider, needs to be the first thing.
We talk regularly to directors and heads of block management firms who often use a variety of block management recruiters, casting a net wide in the hope of a prize catch. Sometimes this strategy can work but without a doubt it increases the chances of signing up to onerous terms.
Close Working Relationship
Working closely with one recruiter can pay dividends. They get to know your firm very well, you keep them up to date with changes to the structure of your company, new instructions, new offices. In return for that loyalty and open lines of communication, they’ll let you know first when a truly talented member of on-site or office based staff comes along and so you get first dibs.
Part of a recruiter’s role is to vet the candidates put forward and do their best to ensure a match. If a block management recruiter is working closely with you, the chances are the match will be better and your ratio of gems to duds will improve. You and your recruiter form a team, a bond, and you want the best for the other.
Terms and Conditions
That’s not to say there won’t be the odd mismatch… so that’s when the terms and conditions are referred to and if you have a close working relationship with the recruiter, perhaps you will have taken the time to agree terms that both parties are comfortable with. Look at it from the recruiter’s point of view: He/she would like the match to be perfect so the fee is fully earned and the block management employer goes back to the recruiter time after time.
However, if a recent recruit just isn’t working out and you are faced with letting someone go within their probationary period, ask yourself which of the recruiters you use will do the right thing and which will dig their heels in and merely point at the terms and conditions you agreed to.
Look Out For These Clauses
These are some of the main clauses that you should look at carefully when agreeing terms with your chosen block management recruiter:
- Rebate period – How long does it last and are there any admin fees deductible prior to receiving what you are due?
- Exclusivity – In the event of an applicant not working out, are you bound to accept a replacement from the same recruiter or can you opt for a refund and use another block management recruiter who may be better placed to supply you?
- Options – Do you have the choice between a free replacement and a refund, or are you bound by whichever the recruiter elects?
- Caveats – Are there any clauses favouring the recruiter in the event a refund is due, such as waiting for unreasonable time periods (e.g. you must wait x months before receiving £y) or excessive deductions from the refund?
- Invoice payment terms – Are there unreasonably short invoice payment terms where payment outside of this (short) period prejudices your potential claim against the recruiter down the line in terms of recruiting a replacement or being reimbursed?
The BBL Way
At BBL, we take the time to go through our terms and conditions with our block management clients, face to face whenever possible. Whilst we believe our terms and conditions to be one of the fairest in the market to the managing agent, we rarely turn down a client’s request to do some bespoke amendments. After all, we are confident in our ability to match-make so speak to us about your exacting requirements.
Remember: the last thing should be the first thing.
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