Uri Guttman uri at
Fri Dec 9 16:22:57 GMT 2011

On 12/09/2011 10:48 AM, Rudy Lippan wrote:
> On Fri, 09 Dec 2011 04:09:00 -0500, Uri Guttman<uri at>
> wrote:

>> i don't have a deal with NaP so i can't say anything about this
>> blowup. but i wouldn't ever keep someone from taking the bird in the
>> hand. it is unprofessional and #^#^@&ed up.
> What would you have done (other than manage your client appropriately)?
> See below for an expanded timeline for the last week of the process...

hard to say as i don't know all the facts. i won't even speculate with 
more facts as i am biased now given what little i know.

here is a small tip i use during a placement. i request (really require 
but it doesn't always happen) that all emails between the candidate and 
employer are cc'ed to me. i have fixed little things like time zone 
differences for calls and lost out on big problems when they blew up and 
i wasn't cc'ed. my job is to make the placement work as smoothly as 
possible besides actually doing the best match i can. if i know of a 
problem, i communicate with both parties in an honest and timely manner. 
i have yet to have a situation similar to what i have read here. again, 
it is hard to answer given a story without both the agency's and 
employer's version. and even then, the facts won't always be evident.

>> it is usually less cost than that. no one pays 30% or charges it. and if
> I know its a bit high. Even at 20%, it is still a tidy commission. And
> they
> may have lowered it to get me in (I have seen that before) knowing that
> I had contacts and would recommend people to fill out the rest of the
> vacancies.

agencies earn commissions by saving time, effort and costs of 
recruitment in a shop. i have been dropped as an agent when there are 
too many candidates coming in directly and desperately needed when the 
market gets tight. middlemen of all sorts are in all industries. 
agencies are just another species of middleman. some like to use them 
for value added, others like to keep it in house and deal directly. to 
each their own. i know i personally provide a major value added as i 
screen carefully and have a very high placement rate. many times i have 
submitted no more than 2 candidates for each lead and one will get 
hired. that is a massive savings of time and effort in screening and 
interviews by the employer. that is worth the commission to them. i 
can't say the same for many other agencies (having dealt with buzzword 
matching ones many times myself).

> The whole  interview dance was done as a contract. At the end,
> I was told that I was, "The one NaP wanted to lead their US team".
> Then came the call: Before NAP can sign off they would like to know what
> you want as a final salary for the hire.
> I took a off a %>  20<  30 from the contract rate, and came up with $180K.
> This looked reasonable because I'd like to be able to offer good Sr.
> programmers $150K to be competitive in this market.  I also said that I
> was
> willing to take the $150K, but $180 was my happy point (based on having
> to relocate, the cost of housing,&c).
>   Tuesday:  Final interview at NaP in Mahwah, NJ.
> Wednesday: Current contract ends.
> Thursday: NAP needs one more signature because of cost.
>    Friday: The person at NaP is out sick, will be back Monday. I clarified
> that
>            I was about loose out on another offer.  Call Scheduled with NAP
> for
>            11 EST Monday.
>    Monday: There are actually two people that need to sign off but they
> want
>            to get everyone in a room tomorrow at 11:30 EST. NaP asks that
> you
>            hold off one more day. Call at 12:30 EST Tuesday".
>   Tuesday: Hi, pffefh, um, a, yeah, a. I don't quite know what to say, ah,
> um.
>            NaP wants to know if you would agree to be flexible to $120K for
>            for the final salary for sign off, but they are willing to
>            discuss it again at the end of the contract period.

that lowering of the 'accepted' pay range is nasty. if what you say is 
true (not doubting you), this is on NaP's head and not the agency. but 
also NaP might have been having problems staffing the whole group 
(possibly using the wrong agencies :) and suddenly realized their costs 
were too high. poor planning and decision making. also it seems they 
didn't own up to this mess either which is something they could have 
done. not something i would tolerate or condone.

>       Later in the day:
> "My apologies for the delay, I'm home dealing with a sick child. I just
> caught up with Matt and Net-a-porte has decided not to build a team here
> in the US. Apparently it's half the cost for them to build a team in the
> UK vs. here in the US. I'm so sorry Rudolf. I hope you're able to
> resurrect the offer from last week..."

that is from the agency. wow. half the cost is absurd as others have 
said. also remember the commission is a one time thing for salaried 
employees and so can be written off differently than ongoing costs like 
actual salaries. also real estate costs could be involved as ny/nj can 
be expensive. many factors could be untold but it all fall onto 
management for not knowing the facts about opening a remote office in 
the states. dunno if any agency could have helped with that info given 
how NaP went about this.
> Wednesday:  Emailed NAP and Eliassen regarding my understanding of how
>              things fell out.
> Yesterday:  I saw the post to the Perl Jobs mailing list from NaP and
>              Elliassen called to  confirm my understanding.  Emailed
>              jobs-discuss and followed that up with the OP.

and we know your take and i am sorry for what happened to you. i would 
like to know their sides but i won't get involved for obvious reasons. 
it seems like a mashup of some very poor decision making and planning 
compounded with some weak work by that agency.


More information about the mailing list