Sterling Debt Recovery’s Back Door Fee Finder Service continues to evolve

Shutting the Door

Sterling Debt Recovery, an international debt collection company specialising in the recruitment sector, are continuing to invest in the ongoing development of their HireChecker system.

Commenting on the service, CEO, Jeremy Milligan said; “We started work on HireChecker in 2016, the recruitment sector had become the main focus of our debt recovery team, with around 70 per cent of the debt we were collecting being for recruiters and a big part of that being back door cases. The scale of the back door placement problem is huge, so we saw this as an opportunity to find additional profit for our clients, and consequently more debt collection business for us.”

Sterling worked with a third party development company specialising in data mining and deep web searches to develop HireChecker. With over 10 years of experience of working on back door hire cases with recruiters, Sterling were able to consult with the development company to design a system that would first duplicate the arduous manual search processes that an internal team might undergo in searching for potential back door cases. The developers then suggested many additional routines that would not be available via a manual search. One of the first tests of Sterling’s system was against a regular client’s own internal process.

“One of our longstanding debt collection clients had developed their own manual process to search for back doors, something they had been doing for years. They were convinced that their process was reliable and we had to agree since they regularly found cases for us to collect. We carried out a parallel search, testing HireChecker against their manual process.”

The client’s internal process took over six man days to carry out, finding three cases from the data set (still a worthwhile task with placement fees averaging £5k). HireChecker’s search took less than 20 minutes plus an hour for the manual check on the results finding all three cases plus two additional ones. Therefore a saving of six man days, plus an additional £10k of profit.

“The system has proven to be extremely successful in finding additional profit for our clients, and crucially it takes minimal effort from the customer to provide us with data,” says Milligan. “We need a very simple report or export from the clients ATS/CRM system. Nearly all clients we’ve worked with are able to produce the file as standard without needing help from their ATS provider. We’ve continued to work with the developers, with both teams coming up with new ideas for enhancing the searches. Limitations are often in the data we receive from our client, for example they may list a candidate as David whereas he might list himself as Dave, we’ve continued to invest in the system so that it will find matches even in these scenarios.”

HireChecker is sold as a service rather than a system, with Sterling working on a no-find, no-fee basis.

“Currently we run a manual process once the system has done it’s work. This is mainly to remove false positives, for example if you’ve sent John Smith’s CV to IBM then the system is likely to find some potential matches that need a manual check. We find that our pricing model works well for our clients as they only pay if we find a positive result, so it’s always a good return on investment.”

GDPR has been a high profile concern for recruiters of late as Milligan says: “GDPR was all over the news when we were developing HireChecker, so we knew it would be an issue and designed the system and service to be GDPR compliant from the bottom up.”

The majority of customers using HireChecker also use Sterling’s Debt Recovery service. “More often than not if a business has deliberately back doored a recruiter, they are not expecting to be caught,” says Milligan. “They are very reluctant to pay if caught, and use every excuse in the book to try to deny it. Our debt collectors work with cases like this every day – they know how to get them paid without the need for legal action.”

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