You are finally done with all the preparations, discussions and research, completion of student profiles and definition of needs and goals. You’ve just met the agent for the first time, and you feel very good about the possibilities. You feel strongly about the partnership, you trust the agent and their suggestions. This seems to be the right fit after all! Now, what are the next steps? How to ensure that this partnership will last? How to prevent dealing with any issues?
What to do before signing the contract?
Before signing the contract, you need to have several mechanisms put in order to ensure that neither side will have any problems later on.
Extensive discussion and preparing a strategy
The information you collect about your students’ and institution’s needs is the basis to start from. However, you will need to make additional updates as well. Consulting with agents, local associations and stakeholders in your own institution will ensure this. All of these discussions have to lead towards a comprehensive recruitment strategy where different aspects complement each other. Hiring an agent is just one part of it: you will still have to do most of the work yourself.
Explicit terms and results
It is not uncommon that an institution might choose not to be very explicit on the terms of the partership and sign a generic contract. We don’t recommend this practice. Even if you find an excellent agency, cultural or other misunderstandings can occur. Sometimes communication online has certain disadvantages. Being clear and specific in writing is the only way to keep the communication straight.
Double-check with a legal department
Your institution’s legal department was probably involved in the preparation of the contract. We encourage to have an additional meeting to look over the last draft and compare it to the recruitment strategy, and the role of an agency in it. Is the contract comprehensive and clear? Does it leave any space for interpretation?
What is your experience and advice when preparing to sign the contract with your agent of choice?