Skip links

Sterling Debt Recovery

Supplier Profile Overview

Working on a commission only basis, Sterling Debt Recovery has been collecting debts for recruitment agencies since 2007. Since then the recruitment sector has become the main focus of our debt collection business with our specialist agents dedicated solely to debt recovery for recruitment agency clients. We work regularly with over 300 agencies as and when they need us. Our clients range from sole traders to $1.5bn turnover multi-nationals.

In other sectors most debts are simple late payments. In the recruitment sector however, invoices are often disputed. Sterling is particularly successful in collecting back door hire cases and disputed debts, including for example:

  • Temp to perm fees.
  • The debtor engages the candidate for a position other than the one the CV was intended for.
  • The candidate leaves within the rebate period, but the debtor has breached the terms of business (usually by non-payment) negating their right to the rebate/replacement candidate.
  • The debtor employs the candidate via another agency after our client has sent in the candidate’s CV.
  • The candidate contracts with the debtor as a sole trader or via a 3rdparty.
  • The debtor has used a separate business to hire the candidate.
  • Back door hire cases.

You can find final demand letter templates and useful advice on how to resolve disputes and protect yourself from bad debts on our website.


Sterling is the only debt collection agency with experienced agents dedicated solely to collecting recruitment debt. Our agents have a thorough understanding of the sector’s terms of business (whether they be based on APSCo, REC, Lawspeed terms or similar), how the market operates, and the usual disputes and excuses that arise. This helps us to explain the legal standpoint to the debtor including their contractual responsibilities and the consequences of litigation. We can persuade the debtor that it is in their best interest to resolve the matter with Sterling rather than progress to court action. In most cases this leads to full payment without the need for legal action meaning that our client gets paid quickly and cost effectively.