They will blame you if the person leaves all because they manage badly, treat them badly, lie to them or the recession starts next year and they have to let them go

Hard lesson to learn if you started out with bad habits.   From Recruiters Who Actually Make Placements (invite required, ask for one):

Company contacts us and is offering us a search. POC says he's VP-HR and a "former recruiter" (great...not). He asks for our terms...and dictates for me not to quote him "anything over 25%". I'm like: "OK. 25%." He asks for it in writing. I send it and it says Net30. I get an e-mail from him seven days later saying his COO wants to pay the fee monthly over a span of 12 months.

Do I continue this back-and-forth or is this baloney?

Jeff: I will add on to what Mike said. They will blame you if the person leaves after 7 months, 8 months, 9 months or a year and 2 months all because they manage badly, treat them badly, lie to them or the recession starts next year and they have to let them go. Don't make yourself responsible for their ridiculous behavior and do not accede to their request. If it is a demand, ask to speak to the COO (since your point of contact is of no use except as a messenger and at worst negotiate 12 month payout for a 90 day guaranty since they are financially in such trouble. Anything more than that is not a negotiation; it is holding you responsible for anything they do for 1 entire year--12 months--365 days. Keep records of the conversation so your lawyer can sue the COO personally for bad faith negotiating since he/she never intended to keep the agreements they have entered into.