Maximize Your Split Placement Membership

By Sarah Gawrys

30390724.thbAs the Director of Membership for a split placement network, I am often surprised when months pass by from an inactive member, and then they state they are not getting a good return on investment. This recently caused me to think of our network as a gym, with the membership goals and results really lining up with the work that goes into either. Here are five ways to maximize any type of membership, whether it be a gym, professional association, or split placement network.

  1. Join with attainable goals in mind. When you are looking to become a member of something, it is helpful to understand the organization you are joining, and line up realistic expectations and goals accordingly. With a split placement network, the benefits to you may include establishing relationships with like-minded professionals, learning more about industry techniques and tools, and being able to place those excess candidates you have collected. To go in with the expectation of making ten best friends, getting free products and placing hundreds of extra candidates per year is about as realistic as joining a gym with the hopes of instantly shedding 10lbs every time you step foot inside. A split placement network will be an excellent tool to your recruiting desk when you focus perhaps on uploading at least 5-10 candidates regularly, reach out to one trading partner in your industry per week, and try out one or two new technology resources. These goals hold you accountable to attaining results, and do not require an over the top time investment on your membership when you are first learning about the organization.
  2. Take the time to get training. With the ease of technology and tools, independence has become routine when members join organizations. With the user friendly interfaces and online help available, many people are choosing to forgo interaction, and instead sort through databases and dashboards themselves, learning as they go. While it is good to be proactive, when joining an organization, you need to take the time to get the personal attention to learn properly. What you do not get with independence is experience. A training director, just like a personal trainer at the gym, will be able to assess you and understand what tips and techniques to show you in order to provide the best return on investment. In a split placement network for example, going through training can instruct you on best formatting techniques to increase your visibility, as well as connecting you with potential trading partners based on your personality and work style. If you are a member of an organization where you are not confident you are getting a good return, take the time to reach out to a staff member that can show you what you may be missing without even realizing it.
  3. Connect with people. If you are a member of an organization, chances are pretty high that the other members are very similar to you, or at least have one common interest if they are also there. Becoming socially aware and active in an organization will create a positive association, and provide greater return with the benefits of relationship networking. If there are meetings available, try to attend to better understand the organization and maximize your membership. If you set a realistic goal of connecting with one member per week, or even two per month, you will soon build up a network of lasting relationships, and especially in a split placement or other professional network, this will result in business transactions that increase revenue.
  4. Remember that your brand is always on display. When joining an organization, your name and most often your company are visible to the other members and the organization itself. You never know when the networking you encounter will end up helping or harming you in future endeavors, so it is important to exude respectful work ethic and professionalism in each interaction. For example, in a split placement network, it may start to get a bit tiring when one particular firm emails you candidates that you just do not see a fit for. While it is easy to blatantly ignore these emails, or begin talking negatively about that firm, this reflects poorly on your brand, and is not a good business practice. Instead, open communication with the other member may result in them understanding your clients better, and now sending you quality candidates you can end up placing. Even a polite conversation that results in understanding that you may not make good trading partners saves time and energy on both of your behalves.
  5. Show up and be present. It is good practice to outline your goals and intentions on a post it note or document prior to joining another association or membership. Keep this somewhere visible and revisit on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. Have you been uploading 5-10 candidates regularly? Have you reached out to trading partners? Hold yourself accountable to the reasons you had for joining an organization and continue to strive for results even if you have been slacking on them for weeks or months. It is never too late to make a return on your investment if you are willing to put in the work. This is a good evaluation tool as well if you are active and engaged in an organization and still not seeing a return. At this point you may be able to try another organization instead to fulfill your goals, or look to others for advice on their success so you can try new measures.

3 Situations that Call for a Split Placement

By Veronica Scrimshaw

papaya-halfNPAworldwide is a split placement network. We’ve been helping our members make splits for more than 50 years, so we pretty much think splits should always be considered. If you haven’t made up your mind yet about splits, or aren’t sure how they could benefit your business, here are 3 situations where a split placement is a great option.

The job is outside your specialty / focus area. Let’s suppose you are a recruiter who fills audit and other accounting-type roles. Out of the blue, your best client comes to you and says they need a digital marketing manager. You don’t know the first thing about digital or marketing. With no resources of your own, your only real option is to tell the client you can’t help. That means some OTHER recruiter will get the job. BUT … if you’re willing to share the fee and make a split placement, there’s no need to send your client looking for assistance elsewhere. You keep the relationship AND your client doesn’t have to go through the hassle of finding and selecting ANOTHER recruiting partner for what may be a one-and-done situation.

The location is outside your geographic coverage area. Let’s change the example slightly. Instead of a job that is outside your expertise, your best client needs to hire an auditor. In Singapore. You don’t know anything about Singapore – what language is spoken, what the educational background is for an auditor, or even how much money an auditor should be making. And Singapore is 13 hours ahead of you, so you’re not looking forward to trying to actually talk to any candidates. Again, you really don’t have the capability on your own to confidently say yes. This is another perfect situation for a split placement. A partner in Singapore can help source candidates in the local time zone, will understand the business culture and customs, and knows how to structure the offer. You manage the relationship with your client so the process is seamless.

You have “leftover” candidates from a recent retained project. Sometimes we hear from recruiting firms that mostly work on a retained basis wondering if split placements are a viable option within their business model. My opinion is they certainly can be! One of the best ways for a retained recruiter to make a successful split placement is to market the “leftover” candidates from retained searches. If you’ve presented 3 candidates to your client and 1 received the offer, what do you normally do with the other 2 candidates? They are qualified candidates who have been vetted and are open to a career change. Why not market those candidates to a split placement partner with a similar job opening? Especially in a candidate-short market like we are experiencing now.

These are three obvious situations where a split placement can be the best solution. There are plenty of other good reasons to have split placements in your business mix. What’s your favorite? Comment below!

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Demand for High-Level Accounting Talent is Strong

By Veronica Scrimshaw

accountant-adding-machineToday’s guest blogger is Liz Carey, network coordinator for NBN, operators of and NPAworldwide and NBN merged in September 2014, and our two networks are working toward a full integration effective January 1, 2016. We look forward to having Liz as a regular part of our blogging team.

The accounting industry is faced with change. Tighter financial regulations are causing both small and large firms to battle for talent. This competition for talent is leading to more – and better – opportunities for accounting and finance professionals.

Financial professionals are needed in various industries, from jobs in Big 4 firms to roles with professional services firms, hedge funds and banks. As the economy recovers, executive and senior level roles are opening up, and companies are having a hard time finding accounting talent for roles with the potential for advancement to become partner, director or CFO.

For example, on a recent networking conference call with nearly 20 of the top accounting and finance recruiters in the US, firm owners were seeking to fill hot job orders such as associate director of commercial contracting and government reporting, director of accounting and reporting, director of corporate compliance, international account executive, and VP, retail product manager.

There is a growing shortage of entry-level professionals with leadership skills as companies look to groom new hires for executive-level and partner roles. A recent survey of corporate executives, done by Competency Crisis and the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC), found that leadership is the most needed – and least possessed – competency skill.

The problem isn’t finding a good accountant, companies say, it is finding an accountant who has the right interpersonal skills to develop into a manager in three to five years. Most are only in public accounting for three to five years, so it takes skill to find one that stands out.

The need for this accounting talent is pushing companies to “up the ante” to entice financial professionals into accounting jobs. Recruitment has been aggressive. Because of the demand, firms are offering better work/life balance, relocation considerations, additional training, competitive salaries and bonuses, and travel and work experience opportunities.

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Four Things You Can’t Recover

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Barb BrunoToday’s guest blogger is one of the featured speakers at our upcoming Global Conference. Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS is recognized as one of the top trainers in the staffing and recruiting profession worldwide. She is the owner of HR Search, Inc,  speaker, consultant, author and her mission is to help her clients become more successful. Her bi-weekly NO BS Newsletter is the most widely read newsletter in the staffing and recruiting profession. Her Top Producer Tutor training program has increased sales and profits for 100% of her clients. She has also created a Career Portal for job seekers which she has private labeled for over 500 firms, which allows staffing and recruiting firms to help 100% of the job seekers they attract. Barb  is known for her creative strategies, innovative ideas, high energy, sense of humor and passion for her profession. 

Four things you can’t recover:

  • The word; after it’s said.
  • The occasion; after it’s missed.
  • The time; after it’s gone.
  • The stone; after it’s thrown.

Most recruiters are great talkers and don’t focus enough on improving effective listening skills. Are you making WWD (What We Do) presentations, or do your conversations focus on what’s most important to the other person? People would rather talk about themselves than anything you’re trying to sell to them. It is difficult to realize that our candidates and clients don’t really care about our opinion. That is why it’s so important to always focus on the benefits your candidates and clients will enjoy as a result of having you represent them.

It’s especially important to be aware of what you say when problems occur. This is when you have to be at your best. It’s important to develop an “outside | in” attitude, always seeing your services through the eyes of your candidates and clients. When you develop this attitude you won’t have to recover your words!

You have occasions every day to land your best client or attract additional top talent. Each day, you are capable of changing someone’s life for the better! If you don’t arrive at work each day with high expectations of yourself, opportunities will go to your co-workers or competitors.

Did you think of attending a conference but didn’t think you could afford to go? If that is the case, you are the exact person who should have attended.

Did you consider attending a networking event – but instead went home? You never know where you will meet the top talent you want to represent.

Life is too short to miss out on taking advantage of all opportunities and occasions that present themselves.

Focus on today and tomorrow. See the endless opportunities at your fingertips. If you want a record year this year, know your numbers and commit to hit the goals you set. If you have not attained your goals one month, the difference is adding to the next month.

You don’t want 2015 to be a “woulda, coulda and shoulda” year. Let’s make 2015 the year that you commit to the level of results you need each day, to consistently hit your production and income goals.

We are all part of the amazing staffing and recruiting profession. It is important that you remain positive when discussing your competitors to candidates and clients.

If you have an opportunity to promote our profession by writing an article, speaking at an event or being interviewed about the benefits of utilizing a staffing or recruiting firm, accept the opportunity. We change people’s lives every day and it’s time this message gets out to clients and candidates.

Follow this advice and you won’t worry about what you can’t recover!

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Is Your Recruiting Website Up-to-Date?

By Veronica Scrimshaw

DeathtoStock_Wired2Today’s guest blogger is Anne Downing with Demetrio & Associates, LLC located in greater Phoenix, Arizona. Demetrio & Associates is a boutique recruitment firm that has clients across the US as well as in international locations. The firm places candidates in sales & marketing, advertising, wireless and software positions. Anne is currently serving the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

In today’s recruiting world it is important to have a great website. Your recruiting website is your brand! Your clients, potential clients and candidates all view your website. You need to make your website – your brand – stand out.

If any of the below describe your website, then NOW is the time to update your site:

  1. Your content is not up to date. If you have old content on your site it is a big turn off for viewers. They will most likely leave your site once they view outdated content!
  2. Your website is not mobile friendly. Your site MUST be optimized for mobile devices. Over 75% of job seekers use mobile devices to conduct their job search. If your site is not mobile-friendly, then you are missing out on some great candidates.
  3. Your site isn’t found on search engines. Potential clients have to be able to find your recruiting website on search engines. You never know who is looking to hire a new recruitment agency, and you don’t want to miss out on new business.
  4. Your site is unresponsive. You need to have either a specific mobile site or a responsively-designed site. This means your site is designed to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
  5. Your site doesn’t allow visitors to ‘share’ content. Allowing visitors to share content will keep them on your site for a longer period of time. Including visual content in addition to text is much more appealing to the eye and will entice viewers to explore your site in detail.

If any of the above describes your site, I highly recommend updating your site NOW!  Don’t wait because every day you wait means you are missing out on potential business. Take the time to research the best options for your site and find a company that will build you the best site possible for your needs. Remember, potential clients and candidates are drawn to websites that are user-friendly, have great content and are mobile-optimized!

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5 Tips for Small Recruitment Firms to Remember

By Sarah Gawrys

competitive-advantage“You can always train on the technical side”, states Hilarie Geary of Executive Connections during an interview with Business Advice Centre regarding top recruitment tips for small businesses. Since the recession, many changes have occurred in the recruiting process, the top one being that strong candidates have become a commodity. As a small recruitment firm with limited resources, sourcing top talent can sometimes be difficult, but knowing the warning signs and following some of these tips can help step up your game as the economy begins to improve.

  1. Sell and Showcase. In order to stand out from other recruiters you must present a stronger face on the market, putting yourself out on public domain. Invest time and resources in a strong campaign both on your site and on social media that will drive candidates to you, and also create a network for yourself that will cause people to respect your brand. Post in special interest groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, and share with local business organizations as well as professional bodies. Sell your flexibility as a small business to attract clients. Small recruitment firms are able to be lenient around working hours and locations, and provide both clients and candidates with personal attention that they could not receive from a larger agency.
  2. Hire for Behavior. By reference checking your candidates, you are not only able to verify where they have been or what they have accomplished, but what their behavior has been. Being able to find out how flexible they are and how they need to be managed can be the best knowledge for a candidate your client is going to have to transition. If they do not have the technical skills, those can always be learned, while behavior is impossible to train.
  3. Recruitment Plan. Always have an ongoing workforce plan, don’t panic recruit. You can do this by matching planned headcount to projected growth rates so you can drive your own business growth. Be analytical about which tools you have used and make sure you always have a way to track and measure what where you had success, so that you do not repeat failures.
  4. Analyze. Consider using additional tools such as psychometric and skills testing to offer more information regarding your candidates and strengthen your recruitment process. By analyzing each tool and campaign you are able to ditch those strategies that provide poor return on investment and therefore evolve your process to be as effective as possible.
  5. Make the Right Hire. By setting up processes such as a training guide that covers the new hire’s duties and expectations of them, you will establish a client respect leading to more business. If you are unsure of a candidate, perhaps a short term contract or a freelance arrangement would be a better fit for them.

Too Many Job Interviews!

By Veronica Scrimshaw

frustrated-business-womanI think I have a new pet peeve – candidates who are subjected to endless job interviews. I’m talking 5, 6, or more interviews. It is madness! What do employers think they are gaining by this?

Here are 3 ways excessive job interviews are harmful to employers:

1. The best candidates back out. Top candidates simply don’t need to put up with an excessively-slow hiring process. They have other options, and will exercise those options.

2. The employer looks indecisive. Having candidates interview repeatedly sends a message that a company is disorganized, or indecisive, or both (or worse). That is not a strategy for attracting top talent.

3. The employer’s reputation is harmed. More and more candidates are posting reviews of their interview experiences on sites like Glassdoor. If the interview process is long, drawn-out, poorly communicated, with silly questions, candidates are going to share that information online. This negatively impacts an employer’s ability to attract top talent for future roles.

What’s behind all these job interviews? Fear of making a bad hire. No doubt about it, hiring decisions are big and important and need to be “done right.” Here are five ideas that will help employers feel more confident that they have an interview process that both evaluates candidates fairly and accurately and allows the employer to hire the person who can best “do the job.”

1. Develop a standard set of questions. Make sure every candidate is asked the same set of questions (and that the answers are documented). This is the only way to know if candidates are being evaluated on the same criteria. Pre-recorded video screening is a great way to do this.

2. Develop (and use!) a scale to score a candidate’s answers to interview questions. For each question, determine in advance what would be strong, average, and weak answers.

3. Determine, in advance, what success on the job looks like. For example, a specific project will have been completed, a new store will open, sales will be increased by a certain percentage or similar. Once success has been defined, it will be easier to develop questions that help an employer determine which candidates are likely to meet those targets.

4. Figure out which information needs to be gathered during each step of the process, and who needs to be involved. Without a defined process, candidates often are asked the same questions over and over again. Not only does this frustrate the job seeker, it also does NOT add value to the hiring process, since there is no new information being shared. If possible, limit the number of people involved in the interviews.

5. Tell the candidate in advance what kind of information is being sought. Job interviews are stressful! It *is* possible to have a rigorous interview process that still allows a candidate to focus her preparation on the skills and information that are most critical to an employer’s needs.

Too many job interviews alienate the best candidates and don’t improve hiring results. What’s your best tip for improving the hiring process?

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Better Job Postings, Better Candidates

By Dave Nerz

help-wanted-newspaperI get to see lots of position openings and jobs because the members of our recruitment network post their jobs on our job board. It is a very unique job board because it is a contingent job board. It is free to post, and if you make a placement then you pay a small fee for the postings that delivered results for you. That is why we refer to it as a contingent job board.

Quantity over quality has never been a recipe for success. As it relates to job openings advertised on a job board or to a fellow recruiter in a recruitment network, or promoted on aggregator sites like Indeed, a quality description will deliver superior results. Here are a few tips to make your job/position openings better:

Detail something specific about the employer. Can you state why people what to work at this company? Do they have great leadership, market position, history of promotion from within, culture, compensation program, bonus program, growth potential or a dozen other things that candidates care about? Make it real. Tell me about a candidate that you placed there or something that you experienced. For example, “The last 3 candidates I placed there have all been promoted and absolutely will require dynamite to blast them out of this company. They are so happy to be here.”

Make the posting read less stiff and more naturally. We can all cut and paste from a job description. That is not a talent, that is lazy. I can tell you that it also helps to have someone else read and comment on your posting before you make it live. I had crafted one for an NPAworldwide employee about a year ago and had a member read and comment on it. Wow, am I glad I did. She made the company and the job sound interesting and dynamic…by the way, we are, but I was so fixated on ticking off the correct details that I missed making it fun and exciting. You have all seen the postings that once you read the first line you can almost predict the next 10 lines of content will be bland and boring. The content is important for delivering the job opening to the right candidates from their job board searches but there is no reason you cannot make it more exciting and interesting…perhaps even unique and different. Maybe offer some examples of what a successful hire would accomplish in their first year.

Do not forget the basics. Did you know that Monster has sample descriptions for lots of jobs? Here is the link:

Be honest. Don’t sell someone on something that is not real. If it is long hours and low pay, maybe it should say something like, “This is a job that will require long hours. The starting salary is low but the long-term potential is worth the investment. This is not a good job for a 9-to-5er or a clock watcher.” If the employer churns and burns through people, capture the position as a good introductory stop in a career focused on XYZ, a solid point of entry into the industry, or a great way to build a foundation of experience in the ABC industry. Don’t sell a career if that will never happen.

Be specific. “The best candidates will have excellent writing skills and a passion for writing. They are easily understood when they write and they enjoy creating lots of content. It should come easy for the right person. Much of the day will be creating messages for external audiences and it needs to be an existing talent not a skill under development. And if you do not enjoy writing, this job is not for you.”

Better job postings will attract more of the right candidates. Do a side-by-side trial someday if you are not convinced. I know that different postings will be attractive to different people.

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8 Reasons to Attend Recruitment Conferences

By Veronica Scrimshaw

name-badgeI’m excited because just six weeks from today, members of NPAworldwide and NBN will convene for our 2015 Global Conference. This annual event brings together our members from all over the world for two days of networking, training, and trading group breakout sessions. It’s a whirlwind of noise and activity. I love how excited our members are to see old friends and make new ones. I love to watch new trading relationships bloom. And I especially love the “ah-ha” moments when a brand-new member realizes how belonging to our global split placement network is going to benefit their business. I think there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings with your closest business partners … and I’m not just saying that because I happen to plan our meetings.

Here are 8 reasons you should attend recruitment conferences:

Learn – Obviously, recruitment conferences are a great place to learn about your industry – from social media best practices to legal changes to growth markets, and many other areas.

Share – Sharing is also an important part of a recruitment conference. Not only can you share your own expertise with fellow participants, you can also share what you learned with others in your office, or even your clients and candidates. Some events allow you to live-share via social media such as Twitter or Facebook.

Network – This is often cited by NPAworldwide members as their #1 reason for attending our Global Conference. They want to meet new trading partners who can help them make placements. The more networking time available, the happier they are. This can come in the form of small group discussions, shared meals, breaks, or social activities. Everyone wants to be connected.

Recharge – Everyone gets in a rut from time to time. Attending recruitment conferences can be a great way to break free of the “same old, same old” way of doing things. Perhaps you’ve forgotten some basic tools, or let a few skills get rusty. Being around a group of successful recruiters will help you recharge, refocus, and get back to your desk with a sense of renewed purpose.

Evaluate – You’ve heard about a new tool or piece of software, but don’t know if you should purchase it? Here is your chance to evaluate them! Other participants are probably using them. Use some of your networking time to ask questions, see what others are doing, and evaluate whether you can make any changes.

Discover – Recruitment conferences can be a fantastic way to discover new service providers, whether that be web designers, job boards, ATS, aggregators, or any number of recruitment-related offerings. You’ll have a chance to speak directly with representatives from those companies, perhaps even satisfied customers. You might have an opportunity to save thousands of dollars or thousands of hours of your time.

Purchase – “Show special” pricing is no joke. Whether it’s books, tapes, or other training materials available from the conference speaker, or other special deals, you can find some out-of-this-world discounts. It’s easy to dismiss the “show floor” as unnecessary. Don’t.

Visit – Last but not least, recruitment conference offers you the chance to travel, to visit a place you haven’t been before, to tie in a trip to meet up with clients, candidates, family, or distant friends. Get your money’s (and time’s!) worth out of the conference destination!

What’s your top reason for attending recruitment conferences? Share in the comments below!

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5 HUGE Lessons Recruiters Must Learn from 2014’s Biggest Outcomes

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Our guest blogger today is Siofra Pratt with Social Talent, Europe’s leading provider of online and social media training specific to the recruitment and staffing industry. We are excited to announce that Social Talent is also a new Alliance Partner with NPAworldwide and will be part of our upcoming Global Conference.

Lessons Recruiters Must Learn

We may have waved goodbye to the year that was 2014, but that doesn’t mean we can just stride boldly into 2015 without acknowledging the fact that it existed and without applying what we’ve learned from it, to our new thinking going forward. Oh no! 2014 was choc-a-block with lessons to be learned, tips to take note of and techniques to be applied to how we go about sourcing in 2015, and we want to make sure you didn’t miss any of them:

Mobile Usage Surpassed Desktop

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnIn 2014, mobile was no longer just an up and coming technology to be thought about in future terms. 1.75 BILLION people (that’s a quarter of the earth’s entire population) owned a smartphone and for the first time ever, more people had access to the internet on a mobile device than on a desktop computer. And the mobile phenomenon had quite the impact on the recruitment industry:

  • Mobile changed job search

3 in 5 job seekers used mobile devices to search for jobs. 68% of them were searching for jobs once a week and 30% were searching more than once a day. Peak times for job search also changed. Unlike desktop job searches that usually took place at 9AM, mobile usage began to peak after office hours at 8PM and was more consistent throughout the day.

  • Mobile changed the job application process

Globally, 70% of job seekers desired the ability to apply for jobs via their mobile device and as a result, were seeing just over 100,000 mobile job applications a day in 2014. 40% of candidates said they would abandon a non-mobile application process, and employers who accepted mobile applications were twice as likely to receive as many quality applicants.

  • Mobile changed job boards

Nearly 1 in 3 job seekers preferred the mobile versions of job boards in 2014, claiming they’re cleaner looking, easier to navigate and more user friendly. While half of all job searches on were carried out on mobile devices.

  • Mobile finally gave us the key to passive candidates

While 45% of active candidates have applied for a job via mobile in 2014 and 43% uploaded their CV to a mobile job site, 21% of passive candidates have also APPLIED for a job via mobile and 21% have also uploaded their CV to a mobile job site. And a whopping 62% of passive candidates have visited a careers site via their mobile.

  • Mobile gave recruiters an advantage

14% of recruiters using mobile platforms in 2014 said they had seen a significant improvement in their time to hire. 19% found the quality of their hires had improved from using mobile platforms. And 10% felt using mobile platforms had improved the quantity of referrals they receive.

***So what can all of this teach us going forward in 2015?

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnWell, it teaches us that mobile is now an essential element of the recruitment process, not just a desired one. Candidates are favouring mobile job search processes and are actively disengaging with companies that fail to provide mobile-friendly career sites and job application processes. Therefore, your sourcing success in 2015 will depend heavily upon your mobile options.

The perfect 2015 mobile careers site will ensure 2 things:

  1. that candidates are easily able to navigate your site on a smaller screen
  2. that only the content that appears on the site is the content the candidate wants to see

While the perfect 2015 mobile application experience will ensure:

  1. the process takes no longer than 90 seconds
  2. ease of use is optimised

For more information on exactly how to achieve each of these things, click here.

Today’s Job Market is Candidate Driven

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnThe tables have officially turned! Job seekers are now in control of the job market and recruiters have to adapt to their needs.

MRINetwork’s most recent Recruiter Sentiment Study says 83% of the 333 responding recruiters describe the current employment market as candidate-driven. In 3 years, the percentage of recruiters who say candidates are in the driver’s seat has risen 29 points. And, as one of the survey’s participating recruiters noted, “It is definitely and without a doubt a candidate-driven market, however many employers are still labouring under the same processes as they did when it was an employer-driven market”.

Indeed, in the past, the application process in particular has always favoured recruiters and employers. We expected that if a candidate wanted a job badly enough, they would take time out of their schedule to put together an application and fill out our forms regardless of how long it might take them. We’ve also always assumed that we need not contact everyone who has applied, just the people we believe are a good fit for the job in the end. Not any more! Throughout 2014 it became increasingly apparent that candidates were starting to develop negative opinions about companies with bad application processes.

Nowadays, if the application process takes too long or a candidate doesn’t hear back from a company after spending a long period of time filling out an application form, candidates start to feel like it was a mistake to waste their time applying to that company in the first place, when they could have applied elsewhere. Such bad feeling has been known to lead to poor company ratings and bad publicity, none of which you want if you’re trying to attract top quality talent.

***So what can all of this teach us going forward in 2015?

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnThe most important thing to remember when setting out or amending your application process, is that it is a two-sided process. And in order to establish a positive relationship with all potential candidates you need to have a courteous, easy application process in place that, at a bare minimum, adheres to these two prerequisites:

  • Provide Feedback

Your application process should recognise the people that go through it. Candidates do not look kindly on being left in the dark when it comes to the hiring process. If a candidate took the time to apply for your job in the first place, you should take the time to put together a proper response for why they didn’t get the job. Feedback builds better candidate’s for the future and will make the candidate respect your decision, because as Stacy Zapar Donovan said “Today’s “no” candidate is tomorrow’s “yes” candidate (or source of referral) so never burn a bridge.

  • Go Mobile 

As we already saw, 60% of job seekers now use their mobiles to search for jobs and almost half of them are applying for the jobs they find via their mobiles on their mobiles too. 40% of candidates will abandon a non-mobile application process. But employers who accept mobile applications are twice as likely to receive as many quality applicants. So having a mobile optimised application process is a no-brainer.

For a full run down of everything your 2015 application process needs to provide the perfect candidate experience, click here.

Employer Branding became an Essential Element of the Recruitment Process

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnIn 2014, the recruitment industry finally started to realise that job postings and recruitment software weren’t enough in the effort to win the war for talent, and in order to stop top talent being stolen from them in 2015, they needed to start properly investing in what J.T. O’Donnell (Careerealism’s CEO) calls “the single most disruptive recruitment technique we’ve seen in 2 decades” – or what we call, Employment Branding.

In 2014, Employer Branding became less about “It’s all about us, the company, we’re amazing!” and become much more “It’s about our people“. As a result companies like Deloitte and Jameson began to recognise that in order to attract the type of candidates they wanted, they needed to show those potential candidates that their current employees are just like them and they are really enjoying their role in the company.

In their employer branding video, Deloitte, instead of the usual/predictable format detailing how ‘great’ the company is and how ‘fun’ it is to work there, decided to make their current cohort of interns, the stars of the show. Deloitte showcase their experiences with the company internship process so far and what they hope to achieve from it and do so in an approachable, humorous way. Similarly, Jameson didn’t try to impose their corporate culture or message upon us in their employer  branding video. They made their’s about the 2 girls taking part in their graduate scheme and the girls’ experiences as real members of the Jameson team. They also went on to show how those experiences benefitted the girls personally.

***So what can all of this teach us going forward in 2015?

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnTo ensure your Employer Branding efforts are up to scratch in 2015, the first thing you need to do is find the stories within your firm. Every single one of your employees has a story to tell of their time and experience in your company. Find your “Trojan Horses” that will carry your talent brand story along for the ride and let them tell their story in their own words. Make it all about them.

Secondly, determine how you’re going to tell those stories. Ask yourself, how you want to make potential candidates feel when they see this piece of employer branding. The third thing you need to do is determine which social network works best for you and your employees to share their stories on e.g. a video on Youtube, in a weekly post on Facebook etc. And finally, just ensure that your efforts involve your people!

For much more help in trying to achieve this, click here.

Job Postings with Images Attracted More Candidates

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnIn 2014, a picture definitely wrote a thousand words. When asked if they would be more attracted to a company with job postings that included visual elements (images or videos), than to a company with postings that didn’t, 51% of respondents to a survey by Software Advice, said they would be more attracted to a company with job postings that incorporated visual elements. In fact, not only could visuals boost a company’s attractiveness to potential employees, they could also boost the company’s credibility in their eyes. It turns out that the better looking a job ad is, the more professional the organisation who posted it, will look and the more credible both the ad and company will appear.

Similarly, we found that visual Twitter Cards proved to be a huge success for us when promoting our blog content. In fact, in the first 5 weeks of using Twitter cards to promote our content we have saw a 63% increase in the number of link clicks our tweets have received!

***So what can all of this teach us going forward in 2015?

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnIt teaches us that if our job postings lack visual content, we could potentially be missing out on the best talent for our company.

As a result, companies would be well-advised to revise their profiles and job postings on sites such as LinkedIn, and try to include images and videos in them as much as possible. They should also take a look at their ATS. Many applicant tracking systems support branding and design capabilities for including valuable visual elements on company careers pages, and they are well worth utilising.

And finally, give Twitter Cards a go. If they could raise our link clicks by 63% (and they did!), imagine the possibilities for attracting candidates to your open roles via Twitter. Click here for our guide on how to set them up and use them.

Promises of a Higher Salary Didn’t Necessarily Secure the Candidate

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnGone are the days when the promise of a higher salary would lure a potential candidate to take a job. In 2014, a raise in pay wasn’t the key ‘be all and end all’ of enticing someone to take a new job elsewhere. Instead, candidates tended to focus on the opportunities the company could offered it’s current employees and how those opportunities could help them grow and expand as a person and an employee.

Apart from a raise, we discovered that the most successful ways to entice tech candidates in 2014 were:

  • telecommuting opportunities (in fact, roles offering telecommuting opportunities received 3-6x more applicants than those that didn’t, and 33% of IT workers said they would take a 10% pay cut for the chance to work remotely.)
  • the chance to work with new technologies
  • career advancement opportunities

And the top 3 perks that attracted non-digital workers to change their employer in 2014 were:

  1. Opportunities for advancement
  2. Leadership from senior management
  3. Benefits and compensation

***So what can all of this teach us going forward in 2015?

Lessons Recruiters Must LearnYour job is to find what it is that your current employees love about their perks and their work environment, and sell that.

There are loads of ideas for inexpensive perks that you can implement for your team, helping to boost employee productivity and also help attract people. For example:

  • Flexitime – late starts or early finishes
  • Family days for when kids are on half-days from school or are ill
  • Work-From-Home Days
  • Pizza Fridays or Cinema Nights
  • Fresh fruit in your office – we do this at Social Talent, and we’re so much healthier because of it!
  • Group gym membership – this is often much cheaper when there’s loads of you, and many will charge you by the month which may be a more affordable option. Plus, exercise has the added benefit of improving both the productivity and health of your team, reducing costs.

2014 was a year of significant change within the recruitment industry and it thought us that if we hope to survive in this business long-term, we need to be able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of the candidates we seek. You now have the information to do so, so what the bloody hell are you waiting for?! Get out there and own 2015!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post  :-)

At Social Talent we produce content for recruiters to read, enjoy and learn from 5 days a week including ‘How to’ guides, Top 10’s, infographics, industry news and much more from the world of recruitment. So, if you feel like you’d like to read more (of course you do!), please visit or follow us on Twitter at @socialtalent

If you’d like more information on our online recruitment training course, the Black Belt in Internet Recruitment, give us a ring on +353 1 524 1285 and on of our delightful team members will be there to have a chat!

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