A Split Placement Story to Warm You Up This Winter

By Sarah Gawrys

man-reading-newspaperAs December approaches and Grand Rapids is already buried in snow, it is clear to see that winter has arrived. While this is no regular Christmas carol, this split placement tale from recruiters at NPAworldwide will at least bring good cheer. This network using a database connects different recruiters around the world and creates placements. With more than 400 member firms in 32 different countries, strong trading partners are always awaiting.

The use of teamwork and even more interesting, the practice of international teamwork, were what drove the placement that happened when Jason Brevard of Professional Outlook, Inc. (Holland, Michigan) and Dan Glass of Go Global Partners (Sydney, Australia) worked together to provide the best candidate for Jason’s client. According to Jason Brevard, he shared his open position in Texas, USA with the members of NPAworldwide and not long after he received a phone call from Dan Glass wanting to discuss this position. They spent some time discussing what the client was looking for and really, “all of the selling points for the role and company.” Within just a week or two Dan Glass was ready to present a couple of candidates. He brought to the table candidates that were qualified options that Jason was willing to present to the client with the position. Finally, within a few weeks the two recruiters had an offer and through their cooperative approach an acceptance soon followed. If you paid attention to the location of these firms, you will see how amazing it is that this placement was for a position in Texas, yet filled by recruiters in Michigan and Australia. Remember to keep your horizons broad when asking clients for roles you can fill, especially if you have expanded reach due to your connections.

Now, in speaking with Jason Brevard about this split, he wanted it to be clear that this was by no means a “slam dunk” placement. The moral of this story was that truly a combination of hard work and effort from both recruiters. Jason Brevard even stated, “This was a good example of an importer/exporter working together throughout the entire process.”

While NPAworldwide does offer the ability to access qualified candidates for your jobs and jobs for your candidates, the true key is having the ability to work with other recruiters to make your placement successful. This is something to remember even if you are not part of a trusted network, and make split placements on your own with reaching out through various avenues.

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Job Seeker Salaries on the Rise

By Veronica Scrimshaw

blue-arrows-growthI took a look at some of the placement data we capture from our members, and it is clear that job seeker salaries are on the rise compared to a year ago. In fact, two-thirds of the placements reported by our members this year involve a salary of at least USD $80,000 annually, compared to 63% of placements a year ago. In each of the past two years, the single largest salary category is $100,000 and above. The growth in job seeker salaries is consistent with a candidate-short market; traditional laws of supply-and-demand are clearly at work.

The highest salaries we have been seeing are in the chemical process and IT / hardware / software / electronics areas. Here is a sampling from the past four months:

  • Plant Manager, chemical industry, $180,000
  • Director of Operations, chemical industry, $175,000
  • Business Systems Project Manager, food & beverage industry, $163,000
  • IT Site Manager, food & beverage industry, $132,000
  • Senior Performance Analyst, software industry, $127,000
  • Senior Project Manager, oil/gas, drilling industry, $120,000
  • Test Engineer, electronics & semi-conductor industry, $118,000
  • Process Control Engineer, chemical industry, $110,000
  • Production Engineer, chemical industry, $105,000

It is interesting to note that in the chemical process segment, we have had both an increase in salaries as well as a decrease in the number of total placements year-over-year. Members are anecdotally reporting that clients are still too slow to hire, in the mistaken belief that there is still widespread unemployment. There is still tremendous demand for candidates (chemical process jobs represent about 37% of the total jobs in our shared database), in spite of the recent decline in the price of crude oil. Candidates have an extremely short shelf-life and are able to command multiple offers. Counteroffers have also increased as companies are reluctant to lose high-value employees, knowing they may not easily find new talent.

There has been a modest increase (6%) in placement activity in the IT / hardware / software / electronics segment, and another modest increase (7%) in the manufacturing / mining / construction /supply chain segment. Jobs in the IT / hardware / software / electronics segment remain especially plentiful and account for approximately 20% of the total openings shared by NPAworldwide members.

Independent recruiters should be in a position to financially benefit due to the rise in job seeker salaries and the continued talent shortage.

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You’re Not Just a Recruiter Anymore

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Wishon-hi-resOur guest blogger is David Wishon, the Senior Director of Talent Fusion by Monster responsible for service delivery. Talent Fusion provides comprehensive recruiting and sourcing solutions to its customers by utilizing Monster’s products, patented technology and industry expertise. Prior to joining Monster, he was Senior Vice President for Bank of America responsible for internet sourcing and competitive intelligence.

Today’s recruitment professionals have to be able to market opportunities to a variety of generations, all of which think and behave very differently.

If you’re in recruiting — or any profession these days — you’re hearing a lot about one generation in particular. The “Millennials.” You know, the 18- to 31-year-olds who will make up nearly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2020 (when they will be 24- to 37-year-olds).

They are more educated than any previous generation and they are motivated in a variety of unexpected ways when it comes to their jobs and careers. They look at social connection and opportunity engagement differently from those who belong to other generations.

So it sounds then like we know quite a bit about them. Or do we? And do you, as an individual recruiter, know how to reach these potential job candidates and engage them effectively?

Recruiters today wear many hats and the role is going through considerable evolution. You’re a data analyst, a project manager, a brand marketer, and a relationship developer. You need to arm yourself with serious knowledge, serious technology, and leverage the most impactful communication channels to attract the talent you need, regardless of generation, age or experience.

But there is interesting data available for those in “Generation Y.”

A Millennial’s place in the workforce

Millennials are digital natives, and they’re all connected in some form. Take Twitter for example: According to a study by eMarketer, which takes into account data direct from the platform, 37.4 percent of people in the United States aged 18 to 24 are on Twitter. That number grows to 44.2 percent for the same demographic by 2018, the study says.

Not to mention the volume of people on Twitter outside of that age range. Twitter, as a recruiting channel, is not new but it is important to reiterate that these numbers are staggering. These are all potential job candidates, connected by interests, occupations and hobbies. If they are all on Twitter, why aren’t you? If you’re a recruiter, and you’re not using Twitter, then you’re already missing out on a huge gold mine.

And the simplicity of the service makes it possible to leverage Twitter in both personal and professional ways: Anyone, anywhere can set up a profile, establish a handle and begin to send messages to an audience that can grow quickly. But how do you prepare, set up and manage your Twitter presence?

Of course it begins with signing up for the platform, choosing a username (your handle) and customizing your settings with relevant media. After that you’re in the game.

Now you, like everyone else, get 140 characters to get your message across. That message can include links to content (job listings), embedded photos and a variety of other available media. You have the opportunity to serve up content your desired audience can find, but also to engage directly with them. Using Twitter effectively does require commitment but it can also be made easy.

Well, luckily companies like Monster are building tools to help with some of the key areas around the social equation. Monster Twitter Cards help the process along by allowing you to push your tweets beyond the 140-character limit with crucial information about the available jobs you need filled. And there’s another key component to this particular product: It’s automated to save you precious time.

Ultimately, it’s about people

The channels, networks and tools at your disposal are more robust and built-out than ever before. But consider them merely an enabler. They are nowhere near as effective without the human touch behind the scenes to connect, engage and bring life to social. Millennials care about working for organizations that demonstrate realness. Recruiters would do well to put this on display first and foremost, no matter the channel of choice.

So I encourage you not to feel intimidated if Twitter is uncharted territory. Take the attitude that this is a new frontier to explore. It is not too late to start now. Great talent of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels spend time there, engage there and — most of all — are attracted to great opportunities they may find there.

Suffice it to say: Recruiting is alive and well, and there is no replacement for a good recruiter. So use social and Twitter as another tool in your bag of tricks.

And if you still haven’t gotten started, what are you waiting for? After all, the candidates are already there.

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Counteroffers: Just When You Thought You Were Ready to Leave

By Veronica Scrimshaw

rope-tugOur guest blogger is Tanya Sobti of Arnold Group Australia in Melbourne, Australia. Arnold Group Australia has been a member of NPAworldwide since 2004. Arnold Group Australia has a number of specialist divisions that provide recruitment services in safety, injury management, general insurance, broking, sales and marketing, and shared service.

I recently had a counteroffer situation which has prompted me to put my thoughts on paper.

In my opinion, most people decide to look for a new job due to one of two reasons: the push and pull factor come into play here. These reasons are:


  • Seeking new challenges or career growth — essentially the “pull” into a more enticing opportunity and a positive environment.
  • The lack of financial rewards and career growth, poor culture etc. — essentially factors that “push” you to seek an environment that is better.

The cost of replacing an employee, especially in a candidate-short market, can be quite high. Hence, some employers make counteroffers to save themselves the trouble of recruiting a replacement and do everything they can do to keep the current incumbent. Sometimes these counteroffers are accepted. However, the statistics are 80% of these employees leave the organization within 6 months because the real reasons for wanting to leave have not disappeared.

Once you’ve made your employer know you’re not happy, it’s never the same again. From this day forward you will always be considered a fidelity risk. Having once demonstrated your lack of loyalty (for whatever reason), you are likely to lose your status as a “team player” and your place in the inner circle. Counteroffers are only made in response to a threat to quit. Will you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit every time you deserve better working conditions?

Accepting a counter offer rarely eliminates the factors that drove you to look for a new job in the first place. Even in the rare instance that these factors were resolved, why did it take a resignation for you to get better working conditions, career progression, salary raise etc.? Did your employer not think it was worth it before?

Counteroffers should never be accepted….EVER! Those very few instances where accepting a counter offer is beneficial occur just about as frequently as being struck by lightning.

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Global Talent Shortage Continues

By Veronica Scrimshaw

help-wantedManpower Group’s annual Talent Shortage Survey shows that 36% of employers worldwide are reporting talent shortages in 2014 – this is the highest level in seven years. Globally, Japan reports the most dire news, with more than 80% of employers saying they are having difficulty filling open jobs. Significant talent shortages are reported throughout Latin America, with 67% of Peruvian employers indicating talent shortages.

Other survey highlights include:

The global talent shortage is impacting employers in almost every part of the world. The five countries reporting the most difficulty filling open jobs are:

  • Japan – 81%
  • Peru – 67%
  • India – 64%
  • Argentina – 63%
  • Brazil – 63%

Other notable countries above the average (36%) are:

  • New Zealand – 59%
  • Australia – 41%
  • USA – 40%

Interestingly, Spain (3%) and Ireland (2%) are reporting little difficulty filling open jobs, despite being among the hardest-hit areas of the Eurozone recession. These two countries have also suffered from sustained weak job markets.

Once again, the worst shortages exist in the skilled trades. Engineers are the second-hardest candidates to find. Among the remaining top ten hardest-to-fill jobs are accounting & finance professionals as well as IT staff.

Over half of all employers participating in the global talent shortage survey indicate that the talent shortage is impacting their business. Negative impacts include a reduced ability to serve customers, reduction in competitiveness, lower productivity, and reduced employee engagement.

The survey also asked employers to indicate steps they are taking to combat the pervasive global talent shortage. Fewer than half have implemented strategies such as providing additional training or development. Only 25% of respondents have started to change their hiring process to include candidates who may not currently have the exact technical skills, but DO have the potential to learn and grow.

The Manpower survey puts the onus on human resource professionals to adopt three new critical roles in order to help companies develop a flexible and agile workforce. These new roles are:

Supply-and-Demand Experts: Understanding how the demand for their companies’ products and services impacts the demand for talent.

Marketers: Developing branding, messaging, and corporate image to focus on attracting and retaining talent, much as traditional marketing efforts have helped position a company’s products and services.

Designers: Adopting a focus on the outcomes of work as opposed to the traditional focus on jobs.




Stop Making These Recruiter Mistakes

By Sarah Gawrys

stop-signAs independent recruiters, it is difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing industry and not get caught up in the standard pitfalls that come with the territory. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is easy to make promises you can not necessarily keep, take on more than you can possibly handle, or let those tasks on your list fall off without completion.

It is important to stay true to your brand, and most importantly to treat each client and candidate with the same respect to keep your reputation of integrity. Below are some common recruiter mistakes that seem to happen when times are busy:

  1. Stop working dumb. This is another way of me telling you to find the smartest strategy to manage time and a full desk. Jeremy Sisemore speaks on how to build a $1 million dollar recruiting desk, and his strategy starts with planning. Use your time on clients who will give you full fees and fire those clients that won’t accept your competitive fees. Learn to walk away from low fees, and strive more towards getting exclusivity from those clients who have proven to be good clients.
  2. Strive for high level searches. Have influential hiring managers introduce you to other hiring managers within the same organization. On these, Jeremy Sisemore gives the advices to offer a performance guarantee if you are granted a retainer on the search. Tell your client that they will get the retainer back if you fail to deliver X amount of qualified candidates within a specific timeframe.
  3. Under-promise and over-deliver. In any aspect of life, always remember to only promise what is realistic. This will gain respect and clients will value your honesty. Once you begin to let people down by not being able to deliver, your reputation will be tainted as that is what you will be remembered by.
  4. If you don’t like them, your trading partners won’t either. If you happen to be in a split placement network such as NPAworldwide, have respect for your partners when asking for help filling a position. If you hate working with a particular client, chances are high that your trading partner will also be frustrated by the long wait, uncertain decision making, and unstable fees. Be upfront with trading partners as to how difficult a position may be to fill, and let them make an honest decision if they want to help you with the search. Same with candidates. If you have had difficulty placing a candidate due to several concerns that arise, do not place them in front of a trading partner in hopes of them having any better luck.
  5. Have a healthy desk. A desk should have about 20-30+ assignments and job opening with clients at any given time. If you have much more than that, you are probably not able to devote the appropriate time to the searches, and if you have less, look to adding split placements to your business model to build your business.
  6. Keep the relationships you have. With technology making things less personal, and the pressure to grow and quickly accomplish searches building, it is easy to forget about those clients that have been loyal and have made you successful. Strive to visit those key account or local clients on at least a yearly basis, quarterly if you are able.

If you have an interest in adding split business to your independent recruiting firm, feel free to contact me.

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Recruiters Have Rights, Too

By Dave Nerz

quill-pen-inkI recently saw an infographic called The Job Seeker’s Bill of Rights. It was a well done piece on what a candidate should expect or demand when working with a recruitment firm or recruiter. Some of the more controversial items were a right to:

  • Know your recruiter’s opinion on how you compare to others put forward for the job.
  • Register with as many recruiters and recruitment agencies as you want.

Many of the items were common sense items with no real impact on the recruiter, the candidate or the way the recruitment process normally flows.

It got me thinking about what should a recruiter expect and demand from a candidate? Here are a few…maybe you can add your favorites???

RECRUITER’S BILL OF RIGHTS (What recruiters can expect of candidates)

  1. Recruiters have the right to respect and civility when contacting prospective candidates. It is OK for a candidate to say they have “no interest in being recruited”…no need to be rude or hostile.
  2. Recruiters have the right to work with truthful candidates. Candidates should never say “yes” when they mean “no.”
  3. Recruiters have the right to work with candidates who honor commitments. If a candidate says they are ready to interview, and an interview is offered…take the interview.
  4. Recruiters have the right to speak the truth to candidates. If a candidate is not a good fit or is not at the right experience level, a recruiter can be direct and honest with a candidate.
  5. Recruiters have the right to timely feedback. Candidates need to call the recruiter with feedback immediately after an interview.
  6. Recruiters have the right to a motivated candidate who does not make excuses when they do not act in the best interest of gaining an offer. If a candidate is asked to do company research prior to an interview or send a thank you note following an interview, they do it. No excuses.
  7. Recruiters have the right to ask for exclusivity on a candidate’s search. The candidate can say “no” and the recruiter has the right to lower the priority of the candidate’s search if it is not exclusive with that recruiter.
  8. Recruiters have the right to know all the other potential jobs and opportunities a candidate is pursuing. Since most recruiters are working free of change until successful deal is done, they need to know what else is in consideration, so they know the potential for success.
  9. Recruiters have the right to assign action steps and hold candidates accountable for completing assignments. A candidate should complete the resume as requested, talk to spouse or partners about a potential move, do research on the company before an interview and anything else they are assigned to do.
  10. Recruiters have the right to “fire” any candidate that fails to live up to the expectations listed above. Many recruiters work on a contingent basis and only get paid if a deal is done…so it is only fair that they do not waste the precious resource of time on a candidate that is less than committed to being fair.

What would you add or change???

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The Value of a Recruiter

By Dave Nerz

silver-clock-with-coinsRecruitment organizations are being challenged from all sides. Employers and candidates are looking for alternate ways to locate talent or to seek employment. Specifically, as it relates to employers, the age-old recruitment model is being threatened by in-house recruiting functions, recruitment technology tools, off-shore sourcing models, and low-cost posting options. All of these tools, methods and services are about the “finding” component of recruiting. These options are all based on the premise that “finding” is the key to a successful new hire for employers. While this can be true for lower level and entry level jobs, the facts are that for the more mission-critical types of roles at the key contributor, manager, director and above levels, finding is the easiest component of the recruiting process. The key to success in these competitive and mission-critical roles is in the “selection and persuasion” of candidates. That is where the value of a recruiter is greatest.

Ask yourself how many times you have been “found” by a sales agent of any sort…telephone companies, computer service providers, gyms, weight loss services, make-money-from-home employers, and hundreds more. They found you, they email you, some even start calling you. Have they converted you to a customer? My guess is that in most cases the answer is no. Have they spent any time doing more than repeating their message daily or weekly via email or voice messages? No, they have not. They are concentrated on “finding” but are ineffective at converting you through the power of conversation and persuasion. In fact, there is little time spent or invested in the “selection” process. They have no idea if you truly need what they offer, they just keep banging the same drum regardless of need or fit.

Many recruitment models are like these online and phone sales agents. They fail to leverage the value of selection and persuasion but rather focus only on finding targets. This is where recruitment organizations earn the fee. Recruiters are capable of selecting the right targets from a collection of many targets. Recruitment firms are experts in using their skills to select based on the criteria and fit characteristics shared by the employer. Once the right targets have been identified, a professional recruitment agency will then begin the process of persuading a candidate to consider a move. This is not as easy as calling the candidate and saying, “Want a new job?” It is an exercise in courting and persuasion. It typically begins with a complete understanding of what would motivate this candidate to make a change. Absent any motivation for change or perhaps the wrong motivation for change (money only, about to be fired, et cetera) the finding of a target is a dead end. The work begins after the right target is identified and a motivation that is appropriate is discovered.

As an employer, if you want the candidates that are easily distracted, ready to jump ship, have little motivation or the wrong motivation for change, then a process that excludes a professional recruitment organization is acceptable. If you want the best fit candidates, with appropriate motivation for change, to be selected and sold on you as an employer, then pay the fee to a professional recruiter and let that recruiter earn the fee. The value of a recruiter is that they can “select” the right candidates to target and will “persuade” those candidates to consider you as an employer. I have not seen a website or electronic service that can do those things effectively.

When do you find value in using a recruiter?


Make Split Placements Part of Your Recruiting Business

By Veronica Scrimshaw

keypadIt’s the time of year when entrepreneurs are developing next year’s budget for their recruiting business. If you are the owner of an independent recruiting agency, you should seriously consider adding split placements as part of your business mix next year. Split placements, where two recruiters from different agencies share the client’s fee, can be a terrific way to more effectively serve your clients and candidates.

Market your “leftover” candidates. When you present a shortlist of qualified candidates to your client and only one gets hired, what do you do with the others? It’s a candidate-short market. If you have qualified candidates, there are recruiters out there who can place them!

Expand your business coverage. Are you turning down jobs because they are outside your normal vertical or geographic market? Split placements can allow you to confidently say “yes” to more jobs. If your client needs a .Net developer and you typically provide accountants, consider split placements. Or, if your local client needs help filling a role in another country, reach out to a split placement partner for assistance.

Level out market fluctuations. Split placements allow you to complete more deals. More deals = more money and that’s good news in ANY economy. If your niche is soft (or slowing down), reaching out to split placement partners can pay the bills until your normal market recovers.

Fill more jobs without increasing overhead. If you have more jobs than you can fill, but don’t want the overhead associated with hiring your own recruiters, split placements are a great solution. You’ll gain instant access to more recruiters without having to train them, pay them, or invest in the tools to support their activities. Even better, you only pay your partners when you need them.

Split placements can be a lucrative addition to your recruiting business. It takes time to find the right partners and create the working relationships that allow splits to flourish. To be really successful, you’ll want to start building your network before you need it. There are a variety of options for making split placements, from figuring it out all on your own, to loose affiliations or groups on LinkedIn or other social media, to joining a formal recruiting network. There’s no right or wrong way to build your network of trusted partners, but if you want splits to be part of your business next year, start now!

Download our free checklist to help you evaluate split placement networks here:

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End of Year Motivation For Recruiters

By Sarah Gawrys

50-Motivational-Business-Quotes-c-Epreneur-TV-300x172Every independent recruiter or entrepreneur has had one of those days, weeks, or even months where the road to success can be full of bumps and dead ends, and ultimately seem like a lonely game. Especially here, where the end of the year is coming close, and holiday gatherings with family and friends will start taking you away from work, and it may seem easy to write off time, thinking that you will regain momentum next year.

I encourage you to keep going. I challenge you to pull out the business goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year, and if you have not hit them, realize you have over two months left to crank out some results, or set up your business to perform better in the upcoming year. If you have a running list of vendors, marketing programs, or recruitment networks you planned on checking out, invest the time now. If you had plans to hire more staff, or devote more time to certain tasks, invest in that planning now.

It will take many failed attempts to eventually hit the business model that fits in with your vision and goals, as well as lifestyle. When I find myself struggling in business or lacking motivation, I turn to inspirational quotes to regain focus and change my mindset to positive. Here are my some of my favorites:

  • “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” ~ Henry Ford
  • “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” ~Warren Buffett
  • “You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” ~ Steve Jobs
  • “People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
  • “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
  • “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” ~ Henry Ford
  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
  • “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ~Mark Zuckerberg
  • “Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~ Frederick B Wilcox
  • “If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know and start charging for it.” ~ Kim Garst
  • “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” ~ David Rockefeller
  • “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” ~ William Durant
  • “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~Warren Buffett
  • “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.”~Jeff Bezos

Do you have any that I did not include that you turn to personally? Share them in the comments!

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