Do You Cha-Cha?

By Veronica Scrimshaw

ballroom-dancer-femaleToday’s guest blogger is Gary Harvey, the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or Gary is also one of the featured speakers for the 2015 NPAworldwide Global Conference.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

A few weeks ago, I was in Southern California on business, and I walked by a shop that had the following sign outside:

“An optimist is someone who figures taking a step back after a step forward is not a disaster –it’s more like the cha-cha!!”

I love this phrase and took a picture of it.  I have always considered myself an optimist – I have to self-monitor with a dose of realism at times so the optimism stays in check at least a little. Admittedly, that is a challenge for me; I prefer the glass half-full to the glass half-empty.

What came to your mind when you read the above quote? What was your instant reaction? Did you agree? Laugh? Did it support or not support your belief system. Did you say to yourself, “Oh sure, that’s easy for some to say.” Did you say, “But who wants to cha-cha?” Did you view it with optimism or pessimism? Hopefully, it made you ask yourself, “How do I view obstacles?”

I mentioned I’m an inherent optimist. Example: “I heard there’s a recession; however, I have decided not to participate in it.” My dose of realism adds that I’m not advocating in both business and sales you put your head in the sand and hope you survive it. Hope is not a strategy.

Acknowledge that it has been a challenge out there – so what?  Odds are, it might be a challenge for some time for some sectors of the economy. What do you do then with that reality? Is the glass half full – there are still plenty of prospects in this economy to still call on and I just need to go find them? Or is it, “No one is buying so why bother prospecting?”

Note earlier I didn’t use the words it’s “tough” or “difficult” out there in this economy. These to me are very negative, energy-draining words. I prefer to use the word “challenging.” Say the words out loud, “tough” or “difficult.” Note how your body feels. Drained? Depressed?

Then say the word, “challenging.” Notice any difference in not only your tone but how you feel when you say that word? Do you say it with optimism as many of my clients do when I coach them in this exercise? Or do you say it with pessimism?

Business and sales in particular can be laden every day with challenges. Some days, you take a step forward. Some days, you take a step back.  That’s realism. My question to you is, “Do you cha-cha or sit on the side lines and watch the others have fun dancing?”

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Split Fee Placement Agreement


Add Video to Your Passive Recruiting Strategy

By Veronica Scrimshaw

woman-thinking-at-deskToday’s guest blogger is Justin Mosgrober, Marketing Coordinator at InterviewStream – the pioneer in online video interviewing. Since 2003, InterviewStream (an NPAworldwide Alliance Partner) has helped companies generate great candidate experiences and remarkable returns through Web-based video screening, interviewing and preparation. InterviewStream provides a scalable approach that fits with customers’ unique business needs to achieve breakthrough results. Clients rely on InterviewStream for the perfect combination of proven value and endless possibility.

So you’re ready to fill a job req, but after conducting many interviews you’re still not convinced any of the remaining candidates are right. According to, traditional hiring costs an organization between $1,500 and $5,000 per hire, making hiring one of the most important investments a company can make. In addition to those expenses, organizations have to spend more money to provide appropriate training and development. It simply costs too much for organizations to make a bad hire.

The best recruiters court passive candidates to help companies make the right hire the first time. 79 percent of working professionals are passive candidates, meaning they’re employed and not actively looking for new opportunities. But if you can make a top performer from another organization interested in your open position, then you might have just found the best option.

Generally, passive candidates are perceived as better talent than active candidates, because they are already bringing a positive impact to their current organization. With many companies looking for the best talent, organizations will do everything in their power to keep their star workers.

When pursuing these candidates, many recruiters depend on LinkedIn or other social media channels to connect with potential candidates. Emailing the candidate is another option, but your email may get lost in the shuffle. One way to effectively get a passive candidate’s attention is with video technology because of its flexibility and accessibility.

For candidates not actively looking for a job, video technology can be the perfect way to entice candidates considering different possibilities. Once you have built rapport with a candidate, invite him/her to complete a video interview. If a candidate isn’t interested simply move on, but the option to take a video interview is attractive to some candidates because they can take the interview on their own time instead of missing work.

In addition to solving the scheduling problem, video interviews also take away the hassle of traveling, making geography a nonfactor.  And since many candidates are hesitant to tell their current employers about interviews (in case they don’t want to pursue the opportunity), pre-recorded video interviews allow potential candidates to explore their options discreetly while giving recruiters and hiring managers a chance to get to know the candidate better.

Video interviews can also be utilized during down periods in hiring. Whether a position is open or not, recruiters can build their pipeline with a collection of video interviews from top prospects. Once a position is made available, you can either share their previous video interview with the hiring manager or ask the candidate to complete another interview that focuses specifically on this new opening.

You never know, you could build a great relationship with a candidate who may be perfect for a placement down the road. But either way, video gives both recruiters and passive candidates the flexibility to explore new options without interrupting their current work.

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What’s Stopping You from Global Recruitment?

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Flags of the WorldOur guest blogger is Judy Tilmont, owner of JST Search Group in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA) and a member of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors. JST Search Group places professionals in a wide range of manufacturing, engineering, operations, and finance roles.

About 10 years ago I was asked by an associate to write an article for his company newsletter on my experience with global recruitment. We had recently worked cooperatively to fill an offshore role in the finance industry. The placement, and article, was regarded by a lot of our peers as interesting. It had a nice fee, but in the overall scheme, not of much interest to the majority. International activity was not something that was a part of their business model. At that time, sourcing, qualifying and placing individuals outside of your own country was a scary thought. There were too many hurdles, too much uncertainty.

Fast forward ten years, I have just returned from an NPAworldwide-sponsored Global Networking Conference in Amsterdam. It was attended by recruitment industry professionals representing 13 countries on 4 continents. The theme was how do we work together to satisfy our client needs in this global economy. We had sponsor presentations covering business compliance in South America and statutory and commercial risks when placing candidates across borders. I gained valuable advice on the best strategies to facilitate interviews outside of the US, remuneration package expectations in Europe versus South Korea, why I might not want to handle that assignment in Brazil without some help from a compliance expert and that they are recruiting the same oil and gas candidates in Denmark as we are in Houston. The bottom line message though, was clear. If global recruitment is not a part of your business, you are limiting your potential.

So what’s stopping you? Do your clients have an international presence? Have you ever asked to participate in those search assignments? Check with your HR managers about what their companies are looking for internationally. Ask for that business. My HR managers and hiring authorities are really happy when they hear that I have networked with like-minded recruiters outside of the country and they don’t have to go through a vetting process for help. When I explain that I will be the one interviewing candidates at 11PM or 5AM and they only have to deal with me in the US eastern time zone, that’s even better, especially when they have positions in many different global locations.

Take advantage of the many opportunities to network and meet like-minded associates. There are formal networks such as NPAworldwide (which I would recommend) or groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Many of these assignments are doable on your own, without using a partner or associate, but it will be easier if you are trying to build a global recruitment segment if you don’t have to start from ground zero. Having a local associate who knows the business climate, economy and local language will help you to fill positions in a timely and knowledgeable manner. You will be surprised how quickly your clients start looking at you as the “global” expert once you have completed assignments for them. So what’s stopping you?


3 Ways to Improve a Failing Recruitment Process

By Sarah Gawrys

puzzle-piecesAfter researching endless solutions to common independent recruitment problems, recruiters may find themselves more frustrated, and unable to see why their system is just not working anymore. Too much to process with a lack of resources can slowly, yet surely, cause damage to your recruitment brand. Here are three suggestions to improve your brand and recruitment process:

  1. Do you have a consistent brand? This is the first question to examine as you begin to look at your recruitment firm. When you Google yourself and your firm name, is there a clear brand and message across all pages? For example, Smithsonian Recruitment Services should not read Smithsonian Recruiting Services or Smithsonian Recruiters on any webpage, that is not your brand, and could potentially be infringing on another recruitment firm’s trademark that may not have a good reputation. Consistency and simplicity are the keys to developing a web presences that candidates need to navigate. Candidates do not need it to be an endeavor to locate information about your firm, or jump through endless hoops providing information to reach you.
  2. Are you ignoring your candidates? I had a very successful marketing director tell me that his first experience with an independent recruiter left him upset after the recruiter failed to make any contact or provide any feedback to him after his interview with the client. When he decided to seek a new opportunity, now a very well established professional, he again was sourced by this recruiter and immediately decided not to work with him due to his negative experience. As an independent recruiter, your process is likely not working if you don’t respond to applicants. Even if they do not receive an offer, they deserve to know. Candidates now are much more likely to post experiences to social media, and tarnish your brand.
  3. Are your tools working for you? As an independent recruiter, most times you cannot possibly handle taking on any more, even when you are not satisfied with your success. You can only use more applicants and a higher retention rate. A good applicant tracking system can greatly reduce the time spent reviewing the value in a resume, and they can automate posting to job boards and candidate emails. In his recruiter blog, Raj Sheth highlights these key features your ATS should have:
  • Resume management: collects resumes and cover letters in any format en mass from emails and upload them to the system in bulk.
  • Applicant tracking: Not only should you be able to track an applicant’s progress, you should have the ability to auto-archive them if they simply didn’t fit the position, or search within their candidate profile for more information.
  • Career site management: an ATS should be able to publish to your career site as well as to social media and search engines to optimize your company’s visibility.
  • Collaborative recruitment: Easily share candidate profiles with other members of your team for a cooperative hiring process.

Remember; always think first and foremost, “how might this affect my brand?” If you use this mentality when handling candidates, posting on webpages, and creating a recruitment process, you are able to see yourself as others may view the brand, which will lead to stronger candidates and a lower turnover.

Relevant Networking

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Mel-Kettle-PhotoMel Kettle is a communications and social media consultant, speaker, blogger, educator, coach, bookworm, obsessive foodie and eatie, and a budding photographer. She blogs on marketing and social media at Mel is passionate about working with organisations to show them how to communicate effectively so they can develop communities, share their stories and raise awareness. She particularly enjoys working with people who want to make a difference to other people’s lives. In her spare time Mel writes a food blog, The cook’s notebook.

I used to go to a lot of networking events – easily one or two a week. And then life got a little busy (that networking was paying off!), and I stopped.

While I do a huge amount of networking via Twitter, and have a lot of referrals come to me that way, I miss the face-to-face interactions that going to a networking event provides.

I’ve decided it’s time to crank up my networking again, and to at least go to one event a month. Maybe two. That’s easy, you think. There are loads to choose from. And yes, there are. However like many solopreneurs, my time is fairly precious, and I want to make sure that the networking events I go to are going to be relevant and help me achieve my goals – business and personal (and no, I’m not looking for a husband!).

How do you choose relevant events to go to, I hear you ask. Well, personally I go to networking events for a number of reasons:

  • to hear a speaker who interests me
  • to meet prospective clients
  • to catch up with a number of friends/colleagues/business associates all at once (it’s far easier than arranging a lot of coffees!)
  • to support a charity that I believe in – particularly if they are fundraising
  • to support the organisers if they are clients, friends or starting out a new networking group that sounds interesting.

Most of these reasons are fairly self-explanatory. However I am often asked, “How do you know that prospective clients are going to be at the networking function you are going to?” There are a few ways to find out:

  • trial and error – go to a couple and see what sort of people are also there (this can sometimes be a bit exxy in terms of time and money)
  • go where your target market goes – one reason I go to events run by the International Association of Business Communicators is because other business owners go (and they are one of my target markets)
  • ring the organiser and find out who has attended previous events – while they probably won’t give you names, they may give you some examples of professions and roles
  • ask the Twitterverse if anyone has been, what they thought, and what type of people were there – the people who reply will also be a good indication of attendees.

How do you choose what networking events you go to? And what are your favourites? And do you like face-to-face networking or do you prefer to do it all via social media?


5 Reasons to Avoid Recruiting on LinkedIn

By Veronica Scrimshaw

image of LinkedIn, a tool used by agency recruitersRecently, I read a post on the New York Times’ You’re the Boss blog, entitled Why I Do All My Recruiting on LinkedIn. Employers will read this and some of them will think, “Wow! That’s a GREAT idea! I should totally stop using a third-party recruiter and do all of MY recruiting on LinkedIn, too!” Here are just a few reasons why that is a foolish approach:

1. The people you REALLY want may not be there. Yep, it’s true. Regardless of what you hear, *everyone* isn’t on LinkedIn. If you’re only sourcing for candidates on LinkedIn, you are limiting yourself to the best talent ‘on’ the market, when you really want the best talent ‘in’ the market. No matter how good the tool, you can’t find what isn’t there.

2. The people you want MIGHT be on LinkedIn, but good luck finding them. By some accounts, roughly HALF of all LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. There are a lot of occasional users, those who only check in when they get a connection request. Other users may not be ‘search-savvy’ and don’t know how best to complete their status update, summary, and other profile sections with good, searchable keywords. It’s the old Garbage In, Garbage Out principle. On top of that, job titles are sometimes meaningless and/or subjective, so recruiting on LinkedIn may not be as simple as it sounds.

3. The people you want to hire are probably already employed, many of them happily so, and it’s going to take some special skills to convince them to leave. Recruiters are experts at understanding motivations to move. They can drill down and tell you what are the real reasons and which are not legit. They have partners who can help with housing, a trailing spouse, or any of the other reasons that get in the way of a career move.

4. LinkedIn may not be cheaper in the long run. How much is your time worth, Ms. Hiring Manager? How many hours are you devoting to a talent search? Are those hours that are NOT being spent on your core duties? Is that the best use of your time? We all have many things we *can* do … but that doesn’t mean we *should* do them. How many others are devoting time to this? If you took the time to assign a dollar value to all that time, you might be surprised to find out what the true cost is. And, if you work with a contingent recruiter, you don’t pay unless they produce.

5. A good third-party recruiter either knows the talent, or knows where to find the talent. Assuming that all of the A+ candidates are either not on LinkedIn, or can’t easily be found on LinkedIn, do you know where to go looking? Do you have an active pipeline of talent you’ve been nurturing? Recruiters have connections, tools, and networks that help them find candidates that are truly passive, at the top of their game, and can be “converted” on the idea of a job change.

LinkedIn is a good tool, but it’s only a tool. It can’t magically find what doesn’t exist; it can’t convince a reluctant candidate to consider a career move, and it doesn’t turn people into recruiters. Yes, there are some employers who can probably be successful doing most or all of their recruiting on LinkedIn, but for everyone else … hire a recruiter! If you need more reasons to use recruiters, read this.


NPAworldwide Survey: Recruitment Business Conditions

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Twice each year, we survey our members regarding recruitment business conditions in order to document past results and also get a sense of what the future might hold. Some of the notable results:

  • NPAworldwide members are located in 32 countries, on 6 continents
  • The majority of survey respondents (76%) serve both clients and candidates
  • 77% indicated that recruitment business conditions over the past 180 days are the same or better than they were a year ago
  • Among survey respondents, the strongest vertical was manufacturing / mining / construction / supply chain.

The infographic below shows the rest of the salient data:

Recruitment business barometer july 2014 | Create Infographics

Recruiters Depend on InMail

By Dave Nerz

image of LinkedIn, a tool used by agency recruitersAccording to Forbes, nearly 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a part of their recruiting process. So I am guessing that many recruiters have fallen into recruiting routines. If one of those recruiting routines is to blast large numbers of LinkedIn members with InMail, get ready for a change. One that I heard recently was to InMail all those that meet the criteria set for a LinkedIn search, wait 5 days then InMail again. If still no response, then try a Google search to find phone or mail contact details and reach the candidate via those connection points. That is one recruiting process; I’m sure you know of 50 more.

LinkedIn is always on the move and making changes and improvements to the way LinkedIn works. Effective August 2014, they will notify LinkedIn Recruiter users if InMail response rates drop below 13 percent on 100 or more InMails sent over a 14-day period. So some of these old recruiting routines may need to change. As a recruiter, it is frustrating to know that those users listing themselves as “open to opportunities” are not also being measured. I often think that only a small percentage of those saying “open to opportunities” are truly open to contact via LinkedIn. I was one of those “interested” parties and I got so many invites to “sell insurance” or “work from home” that I changed my profile.

Users continuing to have a less than 13 percent response rate will be restricted to one-to-one InMails for a 14-day period. No more mass mailing or distributions. Not a bad concept…perhaps recruiting messages will become more personal and attractive to the candidates. If you get your percentages up, you will be able to send bulk InMail messages once again. If not, another 14-day period of one-to-one only awaits. LinkedIn wants recruiters to turn around their poor response rates. Whenever I write an InMail, I try to make it feel one-to-one even if it is not. That is just good business and a recruiting process best practice.

Is this change likely to change what you do? Have you been contacted by LinkedIn on this issue yet? How have you increased your response rates? Do you think LinkedIn should make users who never reply to InMails change their preferences to reflect reality? Comment below!

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Maximize Your Social Recruiting with Four Suggestions

By Sarah Gawrys

buildingblocksAs many recruiters attempt to keep up with the ongoing trends in social media recruitment, some believe that just taking the baby steps in establishing profiles on various sites or making “connections” gives them the title of being a social recruiter. While those first steps are important, there are four more suggestions I can offer to take social recruiting to a new level.

  1. Be responsive. Job seekers have a new frustration when it comes to applications that didn’t exist back in the days of handing over a resume in person; the black hole of the internet. In online recruitment, candidates often express that they get no reply to jobs they spend their efforts on. Social media gives recruiters the opportunity to differentiate themselves and be recruiters who are reachable and RESPONSIVE. Even if the candidate may not be a perfect fit for this position, giving feedback can keep them on your contact list for the future, or open you up to referrals from them.
  2. Engage, do not just sell. Social media allows the recruiter to start conversations with candidates. Many times, you will see recruiters simply posting job ad after job ad or using social media as simply an advertising medium, which is missing the golden opportunity of reaching star candidates through topics and questions and engagement.
  3. Build up an asset for your business. If back in the day a successful recruiter was able to build a database of candidate CVs/resumes, then today the equivalent is building a following of candidates on social media. This is now a candidate base you are able to reach out to regardless of how small or large your budget may be. This is now an audience that can prompt candidate interest early in the decision cycle; sometimes your post may be the first trigger in prompting them to consider a career move. Post often, and use step 3 to collect a large following.
  4. Business integration. By giving the candidate more insight on your particular business, you are sharing the culture and this integration will lead to a larger number of successful hires due to the candidates trusting and knowing you and your business.

The final piece of advice is for recruiters to spend at least 2-3 hours per week reading and researching the various forms of social media and the best tips to maximize their visibility and engagement on their pages. The more avid followers you are able to attract and retain, the larger your candidate base will be.

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How to Collect $25,000 on Placements that You Have Already Made

By Veronica Scrimshaw

past-due-stampToday’s guest blogger is Wilson Cole. He is the founder and CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the nation’s largest credit and collection agency designed exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. In 2008 he was inducted into INC Magazine’s, “INC 500″ for being the CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the 307th fastest-growing privately held company in America.

Clients are starting to tell us that the economy is picking up, and for the first time in years they are starting to feel optimistic. This is a good thing. I am seeing cash flows improve from debtors as well, so we will all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this positive sign continues.

One of the issues that I have seen a very large increase in is back-door hires and conversion. I would be willing to bet that if I had 100 clients go back and check their candidates, 25% of our clients would find that at least one of their candidates was hired over the last 12 months. Yes this is a problem, but it is also a big opportunity. If you are willing to take the time and spend an afternoon checking LinkedIn, I would bet that you could find $15,000 to $45,000 in placements.

The reason I bring this point up is because the economy is improving, and debtors now have more money in their bank accounts. The chances of them paying you once you bring the hiring of your candidate to their attention has greatly increased from a few years ago. Then, debtors used to prefer to hold on to their money and prefer that you sue them because it bought them more time. Now, with sales increasing and cash flow improving, the debtor will more likely just cut a check vs. having to spend the money on an attorney.

So what should you do if you learn that one of your temps or candidates was hired by your client? The following suggestions may be helpful:

  • Pull an inventory of your paperwork. Do you have a signed agreement? Do you have an email trail? Can you show clearly that the client knew it was your candidate and if they hired that individual, then a fee would be owed?
  • Reach out to the hiring company and inform the company of its unfortunate “oversight.”
  • Send the company an invoice. If you have to guess what is owed because you do not know what they are paying your candidate, then take an educated guess. Use the higher side of your best guess without being out of line of course (if the candidate’s potential hire meant the company had to pay the fee, then contact the former candidate to find out what he or she is being paid).
  • Send an invoice with a specific date. For example, don’t have the invoice say net 10 days or due upon receipt. Have your invoice read 5 – 10 days from the day you cut the invoice. If today is March 2 then you would put Due March 12 — 20XX.
  • Send the invoice, and wait until the first day after the invoice was to be paid.
  • Then call and send a letter giving the client 5 days more. Give an exact date.

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