Recruitment Benchmarks to Consider

By Dave Nerz

benchmarking-word-cloudEntrepreneurs like to keep score. OK, that is a generalization but seriously, how do successful people become successful? They hold themselves accountable and they set targets. So my question is, as an independent recruiter or recruitment firm owner do you have someone that you compare your success with on a regular basis? Benchmarking is the term many use.

It is tempting to compare only with your past results because it is easy to find the data and if the direction is up, all seems good. What you may fail to realize with such a simplistic approach is the best in class benchmarks that could propel you to a completely new level of success.

One organization that makes data available for these purposes is Staffing Industry Analysts. Maybe you read their publication, Staffing Industry Review. SIA has a monthly report called the Pulse and a semi-annual Staffing Industry Benchmark Consortium (SIBC) Report. I just completed a Pulse Report and it took about 5 minutes to complete. It may take longer if you have a complex mix or have a hard time finding your metrics year over year, etc. This is the price you pay: to get a copy of the results…you must contribute. There are also more in-depth reports available for a fee.

Here are some metrics that SIBC suggests you should benchmark:

  • Segment-specific, year-over-year revenue growth each month
  • Marketing and technology expense as a percentage of revenue
  • Temps and Accounts per staff employee
  • EBITDA per location
  • Days sales outstanding (DSO)

I also know of membership organizations that are good at creating networking opportunities to connect with like-minded peers. It is always good to find someone that you can benchmark and then becomes a coach/consultant to help you improve results. It is great to find someone of similar size that has been through the issues you are dealing with currently. NAPS (National Association of Personnel Services) is one such group at naps360.com. Our members in NPAworldwide do this regularly too, and I’m sure there are many other great organizations that offer open and honest partnership and networking opportunities.

Seek a benchmark opportunity out and measure yourself or your business. It is a great way to learn what is possible.

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Sell Yourself to Clients: 5 Recruiter Strategies

By Sarah Gawrys

candidate-globeApple CEO Steve Jobs had a particular way to sell yourself or your brand whether you were an average job seeker, a manager, consultant, or even a CEO. Presentation skills not only help sell ideas or products; you can also us them to elevate your personal brand, which as a recruitment firm owner, is essential in establishing yourself to clients. Consider these Steve Jobs techniques on your next presentation.

  1. Sell Dreams. You are not selling simply the fact that you can find candidates for positions. You have the power to “move the company forward by discovering the people that will lead it into the future” because in reality, they know the service you are providing, as they have hired previously, so they want to know how you can help them achieve more, which leads you to a lasting client relationship. When you meet with a client, research them and sell them the idea of fulfilling long term goals with the candidates you turn over to them.
  2. Create a short vision for your firm. Steve Jobs presented products with a short one-sentence description, such as the MacBook Air being “the world’s thinnest notebook.” Can you summarize your firm into a sentence to lead and finish with? For example, if you are a healthcare recruitment firm that specializes in niche roles in rural areas, you could state that you are “the hunter of rural healthcare candidates otherwise undiscovered.” This is under 140 characters, fewer than a twitter post, but the mind is trained to key in on these statements and the next time that client needs a healthcare role they will remember that.
  3. The Rule of Three. Neuroscientists have findings that state human think in chunks of three or four. Do not overload your client with too many stories, attributes, or experiences, but stick to three points and introduce them early, expand on them, and summarize them at the end. This way, your client will be able to focus on the main points you are trying to sell your firm with, instead of remembering odds and ends from throughout the conversation.
  4. Strive for Simplicity. Steve Jobs stated that, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Do not clutter presentations or speeches, but keep it as sleek and to the point as possible.
  5. Practice. If you are looking to expand your clientele, or even asking a current client for more positions, make your presentation look effortless by practicing your pitch as many times as possible. This is a great way to teach the recruiters you hire how to become more effective and to brainstorm ways to make your client pitch stronger.

Above all, keep your personality alive. You have decided to become an independent recruiter for a reason, and that passion should be visible to your clients. Show them that they should want to use you as their headhunter not only because you deliver results, but because this is your calling and what you were made to do.

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Recruitment Books to Read This Year

By Veronica Scrimshaw

woman-reading-by-lakeIt’s the start of a long holiday weekend here in the USA as well as a popular time for summer vacations. In between barbecue and fireworks, I’m hoping to find some time to read some recruitment books. How about you? If you’re in need of some ideas, Social Talent has compiled a list of 12 Books Every Recruiter Should Read in 2014. A few that I’ll be adding to my list are:

Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Today’s technology means a lot of traditional ‘barriers to entry’ have been removed. It’s never been easier to launch a start-up venture. It also means you can work fewer hours than entrepreneurs from even a few years ago. This book gives you a whole new way to approach your work.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. Drive explores what motivates us and Pink suggests it’s not external factors like money. Instead, he makes a case that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are what truly motivates people and offers suggestions for how to put these into action.

The Read Deal: My Story from Brick Lane to Dragon’s Den, by James Caan. James Caan is one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs. This biography explores his accomplishments both personal and financial. Caan was even the owner of a start-up recruitment agency.

Of course, in the summer, it’s hard to go wrong with a good beach read. Right now, I’m working on Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, with  The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, and The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, by H.W. Brands stacked up next. What are your favorite recruitment books?

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Behind the Scenes of a Global Recruitment Network

By Sarah Gawrys

hands and wrenchesAs the Director of Membership at NPAworldwide, a recruitment network, I am often asked this question: So who runs this network? As a network that is member-owned and run, this is a multitiered question at best, and does not apply to every online network that you may find. However, here is the breakdown of what is happening behind the scenes at our specific split-placement network.

  1. Staff. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, NPAworldwide has a staff of six employees in office, and one located in Brisbane, Australia who mirrors the work for the Australian members. They all work diligently to be reachable by members and enroll and train them to be successful in the network. In charge of membership, I personally qualify firms to determine if they meet the characteristics of being an NPAworldwide firm prior to submitting them for membership approval. A Training Director and Member Services Manager then take over new firm’s onboarding by showing them how to utilize the web-based sharing tool for posting candidates and positions, and how to build recruiter lists to start to form solid trading partners. This is an ongoing process throughout any membership, as we are constantly expanding the number of trading partners. Our global conferences and global networking meetings are all also planned at headquarters, in addition to the monthly trading group calls and other networking opportunities.
  2. Regional Directors, Managing Directors and Trading Group Chairs. As mentioned, this network is member owned and run, and the reason it has worked since 1956 is the volunteer and elected positions the members take. As an independent recruitment firm owner in NPAworldwide, you not only have the power to vote on changes in the network, but are able to be in leadership roles as well. Each region globally has a Director that oversees the region, or multiple regions, and works on being involved in bringing on quality firms, and then introducing them to trading partners in that region and being a resource as they begin their membership. The Trading Group chairs are responsible for organizing monthly trading group calls and regular communication regarding their particular niche, and exchanging industry topics and hot jobs/candidates with other members in that group.
  3. The Board of Directors. The top elected position in NPAworldwide is a seat on the Board of Directors, which governs the network and upholds the Bylaws and Operations. There is an election each year and firm owners can rotate onto the board. Since the network began in 1956, this has been the network’s strength in knowing how to best provide membership benefits for the network with direct feedback from the members themselves. This Board also is broken up across various committees, that along with staff, specifically focus on membership growth, retention, technology, and partnerships/sponsorships. The President of NPAworldwide here at headquarters is responsible in large part for implementing the Board’s direction and addressing concerns.
  4. The members. The network would not exist without over 400 firms and 1200 recruiters making split placements each and every single day. As an expectation of membership in a split placement network, engagement is essential for success. By posting open job requests and hot candidates, the sharing tool is able to help members grow revenue that would otherwise not be possible. Attendance at networking events, logging on to trading group calls, and connecting with many trading partners are the things we see from our top grossing members.

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5 Principles Important to Achieving Split Placements

By Sarah Gawrys

business-cardAs an independent recruiter, you are very familiar with the idea of split placements, have considered implementing them into your business model, or a good percentage of your business already involves split fees. There are 5 very important principles you should abide by and look for in others as you make successful split placements.

  1. Your trading partner’s time is just as valuable as your own. If you have reached out to a trading partner or posted a job, you owe them the acknowledgment and information to make their time worthwhile. Do not ask your trading partners to work jobs that do not have a chance of success, or that you are already almost closing on. Having chosen to be involved in a split placement network or agreeing to make split placements means that you are viewing your trading partner as your equal, and should treat their time and diligence as you expect yours would be treated.
  2. Do not only give out needle-in-a-haystack jobs. A successful splitter realizes that being able to take on larger client orders or take on more clients means a growing business, and uses their trading partners to fill many jobs more efficiently. Only relying on, or wanting a trading partner for those nearly impossible-to-fill roles is not a beneficial situation for both parties, and will make it harder to establish long term trading partners willing to give your jobs attention.
  3. Their candidates deserve the same respect as yours. A trading partner who provides you with strong candidates should be given the same consideration and attention that you give those candidates you find yourself. They deserve to be kept informed once they are in process, and even given bad news if they are not chosen for a role, as you may end up filling a similar position again. Trading partners will notice and appreciate the way you treat their candidates, and use it as a reflection of how you treat your clients or other trading partners as well.
  4. Not everyone recruits the same way you do. While in a split fee recruitment network, or searching for trading partners on your own, you are going to come across a variety of personalities and business styles. None of these are bad, just different from your own and in order to make split placements, their style needs to be respected. If they require four phone calls for clarity on a position to present you with a star candidate, then the reward will be reaped in the end. If their style completely does not work for you, tell them instantly, so you both can move on to other trading partners and opportunities.
  5. Pay immediately and true to contract. Those independent recruiters that do not give reason to mistrust them are the ones that deliver payment in the amount, and in the time frame agreed upon. If you are getting a 25% fee from your client, you owe your trading partner 50% of that, and you owe them the minute you receive payment. The most common frustration I hear from recruitment firms wanting to join our split placement network is their concern that the posted fees will be less than what that recruiter is getting from their client, so the split placement is unequal and unfair. In this instance, make sure that you are joining a network operated on bylaws and ethics that prevent this from happening, such as NPAworldwide.

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Gain a Competitive Advantage with Video

By Veronica Scrimshaw

competitive-advantageToday’s guest blogger is Alison Pruett, Marketing Manager of 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 best-practice-based approach and a flexible adoption model that works with customers’ unique needs and business goals to achieve breakthrough results. Clients rely on InterviewStream for the perfect combination of proven value and endless possibility.

The world of staffing will always be highly competitive. Staffing firms and RPOs must compete with each other to find the best talent, and talent acquisition professionals must always effectively sell their candidates to hiring managers. Firms, at their most basic level, must fight each other to get as many placements as possible to increase revenue and grow their brand.

Simply put, more placements means more revenue. According to Bullhorn research, “The single most important metric used to by staffing firms to measure their own success in 2013, as ranked by owners, managers, directors, presidents, and executives, was ‘total number of placements.’” Similarly, these higher-ups in staffing agencies generally used total number of placements as the principle metric to rank their salespeople’s effectiveness.

So for both the executives and talent acquisition professionals, finding more efficient ways to handle more incoming applicants and place candidates will always help the bottom line for the company. It also makes the star recruiters look even better to the higher-ups, since number of placements is such a key statistic in the evaluation of the front-end of the company.

Video can help increase the number of placements by allowing staffing firms to handle more candidates and share them to more hiring managers. Recruiters can utilize video to more quickly and effectively screen potential candidates. Our previous InterviewStream blog, Video for Volume Recruiting, details some of the ways recruiters for employers and RPOs can process more incoming applications as well as find more star candidates.

By making the process more efficient, a staffing agency has more time to find more opportunities for a candidate. This increases the chance of making more high-quality placements that fit well for both the employer and employee. Additionally, video allows for a recruiter to more accurately assess and record a candidate’s strengths and weakness as they relate to any particular opening.

While processing more applications and finding more candidates certainly helps recruiters generate a larger pool of talent, the hiring process is only just beginning. Now it’s time to sell the candidates to hiring managers, but video can make this process more effective as well.
Obviously, not every applicant is going to be a good fit for every opening. It’s a given that each employer will have its own unique culture and values that determine a new hire’s compatibility with the company. Someone may have all the requisite skills and education but not fit within the culture, or someone may fit in well but lack the technical skills necessary to succeed in a position. It’s easy to disqualify an applicant during the screening process based on concrete job requirements, but assessing compatibility for the intangibles is more subjective and difficult.

Video can help a staffing agency initially screen an applicant for compatibility with certain opportunities prior to any face-to-face interview. Instead of wasting time with a lengthy phone screen, candidates can complete the interview on their own time and recruiters can view it at their convenience. Without the hassle of schedule compatibility, it’s easier for both parties, and with the added visual aspect of video, recruiters can more accurately identify a candidate’s fit for a particular job posting. The end result is the ability to send a more desirable candidate to the hiring manager and a better chance at a placement.

InterviewStream’s online video interviewing platform allows staffing agencies to send copies of a candidate’s video interview to interested hiring managers. A few clicks generate a unique link that can be emailed to the hiring manager so that he/she can get a more detailed sense of the candidate’s abilities and cultural fit. It makes it quick and easy to share and review candidates.

More importantly, the hiring managers can personally view and identify the candidate’s intangible qualities in an efficient, time-saving manner. Some candidates may be a difficult sell for a position, but a video record that exemplifies their communication skills or personality can make a convincing argument to a hiring manager. The best recruiters can find candidates that may not necessarily fit squarely into a job description but still have the ability and desire to learn and succeed in that position. Video can really help sell this type of candidate to an unconvinced hiring manager who is reluctant to give the candidate a shot at an in-person interview.

Ultimately, an employer will only trust a staffing agency that provides them with quality candidates. By filling positions with candidates who may not precisely fit the description of the original posting but still succeed at the job and grow into a trusted role with the company, talent acquisition professionals can build rapport with their clients and create more placement opportunities in the future.

Staffing firms and RPOs that rely solely on traditional recruiting techniques have to spend more time on each candidate with less concrete options for assessing his/her most important, intangible qualities. It’s a less efficient process that ultimately reduces the ability to reach a high volume of quality candidates and connect them with the best possible opportunities.

However, staffing firms and RPOs that utilize new techniques and technology have the edge in reach, efficiency, and effectiveness. They can gain credibility and build relationships with employers, which helps them create more placements and generate more revenue.


Ten Top Tips for Time Management

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 www.melkettle.com.au. 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.

In today’s highly connected age, where everyone just seems to be BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, time seems to be more and more difficult to manage. At least, that’s often how I feel. And whether you run your own business, or you work for another, the demands on your time sometimes seem endless.

My top tips to make sure I get through my responsibilities, be productive and still have a bit of time to do fun things are:

1. Prioritise your time – Every Friday afternoon I look at my diary for the next two weeks and see what I need to do. What meetings do I have, what social commitments do I have, what outcomes to do I need to achieve, do I have deadlines? I do the same before I finish work each day – what do I need to prioritise for tomorrow? I keep a weekly and a daily to-do list with a focus on a few key tasks that need to be achieved. I have two columns on my page – one for the little stuff (paying bills, chasing up invoices, things I need to buy), and one for the big stuff (client projects, business development etc). I try and keep a degree of flexibility so that I can add or delete if necessary, and in case timeframes change.

2. Look at what you are spending your time doing – If you aren’t getting everything done, chances are you are not using your time most effectively. Consider keeping a timesheet for a week and log everything. You may get a very rude shock when it comes to how many hours a day you spend on social media or watching TV.

3. Get up earlier – Hanging around in bed in the morning can waste a lot of time. I know if I don’t set an alarm, my natural wake-up time is about 8am, making for a late start. I know when I do set an alarm, I can sometimes hit snooze 4-5 times before getting up. If you also struggle with mornings, consider putting your alarm out of reach so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.

4. 15 minutes a day – if there is something you really want to achieve, but you have no time, allocate 15 minutes a day to it. I have a colleague who wrote a book last year by getting up a bit earlier every day and focusing on writing for 15 minutes every morning – after three months she had a solid first draft, she now has a book deal.

5. Be aware of your personal energy levels – Do you have more energy in the morning or in the afternoon? Plan your day around when you need to be fresh to tackle a challenge. If you usually slump around 3pm, then that might be the time to go for a quick walk to refresh.

6. Manage your social media use – I’m highly addicted to Twitter and could spend (err, waste) many hours talking to people that way. Not unexpectedly, it’s not all business focused (despite what I try to convince myself)! If I need to focus on a task, I now turn off all social media so I can’t be tempted, and allocate certain times of the day when I can be active. Don’t forget to also turn off all notifications on all your social media (and email) as they can be very distracting.

7. Manage your email – One of my most productive friends only checks her email three times a day. About an hour after she starts work (so she can get a few of the important things done first), an hour after lunch, and the hour or so before she goes home. As she reads each email she replies (if necessary) and then files. Emails requiring more action are flagged and tasks prioritized. This helps keep her inbox under control. I’ve never heard her complain about 1,700 unread emails…

8. Learn to say no – something that for many can be very difficult. I now think, “If I say yes, what does that mean I won’t be able to do?” Especially if I’m saying yes to requests that may not have a lot of financial or personal gain for me. I find I’m getting a lot better at saying no as I’m getting older, as I am becoming more discerning with how I want to spend my time, whether it’s client-related or personal-related.

9. Keep some spare time just in case – I try to fill my diary to about 70% capacity, and have some flexibility. This way if I’m asked to do a really interesting project, or get involved with an activity that sounds really fun, I can say yes. It has also been quite helpful when deadlines have suddenly shifted! That time always gets filled – whether it’s doing some extra business development, writing an extra blog post or just having an occasional long lunch with a girlfriend.

10. Take breaks – Schedule in breaks throughout your day, week, month, year. Breaks from work help your brain refocus, and often help you realize what’s really important. Schedule time every day for a couple of mini-breaks – a relaxing cup of coffee for 15 minutes, 30 minutes away from your desk to have lunch, a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air. Plan regular mini-breaks and an annual holiday and book it! Every year my husband and I plan a holiday and 2-3 long weekends away every year. We work out some dates and pop them in our diaries. They don’t always happen, but they definitely don’t happen if we don’t plan them. Scheduling time away also gives me something to look forward to when I’m drowning in work and wondering if I’ll ever see daylight!

What are your top time management tips?

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The Elusive Pink Squirrel: The Independent Firm Right for a Recruitment Network

By Sarah Gawrys

pinksquirrelIf the purple squirrel is a metaphor used by recruiters and HR to describe the perfect job candidate, then I would like to present the Pink Squirrel. As the Director of Membership for NPAworldwide, a recruitment network, I search for these each day. The Pink Squirrel is that hard-to-find recruiting agency that loves to build relationships with other recruiters and make split placements, and in the large world of recruitment agencies where business models differ greatly, it is quite difficult to qualify a firm to meet the standards of a split placement network. Here are five key qualifying factors I consider during my hunt for these pink squirrels.

  1. They are independently owned, and do not belong to a franchise

The most successful firms we see in a split placement network are small to medium sized firms that are privately owned and have a handful of recruiters at most. These smaller firms originally began making split placements to compete against franchises by being able to utilize a network of trusted trading partners to fill the excess job orders they received from a client, or to have someone in another industry to be able to gain them expanded reach to a client. They could then approach a business with confidence knowing that their network gave them global contacts, as well as industry specialization without having to increase overheard by hiring more recruiters themselves.

  1. They are relationship based

What this means is that these pink squirrel firms LOVE socialization and meeting new people and developing more than a strict business relationship with their trading partners. In a split placement network, there are sometimes over 1,000 different personalities, and it takes times and interaction to realize who you may work best with, and who is going to share your business practices. What this means is that you need to pick up the phone and call firms who are in your industry trading group, or try to meet for coffee with the firm that may be located in your backyard. Life happens, and you never know when you may have a large client order come in, or a search that yields five star candidates and those trading partners will be the ones to increase your revenue.

  1. They have a split placement mentality

This means more than just wanting to make one split placement, or thinking they can make some extra money. Having this mentality means embracing the fact that half of something is much better than all of nothing. With this mentality, you can conduct stronger searches, knowing that those extra candidates you have found can get placed in splits. With this mentality you can take on more positions to remain a top recruiter for your client knowing that if you need help, you have trading partners able to quickly fill those roles.

  1. They are willing to expand nationally/internationally and to other industries

It is absolutely wonderful if you are a successful independent recruiter with a specific niche, and that does not mean you will not be successful with split placements, however the pink squirrel firm is one that is adaptive to shifts and expansion. For example, if someone specializing in just chiropractors in Chicago wants to join a split placement network, they should be open to expanding nationally or healthcare as a whole, or even out to a cross industry group in medical sales for example. The further you can stretch both of these realms, the larger your group of trading partners in a network will be, and you can still use your specific niche to be the “go to” of the network in that regards.

  1. They trust the network and their trading partners

This is the last point, but the most important. When joining a split placement network you have to be willing to TRUST. This means that a firm you have viewed as a competitor may be in that same network, and you have to trust that they are there for the same reason as you, to build relationships and make placements. Each firm and recruiter in these networks can learn a great deal from one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to want to share those. In the NPAworldwide network, there have been firms who are located in the same state who have ended up being the greatest partners by having one another as resources.


Riding the Recruitment Roller Coaster

By Veronica Scrimshaw

image of roller coast to represent a recruiting slumpToday’s guest blogger is Bill Benson with WilliamCharles Search Group located in Grand Rapids, MI. WilliamCharles is an executive search and professional recruiting firm specialized in finding managerial and executive talent in finance, HR, operations, sales/marketing as well as president/CEO roles. They have a concentration of clients in Michigan but they also work across the US. Bill is currently serving on NPA’s Board of Directors.

First I will tell you that I turned 54 this year. I share this because when I tell you that I’ve been in the recruiting industry for 37 years you will think I’m much older! I took a summer job at a Robert Half office in Minneapolis when I was 17. I’ve either worked a desk or managed recruiters through 4 U.S. recessions – Early 80’s, early 90’s, early 2000’s (seeing a pattern?) and of course the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

No doubt our job is a roller coaster – At any moment we are a “yes” away from euphoria and a “no” away from an emotional fall! Often good months are followed by bad months and even the best recruiters have slumps.

How to ride the coaster over the long run? Here is my recipe: stay even-keeled – don’t get too high when times are good and don’t get too low when you are struggling. Celebrate your deals and learn from your failures, but motivate and reward yourself around developing new sendouts.

Build lasting relationships. People in our business survive recessions and succeed because they build relationships with clients, candidates (and split-fee trading partners) or they add value by being extremely methodical and disciplined.

Here are 5 stops and 5 starts if you are in a recruiting slump!

STOP

1. Spending too much time with your email – this is a tool, not a lifestyle.
2. Working B and C job orders. Qualify before spending your time.
3. Being negative – “you grow what you plant.”
4. Beating your head against the wall with candidates who are overcirculated.
5. Working with clients that are posting their positions and using other firms.

START

1. Plan your time into blocks – set goals for each day on outcomes you can control.
2. Call past clients, past placements, past references of placements, past split partners
3. Measuring your time on the phone – technology has given us so many new opportunities that we forget that we win when we are on the phone!
4. Call your best candidates after hours. This inspires trust – they tell you more and you will have more information, and therefore you will have more control in the relationship.
5. Take advantage of industry training offered through recruitment organizations (NPAworldwide has some great options for members) and try new approaches. The beauty of our job is that we have the choice to reinvent ourselves any time we decide.

Attitude determines latitude – Stay positive, develop a plan and work it. You will be successful in the long run!

What advice do you have for ending a recruiting slump?

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Willing to Wander: Job Seekers On The Move

By Sarah Gawrys

FutureAccording to the 2014 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, over 70% of the US labor force is in the market for a new job. 50% of that includes employed workers who are “willing to wander.” These percentages reflect a transformation in the market due to the social web, where job hopping has now become more and more common. What this means for independent recruiters, is that those purple squirrel candidates or hard to fill positions may be easier to find and fill with the knowledge that most candidates, even those happy in their current positions, are willing to consider a change. US News Careers offers this advice to job seekers:

Research and contact recruiters in your field. Again, it’s most helpful to build these relationships before you need them, but now is better than never. Find out which recruiting firms work in your field and make those contacts. Even if the recruiter doesn’t have an opportunity that’s an exact fit at that moment, just letting them know you’re open to hearing about new opportunities keeps you on their radar. Check in occasionally.

It is also an advantage to seek new opportunities when you already are happy in your current employment. Having a job while searching for new employment gives you leverage when it comes to negotiating terms for the new gig. Teach, author of career novels, says. “You’re in a greater position to make demands and get what you want. Without a job, this leverage goes out the window.”

While having this leverage opportunity, it is also important to consider sensitivity to your current position. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated, but do not indicate that you are seeking new employment. Most importantly, tell your recruiter and prospective employers to keep your job search confidential. Working with an independent recruiter is an excellent way to keep discretion and avoid posting your resume all over the internet.

To view a directory of NPAworldwide’s highly professional and ethical recruiters, click here.

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