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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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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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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What to Tell Your Slow-Hiring Clients

By Veronica Scrimshaw

image of woman preparing for a job interviewIf it seems like you have plenty of jobs to work on, but aren’t making lots of placements, you’re not alone. We’re hearing it anecdotally from our members and now the Dice-DHF Vacancy Duration Measure has validated it as well. It’s taking longer to fill jobs. Average time-to-fill is now 25 days, according to the Dice report, the highest it’s been in 13 years. Among large companies (>5,000 employees), time-to-fill jumps to a shocking 58.1 days.

Employers need to know that slow hiring is harmful to their businesses in multiple ways. Dr. John Sullivan wrote a terrific piece on ERE.net earlier this year on this very topic, offering 12 ways slow hiring damages both recruiting and business results. My favorites are listed below. The full post is quite lengthy, but well-worth the time.

1. Dragging out the hiring process causes the best candidates to drop out. That’s right. The best candidates, especially passive candidates, simply don’t need to sit around waiting for your slow-hiring clients’ tedious process to finish. They’ll either decide to stay put, or they’ll have taken another offer. Additionally, when an employer is seeking a rain-maker, a slow hiring process can send a message that the company is slow about EVERYTHING. Rock-star candidates probably don’t want to come work at a company that is slow to launch new products, slow to innovate, or slow to respond to customer needs.

2. Slow hiring does NOT improve the QUALITY of hire. This is due in large part to the best candidates dropping out (see item #1, above). Slow-hiring clients may ultimately find they are hiring from a pool of average candidates, because the best candidates will be long-gone by the time a decision to hire is made. Are extra interviews REALLY going to turn up some earth-shattering piece of information that cements (or changes) a decision?

3. Slow hiring reduces hiring manager and recruiter excitement. When you ask a hiring manager to get involved in the process and then don’t deliver a hire for months, their enthusiasm understandably wanes. If a position remains vacant for too long, there is a real risk in many organizations of “losing” that position permanently due to budget constraints. Another unintended consequence of slow hiring is that it becomes more difficult to hire good recruiters (both internally and agency recruiters). In-house recruiters will get tired of the bureaucracy. Third-party (agency) recruiters will see your organization as less-than-serious and will turn down future search assignments – especially contingency recruiters, who only get paid when a hire is made.

4. Slow hiring can significantly raise your cost-to-hire. There is plenty of information that poor hires are costly, but there are also real costs to extended vacancies: lost productivity, additional time investments made by those who are conducting interviews, additional advertising costs, etc.

There are numerous reasons cited for slow hiring; fear seems to be the most common. You may need to advise your slow-hiring clients to change their job description process. There is no question that fear of making the wrong hire (“Can she really do the job?”) is a cause of hiring paralysis. However, if more clients focused on writing job descriptions about what the person would actually DO on the job (and less about subjective ‘skills’ the person must possess), it would be easier to ascertain if the candidate can, in fact, do the job. This would lead to a greater degree of confidence in the hiring process, leading employers to feel that they have identified the right person and moving more quickly to a hire.

The good news is that there are some simple steps that could be implemented to speed up hiring. An obvious one is to review the number of people involved in the approval process – if there is no data to support improved hires as a direct result of having more people involved in the decision, look for people who can be removed. Set up timelines in advance to ensure that the vacant position doesn’t slip through the cracks. First and second interviews can be set up a day or two apart, not weeks apart (especially if there aren’t 17 people involved in the interviews). Read here for some more good ideas.

How are you dealing with slow-hiring clients?

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3 Great Recruiting Blog Posts

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Blog-Computer-KeyFor today’s post, I would like to share three recruiting blog posts that are especially relevant:

Let’s Be More Human – Maureen Sharib, owner of TechTrak (and a past paid speaker for NPAworldwide) blogged on ERE.net about the importance of human interaction and communication and [gulp] using the PHONE. Everyone is overwhelmed with email. Candidates are ‘signing out’ of LinkedIn to avoid the constant barrage of InMail from random, unknown recruiters. She suggests that a change in attitude, from an inwardly-focused one to an outwardly-focused one of “What can I do for someone else” would go a long way to helping overcome the telephone reluctance that has become so pervasive. Recruiting is still about making connections, and electronic ‘communication’ just doesn’t build rapport in quite the same way as voice or in-person activities.

11 Fascinating LinkedIn Usage Stats for Recruiters [INFOGRAPHIC] – The good people at Social Talent (Johnny Campbell has also been a paid speaker for NPAworldwide) have released their 2014 Global Sourcing Survey, and have created this infographic about how recruiters are using LinkedIn to accompany the survey results. You’ve probably heard that 96% of all recruiters have a LinkedIn account, but did you know that almost half of them are using a free, basic account? Only 6% of recruiters are reporting using the phone to reach out to candidates, but phone-users are getting higher response rates than those who are using LinkedIn (InMail or Connection requests). Maybe it’s time to dust off that old relic?

Why Mobile is a Must for Your Recruitment Arsenal – By 2016, we are expected to have more mobile devices in the world than people. More than 90% of adults report having a smartphone within reach at all times. There is simply no getting around the fact that mobile behavior has changed candidates’ expectations for how the hiring process works. Unfortunately, a shockingly small number of businesses offer mobile-friendly websites and application processes. Read this blog for five common mobile mistakes that recruiters make, and how to avoid them.

What’s YOUR favorite recruiting blog? Share in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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A Recruiter’s Guide to Time Management

By Sarah Gawrys

At the NAPS conference in Houston, TX, one of my favorite speakers was Jon Bartos of The Global Performance Group, who spoke on the multi-million dollar producer’s guide to time management. As independent recruiters, each day, we go into work with a clear mind, a set plan of things to accomplish, of calls to make, and business development plans. Two hours later after reading and handling three unpredicted emails and reading on the latest sports scandal, we realize our plans are not quite panning out. Here are some tips from Jon Bartos as to how to manage that time more closely.

Planning is the foundation of your success or failure, and by structuring your day, you can avoid the latter. Reserve the morning for marketing and get the important tough stuff done first. Set daily goals based off of yearly goals, break down that $5,000,000 revenue into smaller targets to stay on point. 80% of sales people waste time selling to the wrong targets, so make sure you know who is taking up your time and market to those that will help you reach your goals.

Understand the four quadrants of efficiency to keep your day on task. Schedule your email and handle the important ones first. Here is a chart showing the four quadrants and how to prioritize:









By handling emails and daily tasks according to these quadrants, you are taking care of what needs to be immediately handled and not letting the random email ADHD take over your day and time management.

Track your results with a performance management system to see what activities are powering your business and which activities are unproductive or taking away from building revenue. Do not allow yourself to close a day without sticking to your activities, even the typical, “I’ll do it tomorrow” should be crossed from your vocabulary.

Finally, always remember that selling time should be valued and scheduled the most, because this is your $1000 dollar activity versus your $10 dollar activity, make it a priority and hit those goals, 2014 is not over yet!

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5 SEO Tips for Recruitment Firms

By Veronica Scrimshaw

seo-word-cloudIf you’ve had a website for your recruitment firm for any length of time, you probably have at least some rudimentary knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization). As aggregators become more and more dominant as the main way jobs are distributed online, it’s easy to lose sight of how important SEO still is for your website. I have a sneaking suspicion that “everyone” thinks job seekers head straight to sites like Indeed when they are searching for a new job. I’d like to suggest that a lot of job seekers, maybe even a majority of them, may *actually* start their job searches via Google, Bing, or another “regular” search engine. Did you know, for example, that Google reports more than 124 MILLION job-related searches each MONTH? And that Google Search is the #3 mobile app for smartphones? Or that Google also boasts 87.1% of the US mobile search market? (Thanks to our friends at Monster for gathering some of this data!) That adds up to a LOT of people doing a lot of job searching in places that are NOT aggregator sites. So, here are a few SEO tips for recruitment firms to help you reach some of these job seekers:

1. Make your jobs easy to find. Don’t bury them multiple pages deep into your site. Having a feed of your newest jobs on your home page is smart because, (a) your home page is *probably* your most-visited page and (b) continuously-refreshing content will keep the Google bots coming back to your site to index the new content.

2. Use “plain speak” URLs for your jobs – for example, www.abcrecruiting.com/engineering-jobs/senior-software-engineer as opposed to something like www.abcrecruiting.com/careers/223850928945?. Using keywords in real language makes it MUCH easier for search engines to find your content and return it in the search engine results pages.

3. Ideally, make sure each job is contained on its OWN page. Sites with deep content are consistently rated as more authoritative than sites with less content. Combining a well-optimized job description page with a word-based URL is still a great way to improve organic search results for your recruitment firm.

4. Pay attention to the meta description field. The meta description is the short snippet you see under the page title and URL in search engine results. It should be written in plain language, “match” the subject matter in the page title and URL, and be compelling enough that the searcher will click on the link.

5. Don’t forget mobile! If your website offers a poor mobile experience, Google is probably demoting your site in search results (or worse, removing it altogether).

Do you have any SEO tips for recruitment firms you can share?

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Tips for Building, Handling, and Strengthening Clients Relationships

By Sarah Gawrys

colored-note-padsI recently was able to attend the NAPS (National Association of Personnel Services) conference that was held in Houston, Texas. Each day held many sessions with many topics that were pertinent to independent and agency recruiters. One session in particular was extremely interesting and titled, “Recruit Stock,” as a pun on the old Woodstock festival. Next Level Exchange filled the hour with amazing tips to stand out as a top of the line recruiter, and I want to share some of this information.

First and foremost, here is a good list that highlights how to handle client demands.


  1. The client states that they only pay a flat fee—they only pay ___ rate. To this demand, do not simply accept it, but counteroffer by asking for exclusivity on the search. If there is push back on this, then request that the exclusivity is only for a limited time.
  2. “We won’t pay a conversion fee.” Counter demand and ask for a faster payment cycle to this client demand.
  3. The client states that you must go through human resources. Counter demand by asking for additional business.
  4. The client tells you that you have to follow their process for hiring the candidate. Counter demand that they provide you a testimonial letter or referral in exchange for following their processes.
  5. The final and most common client demand will be that they must see multiple candidates prior to making a decision. For this, counter demand a meeting with the owner/VP/executive to be able to place yourself as high as you can while being able to collect more information. Otherwise, ask for a retainer depending on how many candidates they wish to see.

Another good tip in regards to securing clients by Mike Gionta is to secure permission to educate them on the problem or frustration, instead of blurting out to the hiring manager what they need to do. “Mr. Hiring Manager, are you open to hearing about what probably happened in that situation?” By asking, you are respecting the relationship.

Finally, to build clients, use the Super Seven secret by Scott Love. Write down seven existing clients or prospects that you want to move forward, then write specific action steps to move that relationship forward. These could include scheduling a lunch, having a conference call, submitting a candidate, etc. Be very specific in your actions and abide by them to create stronger relationships.

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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.harvey@sandler.com. 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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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