How to Select a Recruitment Agency

By Veronica Scrimshaw

apple-orangeWhether you’re an employer with ongoing hiring needs or have a one-off role to fill, using a recruitment agency is definitely an option worth considering. There are many traits and characteristics to consider when you are evaluating recruitment agencies. If you’re unsure how to select a recruitment agency, here are six pointers worth evaluating:

Relational or Transactional. Broadly, a transactional recruiter will approach your needs as a transaction. A relational recruiter will take time to develop a thorough understanding of your business and culture, and will want to partner with you in a strategic manner for the long term. There is nothing wrong a transactional approach; for certain roles, it may even be desired. What’s most important is to think about how YOU want to work. If you have a transactional mindset and the recruiter has a relational approach, neither side is likely to be satisfied with the working arrangement. In general, however, I think recruiters are more successful when they develop those strong, deep client relationships. They’re more effective at finding good-fit candidates, and understanding your long-term goals can help them work with you on building your team in a strategic way.

Experience. How long has the agency been in business? What about the individual recruiters? What was their pre-recruitment background? Have they worked in your particular industry? It’s also good to know WHO you’ll be working with on your recruitment assignment – a tenured recruiter, or someone who is learning the ropes. Ideally, you’re looking for a firm with a proven track record of success, and that will most likely come from years of experience. Firms that have been in business for a number of years will generally have weathered some economic ups and downs and know how to survive in a slow market.

Specialist or Generalist. Recruitment firms come in all different styles. Some will be “generalist” firms across the board. Others will be made of individual specialists. Others may be micro-specialists, serving a niche-within-a-niche. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question; a lot of it will depend on the business you’re in and the kind of hiring you need to do. If you’re a manufacturing facility and generally need the same sorts of engineers, operations professionals, plant managers, etc. on a consistent and ongoing basis, a generalist firm with manufacturing experience might be perfect for your needs. If you’re a law firm or a hospital, it’s probably best to look for a recruitment agency that focuses specifically on lawyers or nurses. In my experience, there aren’t a lot of “generalist” firms that are really equipped to effectively source those types of candidates. If you need a person with a very specific (and rare) skill set, and you already know there are not a lot of those professionals in existence, a micro-specialist is the way to go. These recruiters have deep networks and relationships; if they don’t already know who all the prime candidates are, they’re going to be able to tap their resources to find them.

Methodology. How does the recruitment agency work? What services are they providing? Be sure you understand exactly what you’re buying and how the process is going to work, including a timeline for presenting candidates and obtaining feedback from you. A successful, professional recruiter should be able to document (or at least thoroughly describe) the steps they will take to complete your search from initial discussion all the way to the candidate’s first day on the job (and maybe longer!).

Accreditation. It’s always a good idea to ask about credentialing. Does the recruitment agency belong to any trade associations or other governing bodies? Have the individual recruiters obtained professional certification? Here in the USA, recruiters can earn a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) designation through NAPS, which means they have mastered a certain level of knowledge about their profession. This includes proficiency in U.S. employment law. NAPS certification also requires that recruitment professionals adhere to specific professional and ethical standards. Recruitment agencies can also belong to formal networks that have a code of conduct, ethics committees, or other oversight.

Size. The size of a recruitment agency is something to consider. There are arguments that “bigger is better” – that larger firms have more resources available and are better able to handle your search. Very large firms can also experience significant staff turnover, and you may find that your account manager is either very inexperienced or is frequently changing. On the other hand, very small firms *can* be limited in how many roles they can reasonably be working on at any one time. There is another option to consider, and that is a small firm that is part of a larger network of recruitment firms. In this scenario, employers can benefit from personal relationships, superior service and attention from the owner or a senior employee, yet still have the “backbone” of a large organization that can support their efforts across multiple occupations, industries, or geographies.

Hiring top talent is a major priority for successful, competitive businesses. Make sure you understand how to select a recruitment agency that will help you meet your hiring needs and goals both now and in the future.


Linked-In Profile Guide for Recruiters

By Sarah Gawrys

19196324.thbWhile recruiters know what to look for in terms of candidate profiles when hunting through Linked-In, as the Director of Membership for a split placement network, it amazes me how many profiles I come across for independent recruiters that are, well, terrible. Today, your personal brand is present on every site you are registered on, and each one of these is an opportunity to network and become more visible. Even if you are not interested in connecting with other independent recruiters to potentially fill more roles by split placements, you can believe that just like you search candidates, the candidates search you when they get an email, phone call, or connection from you. Here are a couple of ways in to increase your personal brand on Linked-In.

  1. Summary. If you are going to stop reading after this point, or this is the only one that caught your eye- please zone in on your summary in your profile. Including information on your specialty as well as your core skills and accomplishments will give you credibility. For example, if I am an ERP candidate or recruiter that has come across your profile, the first thing I would like to see is, “Specializing in ERP recruitment for contract, contract-to-hire and full-time employment nationwide with offices in Denver and San Francisco. Permanent and contract recruitment; executive search; hiring; and staffing industry experience as top-performing recruiters and business developers since 1976.” Right away as a candidate in ERP this tells me you know what you are doing, and you have been doing it a long time. I know that by returning your phone call I will at least be speaking with someone highly knowledgeable in the industry. If I am another recruiter looking for a split placement partner, I will mentally remember your name and ERP even 10 searches later if that role comes up with a client. Applying keywords and phrases that are relevant to the job will also help increase the chance of your profile showing up in recruiter’s search results. For example, “IT sourcing and opportunities for: IT Management | Chief Information Officer – CIO | IT Director | Project Manager | Project Lead | Team Lead | Functional Business Analyst | Programmer – Developer | Data Base Administrator – DBA | Security | Infrastructure | Technical Architect and other IT roles.” This might have you come up in searches for passive candidates just looking for others in those roles to connect with.
  2. Recommendations. Every single profile on Linked-In usually has connections, most at above 500+. It does not mean you are hard-working, friendly, people-orientated, or successful, but rather you sent a great deal of “connections.” The bottom of the profile where those 500+ people randomly endorse your skills you filled out from their homepage? Also found on nearly every complete profile, and again, means very little. What you see less of? Personal recommendations. These are from people who not only took the time to click “accept” on a connection request, but thought highly enough of their experience with you to recommend you to others through a personal note. When I am looking to work with a recruiter on a split placement, or perhaps to work with them to transition to a new career, I can tell a good deal about them from the recommendations written by employees, other placed candidates, or recruiters. For example, “In addition, Mark is a great team member and is always willing to share leads, expertise or strategies with more junior team members,” tells me that this recruiter is not only about himself or money, but is willing to help others, which can be rare to find, and shares a bit of his humanity instead of just his positions held at various companies.
  3. Contacting & Learning More. First and foremost, please have a picture. Primarily because without one, Linked-In moves those with the grey default avatar to the bottom of any search. Give those interested in you a way to learn more or contact you multiple ways besides just a Linked-In connection or In-mail. If they are a candidate not actively hunting, they may not even have a profile that allows many In-mails, so including no other contact information could lose you a connection. Under Contact Info at the top of the profile, including your business website or twitter page, or maybe a link to your business blog gives you more depth as an individual. If you do not appreciate calls or giving out your primary email, perhaps make a gmail account specifically for Linked-In and offer that at the bottom of the page. Show off your expertise to your connections by posting status updates of relevant industry material, personal tips and tricks, or even success stories of candidates placed. One final tip here on connecting is that once you feel as though your profile speaks highly of you; make sure to connect with every candidate or client prior to a call or appointment. By getting a good background they might find things in common or be able to prepare good questions.

If you are looking to get even fancier with your profile, this article from Social Media Examiner gets down to the technological side of enhancing your profile with images and videos.

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Applying Moneyball Principles to Your Recruitment Efforts

By Veronica Scrimshaw

image of baseballI recently watched the film Moneyball (I’m perpetually behind on movie-watching, but I digress), and was struck by how similar it is to recruitment.

A little bit of background for those of you who aren’t baseball fans:

Moneyball is a film starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, that is based on a book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. The premise of the both the film and the book is that the game of baseball is unfairly rigged toward wealthy teams. It is centered around the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics are a “small-market” team and do not have the same kind of money available for player salaries as “big-market” teams such as the New York Yankees. The Athletics were a decent team in the early 2000s, but continually found their best players poached during the off-season by teams who could afford to pay more. Even more, the skills and statistics that have been used to measure player performance (hence, their value) are based on outdated statistics that don’t apply as much to today’s game. The Oakland Athletics were the first baseball team to really delve deep into statistical analysis to determine more accurate predictors of offensive success. They used these statistics to find “undervalued” players that they could afford in order to build a competitive team.

There is a scene in the movie where Jonah Hill’s character points out that a lot of teams are looking to get rid of certain players, or are unwilling to hire others, because of perceived flaws (some of which are really silly). One of those flawed players was a good pitcher. He threw a lot of strikes, and not a lot of players were successful hitting against him. Yet no one wanted him because he had a weird-looking throw. Because he didn’t “look right” compared to other players.

How many times have you heard the following from your clients:

“Great engineer, but he just won’t fit in around here.” Based on what? An interview or two? How is the client evaluating fit? Is the client perhaps putting too much weight on interview skill? Are they asking weird/trick questions? What if clients sent out a list of interview questions in advance so that the candidates could prepare the right information in advance instead of just guessing? Baseball teams are made up of players from all different backgrounds. Heck, some of them even have to have a translator so they can communicate with their teammates and coaches. Yet they’re not dismissed due to “fit.”

“We’re really looking for someone from our industry.” While it’s certainly true that industry experience CAN be necessary, there are a lot of jobs where a similar industry is equally good. There’s a famous mantra, “Hire for attitude, train for skills.” Maybe a better version of that would be, “Hire for skills, train for the idiosyncrasies of your specific business.” It seems many clients have moved away from any sort of formalized training. Professional athletes are surrounded by coaches and mentors who help develop their skills and knowledge; why are so many employers unwilling to do the same thing?

“She’s a strong project manager, but weak at team-building.” There is a train of thought that candidates must focus on improving their weaknesses. Improving one’s skills should be a lifelong goal but let’s face it: we’re not all good at everything and there is a point of diminishing returns. Would it be smarter to ask people to work to their strengths and spend most of their time improving those things, and less time doing things they just aren’t good at? While many baseball teams have a “utility player” who can rotate among various positions, most players specialize at a specific position. No one expects the pitcher to also be the team’s best hitter.

How can you help your clients look at their recruitment efforts a little differently? How would results improve with a slight change in perspective?

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4 Tips for Maximizing Split Placement Network Membership

By Veronica Scrimshaw

multi-toolToday’s guest blogger is Liz Carey, network coordinator for NBN, operators of and NPAworldwide and NBN merged in September 2014, and our two networks are working toward a full integration effective January 1, 2016. We’re happy to have Liz as a regular part of our blogging team.

As part of a split placement network, recruiters have access to numerous tools, including expanding their geographic reach, filling jobs out of their specialty, and additional opportunities. Every tool probably doesn’t work equally well for every person, but to be successful it’s important to maximize the tools in your networking tool belt.

Here are four important tips for making network membership work for you:

1. Post records – If your split placement network offers a way to share records, make sure you do so. It’s a great way to build “brand awareness” about who you are and the kinds of assistance you can provide to your trading partners. If you have a candidate you can’t place, a candidate looking to relocate, or a candidate outside your specialty, a placement fee could come your way by doing nothing more than posting your candidate on your network’s sharing database. If you have a critical job order you need help with, post your job so other recruiters can send you their candidates. When you post records, go a step further and reach out and see who can help. In addition, if you see someone else you can help, reach out to them.

2. Feedback Counts – Make sure you give everybody (clients, candidates, trading partners, etc.) as much information as you can to help. If you receive a resume from a trading partner that isn’t on target, let your partner know why. If your client’s planned offer is not in line with the current market, provide that education. Don’t withhold information that could impede a deal.

3. Attend Meetings – Nothing beats “face time” to cement the business relationships you’ve forged over the phone. You may even find you’ll have an opportunity to make a team presentation to a client or candidate when you’re in the same place as your partner.

4. Reach Out – Reach out beyond the bare minimum – go to meetings, attend conference calls, offer to meet up for coffee or lunch, or just pick up the phone to say hi. Give more than you get. Make it a point to meet up with other network members when you’re traveling – it’s important to meet peers face to face to see how your firms can collaborate.

What’s your best tip for maximizing split placement network membership? Comment below!


Water Cooler Talk and the 20-Foot Commute

By Veronica Scrimshaw

water-dispenserToday’s post is courtesy of guest blogger Elsa Duty. Elsa owns executive search firm Recruiting Services International (founded in 1970)  that specializes in technical search globally (R&D/engineering, manufacturing, science). Elsa has been an active member of NPAworldwide for 10 years and is currently serving on the Board of Directors.

If you’re like me, you often reflect on what we do and marvel a little. The proverbial “matchmaking” game we play is thrilling, challenging, stressful, and yet extraordinarily rewarding. I feel so fortunate to learn about what some of the brightest people in their professions do; how they’ve become who they are, their climb up the corporate ladder, details of their lives that are personal, intense, heart wrenching…intimate glimpses into how they run their lives. Many of these folks have sacrificed so much, and “played the game” so well, to be the best in their field. I often think how extraordinarily different their lives are than many of ours, yet our success levels are often parallel.

The majority of recruiting firms I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know closely through NPAworldwide for the past 10 years are smaller firms with <10 employees, many even one-person firms. What I often mull over is…would I have enjoyed and thrived in Big Corporate? I’ve never been a part of interoffice mingling, lengthy board room meetings, water cooler talk…these things sound fun! (However, my German heritage and commission-based life immediately scream, “Is that an efficient use of my time??”) More than just efficiency, I think about the main reasons people tell me they are unhappy or on a job search:

Politics: My executive candidates talked about the intricacies of office politics, “the game,” how to position themselves for success, who to network with internally, and frustrations about their boss or someone limiting their ability to grow professionally. Not to say that we don’t have office politics in our recruiting firms, but we are SO fortunate that we have control over our success (owner or recruiter)! We have TOTAL control. Tell yourself that daily. Even if you have a boss; you are in control of your income, your success, your failure, your mental state.

Stability: Recruiting can be volatile and often unstable. Everyone reading this survived 2009; supposedly over 40% of recruiting firms closed their doors. Every day my boss asked me if I was going to quit. The difference is, for recruiters vs corporate folks, it’s ours to lose. No one can take it from you. The only RIF that you’ll experience is *you* deciding this is not the path you want to follow. I’ve recruited many outstanding C-level candidates that have been victim of a new CEO “cleaning house” and making a statement. Performance did not equal success. Ours does.

Work-Life Balance: I often hear my candidates speak of 1+ hour commutes each way to work. Ten hours a week. Five-hundred-plus hours a year, over 20 full DAYS a year sitting in a car. I have a 20-foot commute to my home office, so it’s hard for me to relate to this. So many key executives I recruited have made large sacrifices to benefit their families, including cross-country telecommutes for years. I admire and respect their commitment to the “corporate climb.” We are our own toughest critics. We know if we work hard, we will succeed, and if we don’t, we will sink. We are to find that balance ourselves. The pressure is there, but it’s coming from us. To me, that is the ultimate win.

There simply are so few professions as potentially lucrative as ours, that are balanced as it relates to the elements above. I still think part of me would have loved the challenges that lie in the corporate world. Recruiting is hard, intense, and not for the weak of heart. But is hugely rewarding, transcends barriers, and gives us the ultimate jurisdiction to be whomever we want to be.

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Using Benefits to Recruit Top Talent

By Veronica Scrimshaw

signing-a-contractRecruiting top talent is becoming more difficult. One recruitment tool being leveraged to recruit top talent is benefits. A March 2015 SHRM survey reports that employers are tuned into benefits as a recruitment tool. More frequently employers are using their benefits packages as the reason for someone to change jobs.

Employers realize that as basic needs are met in the area of salary expectations, one of the key differentiators available is the completeness and generosity of benefits. Top talent may need more than just the next good job to leave the current situation and move to a new employer. The recruitment of top talent requires some creativity and since most are well compensated from a base pay perspective, the benefits become the draw that will allow them to improve total compensation when moving to a new employer.

Employers report that they will be leveraging a collection of employee benefits more significantly in the years ahead. This continues the trend reported in the survey of using benefits to recruit in recent years. Some of the benefits seen as most important to recruitment efforts are:

  • Performance and career development benefits
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Wellness and preventative benefits
  • Flexible work arrangements benefits
  • Family-friendly benefits
  • Leave benefits

It is obvious that strong knowledge of market compensation is a first step in successful recruitment of talent. That knowledge is more easily gained by salary surveys and the use of effective independent recruiting resources. A good independent recruiter is often able to get accurate details on current compensation as well as desired salary and bonus to attract top talent. Recruiters with industry specialization can offer details on similar placements in recent months. Benefits are a bit more elusive and may require benchmarking to understand the competitiveness of an employer’s complete offering. Adding to the complexity of using benefits to recruit is that not all candidates value all benefits equally. Depending on age, career stage, family situations, the importance of each benefit could vary. In pre-employment situations it is difficult to gauge the relative importance of each benefit without approaching dangerous discriminatory questions. In many cases employers must work with generalizations about the importance of benefits to provide a great package for the candidate to evaluate based on his or her situation. So, there is cost and time invested in benefits that have limited value to the candidates being recruited.

For results from this survey or more SHRM surveys go to SHRM SURVEYS. There are many great insights there that employers can consider for their campaigns to recruit top talent.

When do you think benefits enter into a candidates evaluation process for a job? Is it early on or only after then are ready to make the change of employers?

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Sourcer and/or Recruiter Debate

By Sarah Gawrys

agency recruitingIn an online recruitment group on Facebook, many heated conversations tend to happen, with each person having an opinion or comment on the question asked. This one I found quite interesting, “If you were teaching someone brand new to the industry what the difference was between a recruiter and a sourcer, what would you say?” As I have heard of independent firms using sourcers overseas to collect candidates, I was interested in diving further in to the conversation. Here are some of the thoughts I came across of varying opinions:

  1. If the sourcer is then screening the candidates she generates, then she is the recruiter and the recruiter is actually more of a sales representative who sells the search.
  2. Sourcers find and phase one qualify, and recruiters interview and close. However, some sourcers can do the full cycle, and some recruiters can source.
  3. The best sourcers or recruiters that also source are the ones that cannot just find people or send inmails on Linkedin, but get talent on the phone and start talking to them.

My personal thought links closely with what Keith Bailily in a Linked-In post also stated, “The difference is depth, depth of conversation, depth of knowledge about particular companies and specific roles. Often times the sourcer will master the details about a company or a generic .NET role and qualify potential candidates and create a “pool of talent.” The more senior the sourcer, the more the depth and better quality the recruiter will initially get on the handoff.” What I have walked away with in the battle of sourcers and/or recruiters is that people all agree that they are most appreciative of those individuals that engage the passive and even active candidates and get them far enough across the line so that a hire can be made. To achieve success, you must not only find the talent, but conduct effective interviews, as well as be up to speed on the latest in employment law and compliance, and then be able to promote the company to the candidate. The skills required of these individuals, while at times interchangeable, can also be different and not always compatible. In this era of talent shortages, sourcing and recruiting have seemed to become separate specialties, or at least available as separate specialties. Looking at them separately, sourcers’ skills are akin to marketing as opposed to recruiter’s skills more similar to the sales disciplines.

All in all, I think summed it up best with, “In a profession that requires its professionals to be multi-talented to keep up with increasing demands for top talent; good recruiters better be good sourcers and sourcers should be ready to get into other facets of recruitment if needed.”

Split Placement Network Ownership

By Veronica Scrimshaw

questions to ask a split placement networkOne of the questions we are commonly asked is, “Who owns NPAworldwide?” The short answer is: our members do. In today’s post, I’d like to discuss three common ownership structures for a split placement network.

Ownership by an individual or a business entity
The owner of a split placement network can be one or more individuals, or a business entity. This is generally a for-profit structure. Members of the network may pay dues or other fees as a condition of membership. The owner of the network receives all the profit. The network owner may offer products and services if doing so will increase overall profits. While many private networks do have a formalized set of operating policies, enforcement of the rules can vary. Dispute resolution can be an organized process, or members may have no redress for grievances.

No ownership (loose affiliations, online groups, etc.)
There are many informal “networks” that really have no ownership. Typically, a passionate volunteer offers to develop a group where like-minded individuals can work together. Membership criteria can be broad or specific. Most informal networks do not require the payment of dues, and also offer little in the way of infrastructure such as common rules, technology, tools, or other services. It is rare to have a formal process for dispute resolution.

NPAworldwide is a member-owned cooperative. The International Co-operative Alliance defines a cooperative as, “A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.” In this type of split placement network, the members of the network are also the owners. Members pool their resources and work cooperatively to achieve common goals. Each member is also a part-owner of the network. Cooperatives are run in a democratic manner, with members having control over the rules. Profits can be reinvested into the network or distributed to the member-owners. Products, services, education, training, and other benefits are provided when it is in the best interest of the membership, not because there is a financial benefit to a single stakeholder.

If you’re considering joining a split placement network, it’s important to know who owns it. All of these ownership structures have pros and cons; ultimately, you have to make a decision based on what’s most aligned with your own business style.

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What #Mobilegeddon Means for Recruitment Websites

By Veronica Scrimshaw

DeathtoStock_Wired9-300By now, you’ve probably heard about #Mobilegeddon, Google’s recent algorithm update which puts more importance on a site’s “mobile-friendliness.” Ultimately, this will impact Google page rank by rewarding mobile-friendly sites with higher page rank, while “unfriendly” results could see a dramatic drop-off. Why is this important for recruitment websites?

1. Job seekers are increasingly using mobile devices over desktops. Over 1 billion job searches are conducted each MONTH on a mobile device – and that’s just in the United States. A 2014 Glassdoor survey on the Rise of Mobile Job Search indicated that 90% of people who planned look for a job within 12 months (that’s RIGHT NOW if you’re paying attention!) say that a mobile device is an important tool to use. Not only that, 25% of respondents would NOT apply for a job on a career site that is not mobilized. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s that low. And, various sources continue to report that nearly half of Fortune 500 companies are not mobile-friendly.

2. There is a real likelihood that sites deemed as “unfriendly” will see a devastating decline in their search results. If you’re a big, multinational recruitment firm with deep pockets for pay-per-click and other advertising, maybe that’s not a big concern. But for boutique recruitment firms, who rely on organic search to drive traffic and conversions, this is a Big Deal. Think about it: if a job seeker doesn’t know the NAME of your firm, they’re relying on Google to show them your site in their search results. Recruitment websites that are buried 3, 4, 5 or more pages deep in the results are going to lose candidates. It’s that simple. All of your hard-fought SEO efforts will be for naught.

Why is Google making this change? Simply put, because it’s better for users. Have you ever had a miserable experience trying to navigate a website on your phone? Did you leave? Have you gone back? For many people the answers are YES, they left and NO, they didn’t go back.

What is a mobile-friendly site? Some of the major criteria that Google evaluates are:

  • Content that is sized appropriately for the user’s device without horizontal (left-right) scrolling
  • Websites that can be easily read and navigated without pinching and zooming
  • Page links spaced far enough apart that the user can easily tap the correct link (oh-my-garbage-I-hate-this-so-much)
  • Does not contain content that is not mobile-supported, such a Flash video

There is some positive news: first, the update ONLY impacts searches conducted on smartphones. Desktop and tablets are not affected. Second, the algorithm is applied on a per-page basis, not a per-site basis. Individual pages that are mobile-friendly will not be negatively impacted by non-friendly pages. Finally, contrary to some rumors, Google will not “delist” sites that are not mobile-friendly. Read here for an in-depth list of questions and answers.

How can you tell if your recruitment website is mobile-friendly? Try this great tool from Google – just type in your web address.

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Dancing with the Clients

By Veronica Scrimshaw

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

I admit it – I’m a Dancing with the Stars junkie. I was watching the other day, and realized that dancing is a great metaphor for the client / recruiter relationship. OK, recruiters don’t have to wear over-the-top costumes or beg for votes, but there is a careful and delicate ‘tango’ that they have to perform when dealing with both clients and candidates

Most of the contestants on Dancing with the Stars are celebrities with no background in dancing, such as the youngest contestant, a 14-year-old actress. But she doesn’t miss a beat dancing with her professional partner. It shows that good dancers are not only born, they are trained. The same applies for great recruiters – with experience, you learn to lead your clients and candidates and move the number (job order process) forward.

While dancers are judged a great deal on their technique, it’s not all about footwork — one of the judges noted that a couple’s performance was good, but lacked chemistry and connection. The better connection you have with your client, the easier it is to waltz with them, and the more likely it will be that they come back to you to be their “dance partner.” The more chemistry you have with a talented candidate, the more likely they are to recommend you to their colleagues. In both dancing and recruiting, communication is key. Communication should be constant — always return calls and emails in a timely manner – and it should be clear. It is important to understand a client’s expectations and for you to also communicate yours, so nobody is “out of step.”

When a dancer forgets a step, trips on their dress, or even loses a shoe, it’s important to get right back in the dance without missing a beat. Similarly, every recruiter will face a setback at some point in their career — whether a fall-off or a candidate backing out, it’s important to anticipate and adapt. Sometimes you get thrown a curveball: if a client gives you a job order in a less-than-desirable location, highlight a the great compensation, benefits or relocation package; For a role that may not pay well, entice candidates with the role’s other perks, like a great work/life balance or company culture.

One final point – sometimes, the best dancers aren’t the obvious ones. In this season’s cast, there is a veteran who is missing an arm and leg. Because of his physical limitations, his dance partner choreographs their dances to best suit his strengths. Similarly, you may have an extremely talented candidate that doesn’t exactly meet every single one of your client’s qualifications and specifications. You don’t have to dance the hustle – just adapt and impress with the mastery of the dancer’s strengths. If the talent is there, and the client is willing to teach a little bit of choreography, that candidate could be the next star.

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