Swap, Collaborate, and Listen

By Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Jason Elias of Elias Recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Elias Recruitment is a specialist legal recruitment consultancy, finding lawyers for law firms, not for profits and corporates, across Australia. Jason is the Secretary/Treasurer of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors and received our Chairman’s Award in 2014. Jason is also a Fellow of the peak recruitment industry body in Australasia  the RCSA (Recruitment & Consulting Services Association).

Who would have imagined the words of the famous 1980’s philosopher Vanilla Ice, would be so prophetic in 2017. The sharing economy dominates headlines – Uber, Airbnb and Airtasker. But what about recruitment, are there opportunities to share job orders and candidates?

Most recruiters know that over 80% of the candidates they meet they won’t end up placing. The arithmetic is simple, you may have 20 good candidates apply for one position. So, what can you do with the balance? What if your client calls and you simply don’t have access to someone to fill the order or it’s out of your specialty or geography? Surely there is a way to monetise these assets.

While there is no silver bullet, I have managed to add an extra 20% to my bottom line each year through collaborating with other recruiters and splitting the fees. My Grandma used to say, “half a loaf is better than none,” and given the size of some of the fees involved, splitting can be big business.

One of the easiest ways to find partners is to join a split fee network. I joined NPAWorldwide in 2003. There are roughly 1,300 recruiters globally that are willing to place my candidates or fill my job orders and split the fees. Some examples of spIits include:

1) SWAP

A candidate of mine was looking to move interstate. I rang my trading partner there, she met her and placed her in a role she had been struggling to find anyone for.

2) COLLABORATE

I have a backlog of lawyers looking to join in-house legal teams. One of my trading partners had a good client who needed a new in-house lawyer. They were concerned about having a recruiter with technical skills in helping source and screen lawyers (which is all we do). So, we worked jointly on the assignment and made the placement – win for the client, win for my trading partner and a win for me.

3) LISTEN

A line manager from the building industry (way out of my niche in legal) rang asking for a trainer. Rather than blowing him off saying it was not my area, I listened to him, empathised and took a brief. Knowing I would not be able to fill the order, I reached out to a few trading partners I thought may work those jobs. One responded immediately, met the client and has made 3 placements in the last year (which she kindly shares a portion with me).

So while splits will never replace my core business of 360 degree recruiting, I consider them an added bonus that helps pay for my family to go on vacation every year. That’s what I call Nice, Nice Baby.

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