Transparency Matters in a Trading Partnership

By Liz Carey

In any good split placement trading partnership, transparency matters. NPAworldwide recently hosted a topical call, called “Transparency Matters,” where two NPAworldwide members (who closed 17 deals together last year) shared why communication with your partners is so important!
Great trading partnerships like theirs happen when partners are essentially an extension of their desk, and treat each other like they were working in the same office, even if they’re halfway across the world.

Here’s their advice on successful trading partnerships:

What is your first step when you receive a job order that you think a trading partner might be able to help you fill?

I will send them the job description as soon as I get it, then we discuss the details, then I organize a meeting with the hiring manager/HR manager/plant manager/GM, and have the trading partner on the call to make sure he/she completely understands the job, since they’re finding the candidates for me. I give all the information I can, and if we don’t quite understand it, we go back and find out the answers. As much as I know, they know.

To the trading partner providing candidates, what’s your process for keeping your partner in the loop so they know you’re working on candidates?

Once I get that job opening, I usually get on the phone with them to try get as much info as possible. We connect by Skype, and typically we are chatting quite a few times during the day (whether by Skype or Gchat). Typically, because I have so much info, I really do a pretty complete workup so that they don’t have to call the candidate, they can go ahead and submit them. With the candidate, I share information like the client’s name, I share everything. Since I’ve done so much with them, through that time, it’s just been really successful in terms of being able to “sell it” to the candidate. It’s really an easier partnership.

To the recruiter with the job order, once your trading partner gives you a candidate and you submit them to your client, how do you keep that trading partner informed?

I will forward to our client, and once I get feedback either way I let them know, and then I will call the candidate at that point just to set them up, get in touch with the right people he/she’s going to meet with, etc. And I let my trading partner know. The person will send references, and I send my trading partner those references. When interview is set up, they are the first person I call.

You two have a 20 year long relationship – do you practice similar processes with other trading partners?

I share everything. If my trading partner wants to go on the company’s website and sees they have a job in Amherst NY for a product engineer, and they has one, they’ll just send me the resume and I forward to my client or another division of client. The more information you share, the trading partner may come up with someone who may not be right for that day, but down the road might be. It’s a true partnership. I do the same thing with all NPA partners that come to me and want to work with me. They can’t go in and take your client, it’s against the rules… so share as much as you can. As an example, yesterday I got a job for a project manager, I have a resume my trading partner sent me 2 months ago — he was sitting on my desk. I called him, he was interested, and he’s going to interview. My trading partner’s notes were already ready for me. That’s the way to work.

If you are pursuing a trading partnership, always set expectations up front. Anyone who’s been around a split network for a while will know this. If you see a job that really interests you, don’t go recruit for a week then send a bunch of resumes to the partner. You want to make sure the job is still valid and that you get more info. Start with an email and ask for a phone call. If you’re an importer, you have every right to set expectations for the exporter too. If you get resumes just thrown at you – reply and say ‘thanks for sending, these are my expectations…”

What are your tips for a successful trading partnership?

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