Stay Close to the Money!

By Veronica Blatt

Today’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 the chairman-elect of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

One of my bosses in the 80s (dating myself) would always say ours is a simple business, “It takes a job order and a candidate,” and, “If you’re on the phone, you’re making money – let’s not overcomplicate it.” Hard to dismiss entirely because he is now CEO of Robert Half International. In those days, not being on the phone meant a quick path to the door.

So let’s all agree you can’t have a discussion about success in our business without working hard and being on the phone! Find a way to plan out and measure your calls and amount of time on the phone.

Focus on the right stuff is key, so let’s talk jobs, clients and candidates – they are not all created equal in terms of value. The euphemism I’m using is “high currency jobs” and “high currency candidates.” High currency translates to high likelihood of a resulting placement. If you’ve been recruiting for 5-10 years, this should not be a new concept. I’ve come to understand that improving is often not learning something new but being reminded and refocused. Simply put…if your business is not focused on high currency jobs or high currency candidates, then you need to evaluate your business model. I see too many recruiters working in low currency spaces.

For the new and need reminding recruiters out there…here is a guide for what “is” high currency.

High Currency Jobs:

  • Job orders where the client has paid a retainer (commitment fee) or “exclusive”
  • Client is counting on you
  • Job specs and salary align
  • Client is the hiring manager not a recruiter
  • Job has not been posted
  • Job is fresh (yes, jobs are perishable)
  • Candidates can be found (not saying easily found necessarily)
  • Client returns phone calls and gives feedback on resumes

High Currency Clients:

  • Clients that have ongoing hiring needs
  • Client where you have ad recurring success
  • Middle tier companies that don’t have large talent acquisition departments.
  • If a large company, then a consistent approach to using recruiters. Often private companies are less inclined to constantly re-engineer their approach to talent acquisition.
  • Large public companies with large TA functions are not consistent and reliable clients. Building a business with this as the foundation is like building a house on sand.

High Currency Candidates:

  • Candidates whose background is in demand – this is a common denominator
  • Hard-to-find candidates (staff to manager level)…every industry and function has them
  • Candidates that are not answering ads and posting their resume
  • Candidates that are “actively passive” or passive but motivated to make a change
  • If active and high demand then work with them exclusively
  • High-quality candidates (degreed, quality company experience and track record)

Here are some truths to consider.

Posting jobs and working active candidates…hoping to race the resume in front of the client before their own TA person finds them is not adding value and will not be sustainable over time. C’mon man.

The path of least resistance will not lead to high currency anything.

You can’t build trust with clients or candidates over email.

Hard to find candidates/high currency candidates are not recruited electronically.

You can’t build a long term relationship with a large company TA department. They are always trying to do things on their own and they have a larger budget than you do.

High currency candidates know other high currency candidates.

Adding value leads to more referrals both with clients and candidates – find ways to add value.

The good news is that you can develop a business model that fits your strengths and preferences. If you don’t like to grind for candidates, then build a client development engine and find great partners who will turn your jobs into cash.

If your recruiting focus is high quality candidates but not necessarily hard-to-find candidates, then you need to find the right partner who can host your capability. This is especially true if you prefer to do “targeted recruiting.” These opportunities exist but they require finding that right trading partner and building a relationship.

If you have success recruiting hard to find candidates, you can find a trading partner within that niche and let them turn that candidate into cash. You are better off spending your time on sourcing/recruiting and filling your pipeline with other hard-to-find high currency candidates. Again, stay in the work where you excel and find enjoyment.

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Communication is Key to Successful Split Placements

By Veronica Blatt

There is a saying in recruitment that time kills all deals. When it comes to successful split placements, I believe poor communication kills deals. Whether you’re committed to splits on your own, with an informal group of partners, or as part of a network, strong communication … maybe even “over-communication” … is the key to success. Here are a few examples: Read the rest of this entry »

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: Read the rest of this entry »

3 Reasons to Say YES to Split Placements

By Veronica Blatt

While there are plenty of recruiters who are open to making split placements, there are just as many who are reluctant. They don’t see the value to their businesses, they’d rather keep the whole fee, or they worry about a rogue partner who doesn’t pay them. Since it’s nearing the end of the year, and it’s time to start planning for next year, I’d like to offer up three reasons why all recruiters should be saying yes to split placements. Read the rest of this entry »

Make a Network Work for You

By Liz Carey

Recruiting is a tough business. Sometimes you’re given a seemingly impossible req to fill from a client, or sometimes you have a great candidate that you just can’t seem to place. What do you do when you hit that brick wall? What if you had a whole network of like-minded recruiters who could bring you a wealth of talent, determination and diligence? This is what split recruiting is all about. Split placements involve two recruiters who work together to help a client find the best candidate, and help a candidate find the best role for them.

In the NPAworldwide recruiting network, we often see stories of two hard-working recruiters working together to make a placement. Here’s a story of a recent one: Read the rest of this entry »

You Joined a Recruiting Network… Now What?

By Liz Carey

A recruiting network can be a powerful tool in a recruiter’s toolbelt, but you have to work the network. Some have the mindset that they will join and job orders and candidates will fall into their lap… It doesn’t work that way. You have to make working the network a habit, kind of like going to the gym – once you start going once a week, it just becomes habit. Engaging in a network is similar, it becomes habit, and it can make you money!

NPAworldwide recently hosted a topical phone call on “How to Make NPAworldwide a Habit,” hosted by moderator: Anne Downing, Demetrio & Associates, L.L.C., and panel member: Charlie Diana, Advanced Search Group, Inc.

Charlie and Anne, who have been members 20+ years, have done many splits and are very active in the network. How do they get active and stay engaged in NPAworldwide? Charlie says he makes it part of his daily routine. Read the rest of this entry »

When Your Competition is Your Best Trading Partner

By Liz Carey

Recently, an NPAworldwide network member in Victoria, Australia, made a tough split placement in a very niche IT segment by utilizing a new Sydney-based NPA member’s established connections with his same client. Two recruiters with the same client? Instead of viewing each other as competition, they worked together as trading partners to make a split… a placement they likely would not have otherwise made without each other. Read the rest of this entry »

What Makes A Good Trading Partner

By Liz Carey

NPAworldwide recently held a conference call for members on “Making the Right Connections” in a recruiting network. Two successful members of the network were featured as panelists, and both said that it’s important to remember that trading partners can choose who they are going to work with. If you want to be at the top of the list for who other recruiters call when they need help, you better make sure you’re viewed as a good trading partner.

So what makes a good trading partner? Here’s what our panelists said: Read the rest of this entry »

6 Quick Tips on Split Placement Network Success

By Liz Carey

Our network recently held a topical call where thriving NPAworldwide members shared 6 quick tips on making a split placement network work for you:

This is a communication business, if people don’t communicate, then you can’t do business with them. Very plain and simple. Read the rest of this entry »

Split Placement Networks: Coming Out of Your Comfort Zone

By Sarah Freiburger

Don Previti, owner of DVP Partners in New York, shared his review of his time in a split placement network. For him, success meant coming out of his comfort zone.

“Many of us have been recruiters for years and we all know how we can get accustomed to a comfort zone in managing our business. We know what got us here on every business level and we tend to revert to what feels comfortable and what has worked in the past. We focus on the same market sectors in the same business discipline in the same type of positions. I am no different than you. When I started my business I was focused on financial services and hedge funds in the NY area. That was where I made my living so that is where I spent my time.

But I came to realize very quickly that one of a split placement networks many strengths is it offers ways to expand our business and take us out of our comfort zone to not only add value to our clients but act as a catalyst to help grow our businesses.

Geographically, the network I belong to levels the playing field by providing member firms with an immediate competitive advantage to compete on a national and international platform. I have local clients who have an international presence and I can now position my firm to compete on a global scale with firms with much deeper resources.

The same can be said for business disciplines. When I was starting my business I was focused mainly on compliance, operations and technology, but I soon realized that I can leverage the local network knowledge and expand my business into audit, tax, finance and sales.

Expanding into a new market sector is more difficult but can be attained since there are dedicated trade groups for each business discipline. You can learn directly from experienced professionals who add direct value to your business on that market discipline.

I also started my business as solely an importer but once again coming out of my comfort zone I closed one of my largest deals of the years with another trading partner with me as the exporter. I now look for ways to expand the exporting side of my business.

In conclusion, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Join a trading group that is not directly associated to your market and learn. If you are exclusively an importer and have the positions, try to do one exporting deal this year where you provide the candidate. If you are an exporter only, try to do at least one importer deal this year. Expand into new markets and leverage the considerable global platform and resources that your network provides. I did, and as a result I now conduct over 30% of my revenue in business disciplines and geographic markets where I had no prior experience.  If you come out of your comfort zone and look to expand, a split network can help grow your business and add sustainable value to your clients.”


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