Having Recruiting Tools Does Not Make You a Recruiter

by Liz Carey

Thanksgiving is this week in the United States. Due to travel restrictions related to Covid-19, a lot of people aren’t traveling to relatives’ houses for dinner, instead opting to stay home and do it themselves.  So this past weekend, I took inventory – I have a roasting pan, a turkey baster,  a thermometer, twine, a carving board, a knife… I’m all set, right? Then I realized… I have no idea how to cook a turkey.

In recruiting (just as in the kitchen), having the tools doesn’t make you a recruiter (or chef). Just because you have LinkedIn Recruiter doesn’t mean you will be sourcing guru. Just because you throw a couple jobs on a job board doesn’t mean you’ll have a 100% fill rate.

Quality recruiters know that it’s good to have tools in your toolbelt, but you need to know how to use them, and also to not rely on them solely. Focus on establishing a connection, and building trust and respect. It sounds simple, but its what successful recruiters know – recruiting is a relationships business.

So sure, use LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter to connect with a candidate, but it comes down to picking up the phone and having a real conversation with that candidate to truly connect. They may receive dozens of emails or texts from recruiters per week, mostly using templates or reading from a script.  Stand out by making a genuine connection and showing interest in their needs and wants. Developing rapport and having a conversation about their motivation and goals will also help prevent any disconnect or miscommunication along the way. If they tell you along they way that they want to work for a startup, you know not to pitch them to Google or Amazon. When your relationship with a candidate is solely via email or InMail, you might get these nuggets of info.

Same goes for business development with clients… how many emails and InMail’s do you think they receive. Rather than being one of the many recruiters begging for a role, use your toolbelt to look up the key decision makers at your target companies, and then call them up for a conversation. Ask them where they are having difficulties and offer suggestions. Tell them about your Most Placeable Candidate and how that person could make a positive impact on their team. It needs to be a back-and-forth conversation, not a sales pitch.

Get in the mindset of making a connection, rather than exhausting all your tools. Making and fostering relationships is how you find qualified people and make placements. LinkedIn, Indeed, Facebook, etc. are means to an end – but the end is the relationship.

Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

by Veronica Blatt

It’s rare to encounter a recruiter who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, but some users are definitely more skilled and savvy than others. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending a LinkedIn training session with Karen Hollenbach from Think Bespoke. Karen is a firm believer in experimenting with new LinkedIn features as they roll out, and she shared a few that are newer or not well-known. Here are a few features I will be playing around with in the coming days:

  • Featured section – this replaces what had been the old “media” section on a LinkedIn profile. It’s intended for sharing work samples such as blogs or articles you’ve written, media, LinkedIn posts you’ve written or shared, or links to external sites like a personal blog or portfolio.
  • Polls – this is a great way to engage your followers (like clients or candidates!) on a variety of topics. To create a new poll, simply start a new Status Update and select the Create a Poll option. Be sure to enter the poll deadline AND also stay on top of poll responses.
  • LinkedIn Stories – similar to the Stories feature on Instagram, these are short videos or other images that are only available for 24 hours. Stories is only available in the LinkedIn mobile app (and not yet available in all markets). For those who enjoy easy updates, especially short videos, this is a feature worth exploring.
  • Providing Services – this is a newer feature that allows small businesses to showcase services on INDIVIDUAL profiles. If this feature is available for you, you’ll see a box below your profile picture (mobile or desktop) that tells you how to showcase the services you provide. This digital “word of mouth” can be invaluable in promoting your business right through your profile.
  • Events – Use the Events feature to create professional events like meet-ups, seminars, workshops or more. To get started, click the Home icon, then look for the Events section in the left rail below your profile and pages.

Another top tip from Karen: make sure you have a company page as well, and share your company page content on your personal profile. There are some powerful marketing capabilities built in to LinkedIn; make sure you are taking advantage of these promotional opportunities!

5 Reasons Why Effective Internal Communications Reduces Turnover

by Dave Nerz

engaged employeesInternal communication is about much more than sharing news and corporate updates. It has a significant impact on all aspects of your business. From productivity, recruitment and retention through to collaboration and engaged employees, internal communications is essential to overall business health. And in the current coronavirus pandemic, the need for effective internal communications has really taken center stage. If you are struggling to get started on planning your internal communications strategy, here are five compelling reasons why it’s essential.

1. Engaged employees are more productive

Research tells us that highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable. It makes sense that engaged employees tend to be more passionate, motivated and inspired in their work. As a result, companies see higher rates of productivity and a reduction in staff absenteeism and turnover. Read the rest of this entry »

Is A Recruiting Franchise or Network Right for Me?

by Sarah Freiburger

During the course of the pandemic, I have had the pleasure of speaking with many corporate recruiters who are using this time to consider going out on their own and beginning an agency. Many have been part of a downsizing, and many have just had more time to finally consider the career change they have been plotting for some time and make sure they execute it well. Owning a recruitment firm can be a lucrative and rewarding career; it’s attractive to many former HR and corporate recruiters, and also those high-producing third-party recruiters who have no equity in their current employment situation.

While owning your own business has many options when first starting out, two of the more common models for starting a recruiting business are purchasing a recruiting franchise, or going it alone with the help of a recruiting network. One offers more upfront at a higher price, and one promises less upfront, but allows you to keep more individuality. Here are some points to consider with both: 

  1. Recruiting Franchise Model
  • High start-up costs – purchasing a franchise can cost more than US$50,000
  • Franchise fees   – a portion (5% or more) of gross REVENUES paid each month is a low average.
  • Varying levels of individual branding as a business owner, most will require branding to reflect the name of the franchise.
  • Purchasing a business process and corporate marketing/branding that has a track record of success but must be followed exactly.
  • Software – usually have to purchase and use corporate-mandated system
  • Training that starts at the ground level for beginners in the space

2. Recruitment Network Model

  • Low start-up costs – you can start your business from your home with a phone and computer and choose your own tools as you see fit.
  • Recruiting networks can charge monthly dues, brokerage or commission on placements, or be free depending on what they offer.
  • Total autonomy as a business owner to brand and build your business model as you see fit. 
  • Time investment required on establishing yourself in an existing network to develop trust with business partners and connections.
  • Software – most often you are free to choose your own based on what works best for your needs with recommendations on best choices or group discount pricing. 
  • Guidelines and best practices – A recruiting network will offer guidelines and best practices as opposed to a specific business model, with a community of peers to learn from
  • Industry advancement training. Networks are geared to enhance the experienced recruiter’s knowledge and staying abreast of industry trends.

Purchasing a recruiting franchise can be a great option for those with a lot of up-front cash who want to follow a corporate model with lots of training. For those with a more entrepreneurial style, an independent business combined with membership in an established recruiting network can offer more freedom and flexibility. Both choices can be successful; the key is to find the one that best fits your needs.


[ Collection Specialist ] Why Recruitment Agencies Need It

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Wilson Cole. He is the CEO of BackdoorHires.com and Adams, Evens & Ross, the nation’s largest credit and collections agency designed exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. In 2008 he was inducted into INC Magazine’s, “INC 500” for being the CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the 307th fastest-growing privately held company in America. Adams, Evens, & Ross has helped more than 3,000 staffing and recruiting firms recover more than $1 billion in past-due debt and is an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program.

More times than not, a client will pay the staffing agency after they place an employee without any issues. Staffing agencies do, or really should do, most of the hard work in the beginning by drawing up a contract on how much the client will pay before entering into a business relationship. After a placement has been made, the client will pay the agreed amount and both companies will move on in their relationship. A collection specialist will oversee these transactions just as an added precaution to make sure there are no issues. As I said, more times than not a collection specialist will really just oversee and manage payments. The reason it is necessary to have a specifically trained collection specialist in your agency is for the few times that a client does not follow the agreed process, and this can present in a number of ways. You need to be prepared for every possibility.

A side note: an important reason you want to have a collection specialist on your staff is because this person will be handling some more sensitive problems for your company. This needs to be someone that you can trust to protect your company which is why you should be careful in choosing your collection specialist. If at all possible, do not contract out to collection specialists. There are very trustworthy collection firms out there, but if you keep one on your staff it allows you to choose and train them to fit your company specifically.

One of the first ways that a collection specialist can be a necessary asset to your recruitment agency is when a client rejects one of your candidates then hires them outside of your recommendation. This is what is referred to as a backdoor hire. The reason you stay in business is because clients come to you to provide them with the best staff for their company. If they reject your appointment and then hire the person on their own, they can avoid paying you the finder fee that you are guaranteed through your contract. You need someone who has dedicated time and skills to working with other companies on collecting what they owe you. A collection specialist has the training and ability to handle these situations along with your legal team. Another way that a collection specialist can help your company is in a situation where another company has an issue with an employee you place with them, and generally these issues are beyond your control or scope of knowledge, and they refuse to pay for your services. There are many reasons that an employee might not fit after they are placed. There can be a variety of behavioral issues that cause them to not gel with the team or the environment of the company. Unless it is stated in the initial contract that they do not have to pay if the placement does not end up as a good match, the company still has to pay you for your work, and you will start over again with a new candidate. This is not a fight that you want to go into on your own, so a collection specialist can be a huge help as you turn it over to them and let them handle the situation for you. A good collection specialist will work with the client and try to resolve the problem amicably, but they do have the experience and skills to collect in a non-amicable situation. Particularly in these situations which can be delicate due to the behavior of an employee that put you there, you need a collection specialist who can navigate and settle it with hopefully minimal trouble for them and your company.

One more way that recruitment agencies need a collection specialist is when a client sues your company in order to prevent paying what you are due. There are a thousand reasons that they can come up with to sue you and most of the time they are hoping you will settle and just avoid the situation entirely. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS TRICK! A collection specialist can work with your legal team or whoever is representing you to make sure that the lawsuit does not stick and that you get what is due.

A collection specialist can be a great asset to your recruiting agency. You need staff to carry you through the entire transaction with each of your clients and a collection specialist is going to be your closer. Take our advice and recruit one for your company so you can be the very best staffing agency out there.

Adding Split Placements in 2021

by Veronica Blatt

Adding split placements to your business mix is always worth considering. As the economy and recruitment both continue to recover, next year may be an even better-than-normal time to consider splits. There is pent-up demand for hiring and employers will be eager to get their open roles filled quickly. Splits can give you access to a wider candidate pool, increasing the odds of getting the right candidate in front of your client—before your competition does.

Here are a few ways that adding split placements can benefit your recruitment firm:

  • If your main niche is not recovering, you can easily adjust to a different/new sector
  • If your client has roles opening up and you don’t have sufficient candidates, a split partner can help you develop a short list
  • If you are seeing new markets emerging (like cybersecurity or fintech), working on a split-placement basis can give you a leg up on your competition
  • If your client has openings in new or different geographic locations (even globally!), a local split partner can be a tremendous asset
  • If you have recruiters with excess capacity, working on splits can fill those gaps and create a new revenue stream for your business
  • If you really like (or are better) to just focus on one side of the placement (either finding clients OR finding candidates), splits allow you to play to your strengths
  • If you are positioned for growth but are worried about additional overhead, add split partners instead of recruiters
  • If you don’t like managing a team, split placements connect you with like-minded recruiters that you don’t need to supervise

If you don’t have a lot of experience with split placements, there is a learning curve and possibly a leap of faith required. We recommend strong written agreements between partners, a clear division of labor, and an agreed-upon schedule of communication to keep the process flowing smoothly. You may also want to consider use of an escrow service to hold the client’s fee (particularly for large salaries) if you have a money-back guarantee that could require a refund from your partner. Be willing to do more than half the work, and over-communicate to increase your odds of success.

Using a Recruiting Firm vs. Hiring an In-House Recruiter

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Henry Goldbeck, of Goldbeck Recruiting. Goldbeck Recruiting is a recruitment and executive search firm located in Vancouver, BC. As true employment consultants, they bridge industry expertise and headhunting excellence with human resource support throughout the hiring process to improve the success of a new recruit.

Since 1997, they have filled challenging positions in industries and expertise areas like sales, engineering, biotech, accounting & finance, manufacturing & operations and the non profit sector.

Each option has specific advantages and disadvantages. Which is right for your company?

Engaging a hiring process for a company of any size can be stressful. Especially for roles in specialized or highly competitive industries, or, say, pandemic economies, hiring teams and processes can encounter challenges which keep vital roles empty. For these reasons, a company’s hiring strategy is very important to the bottom lines of cost and efficiency; this is why some firms will opt to hire recruiting agencies, and others will rely on in-house recruiters. Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing MPCs for Business Development

by Liz Carey

Because of the present state of the economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, where many clients are not actively hiring or seeking new employees, many recruiters feel as though they can’t do much regarding business development.  But experienced recruiters know that just because clients don’t have a specific search for you, or they are on a hiring freeze, doesn’t mean it’s time to stop marketing.

This is where an MPC presentation can help, which is calling up a potential or existing client and telling them about a “Most Placeable Candidate” – someone you know would succeed and have a great impact on your client.

Clients don’t want to lose out on difference-makers who can make an immediate, positive impact on their team. And they especially don’t want their competitors to get that top talent.

Marketing MPCs is not a new process, and is very effective not only in an economic downturn, but anytime. By marketing a very strong candidate, it can “kick down the door” and allow you to engage with and develop a relationship with the key decision makers in the company.

This isn’t for any old candidate… this is for a candidate with a “Wow” factor.  The MPC typically:

  • Has a highly desired skill set and a track record of proven success
  • May address diversity issues in companies
  • Is marketable – realistic about their wants, open to looking and relocating, etc.
  • Is ready to interview and reference-checked
  • Is currently employed and not already passing their CV around to other recruiters/companies

Then, when you market an MPC, you have to make a presentation call… never just an email. You can utilize a tool like Lusha to find the contact info for the key decision makers and senior executives. When you present the candidate, don’t tell them who it is. For example, you can use the line “we’re working with an individual who is currently a sales director within one of your direct competitors” — that line alone will get their attention. Then give them a few bullet points about the candidate, utilizing the FAB (Features, Achievement, Benefit) approach to let them know how this candidate would help their team.

If you catch their attention and them interested, talk through with the senior executive what challenges they have in the business now, and where have they struggled to find skills and people. When you finish the call, you want that contact to remember you and call you in the future. Follow-up with an email with a bit more information about the MPC if there was interest… that way, they have your contact info.

However, in order to be successful in marketing MPCs, you must also gain the candidate’s trust. You need to build a great relationship with that candidate so they trust you to introduce them to clients and keep their search discreet. You don’t want to throw a candidate’s name around and alert the whole market that they are looking. You want to first ensure there is interest from the company before disclosing who your MPC is.

You need to know what the candidate is looking for – learn about what they desire in a company, and if there are any companies they want to avoid. If they only want to work for small start-ups, you don’t want to be marketing them to the Googles of the world. Once you know what the candidate is looking for, you must select the right companies to target and contact.

Even if you don’t place that specific candidate with the company, clients are sure to be impressed with the caliber of candidate you work with, thus increasing your credibility, which may help you secure a search assignment in the future.

The 4 A’s of Talent Acquisition

by Veronica Blatt

recruitment and talent acquisition imageToday’s guest blogger is Jim Lyons, JD, CPC of LHI Executive Search in the New York City area. LHI is an investigative executive search & research outsourcing firm covering the information technology, capital markets, private equity/venture capital, digital & social media, mobile, cloud, big data, and legal business sectors. Jim has been an NPAworldwide member since 2012 and is currently serving as the secretary/treasurer of the Board of Directors. Below are some talent acquisition questions to help your clients determine whether an opening is likely to be filled.

On a recent project with an NPAworldwide partner, I got an idea for a new client development tool. I’ve developed an assessment, along with case studies, that helps hiring managers think critically about the jobs they need to fill. Specifically, The 4A’s of Talent Acquisition is a simple assessment tool focused on the one question hiring managers must consider when bringing a job to market: How long will it likely take to fill this job? Read the rest of this entry »

Resources for Recruiting & Business Development

by Liz Carey

Members of our recruitment network have been sharing tips with each other about recruiting strategies during COVID, but the content applies anytime, not just during a pandemic. On a recent NPAworldwide regional call, members discussed an article about building client relationships as well as their own methods of business development they have found success with.

Here are some tools and resources recruiters can use to build business:

  • Crunchbase – gives access to information on companies and funding and you can use it to identify potential clients in growth mode.
  • Search Layoff directories, or subscribe to a layoff alert page, to keep abreast of people who have been laid off and companies that have laid off.  After all, those companies will likely need to hire back.
  • Take advantage of the tools you have and spend money on. Sometimes we get so caught up in advanced sourcing methods, and forget to do the simple things that can yield quick results. For example…
  • Set up alerts on LinkedIn for when a company posts a new job – you can do this with prospects, past clients, etc.
  • LinkedIn’s #readytowork and #opentowork hashtags, and the #OpenToWork photo frame, can be used so you know who is open to new opportunities – help connect them! LinkedIn has also added a new “Offer Help” option on posts, to enable members to share with their networks that they’re open to providing assistance.
  • Join a Resume Review Facebook group , which helps jobseekers with free resume reviews, and gives you the opportunity to give back and build relationships by being a mentor/reviewer.
  • Utilize Reddit – the news/discussion website that has niche communities devoted to recruiting (https://www.reddit.com/r/recruiting/ or https://www.reddit.com/r/Recruitment/). This is a great way to pick the brains of other recruiters and ask questions or get advice.
  • Bret Feig’s start.me page has a huge catalog of resources including trainings, resume groups, layoff lists, hiring lists, and more.
  • Look local – join your local Chamber of Commerce or business organizations to expand your network, and look through real estate transactions to see what companies are leasing out, to find companies that are growing.

No matter what tools or platform you use, it’s important that your communication and reach-outs are effective. Here are tips from our members on how to build good relationships:

  • Whether you’re dealing with a client/company, or candidates, or a trading partner, communication is so important. Stay in touch – even if it’s not about business… just saying ‘how are you, how are you coming with things’ etc., or send them a newsletter / relevant articles.
  • Double check with clients what they expect to happen next year.
  • Keep in touch with candidates – anyone who gets a new job, press them to find out who the hiring person is in this area, that area, etc.
  • There is no substitute for getting on the phone and telling potential clients and candidates who you are. They are getting bombarded with emails and inMail, so if you can get them on the phone and build up credibility in the first 30 seconds, you’re in.

What business development and client relationship development strategies work for you?