Primary Risk Areas to Consider When Starting a Contract-Placement Business

by Veronica Blatt

image of contract staffing employeesToday’s guest blog is a post from People 2.0, a leading provider of back-office solutions for staffing and recruiting organizations, nationally and globally. They offer a variety of support services, including payrolling, payroll funding, risk management, etc., and serve as a strategic resource in helping you efficiently and profitably place talent. People 2.0 is an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program.

Every business endeavor entails risks, and contract staffing is no exception. When compared with permanent placement, the compliance and liability risks of contract staffing can be daunting for a firm without a comprehensive resource for dealing with these risks. But with the right resources and advance planning, these risks shouldn’t keep a staffing or recruiting firm owner from taking advantage of the revenue potential of contract staffing. Primary areas of risk every staffing or recruiting firm need to consider when doing contract placements include the following: Read the rest of this entry »

What Happens When a Split Placement Falls Off?

by Veronica Blatt

In a split placement, the prevailing wisdom is that the partner providing the candidate is at the most risk of financial harm. The fee is paid to the partner working with the client. The candidate provider (we say ‘exporter’ in NPAworldwide) is completely at the mercy of the partner to pay them as promised.

However, the job order partner (we say ‘importer’) also faces financial risk. What happens if the candidate quits (or is terminated) AFTER the fee is paid, but BEFORE the guarantee period expires? How do you handle refunds to your client when you’ve given half of the fee to a partner? This does happen, although it’s not common. Make sure you understand this scenario before you enter into a split placement arrangement. Here are some things to consider: Read the rest of this entry »

Recruiters and Employers: How Will You Attract and Retain Millennials?

by Dave Nerz

Get ready! By 2025, Millennials will be almost 75% of the workforce. That is just 6 years away.

The good news is that this demographic will infuse the workplace with a fresh perspective and new ways of thinking. The challenge is that Millennials have expectations that differ from the generations that preceded them. This will create significant organizational change and many new challenges to be addressed. Older generations label Millennials as entitled, self-absorbed, and even unreliable. As with most stereotypes, these perceptions will be only partially accurate for some of the many workers in this generational category. Regardless, organizations and the leaders setting direction will need to respond and change. Methods and practices for employee attraction and retention will need to be examined. Read the rest of this entry »

What employers need to know about the July jobs report

by Veronica Blatt

July Jobs Report imageToday’s guest blogger is Lily Martis, Monster contributor. Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW), is the global leader in successfully connecting job opportunities and people. Monster uses the world’s most advanced technology to help people Find Better, matching job seekers to opportunities via digital, social and mobile solutions including®, our flagship website, and employers to the best talent using a vast array of products and services. As an Internet pioneer, more than 200 million people have registered on the Monster Worldwide network.  Today, with operations in more than 40 countries, Monster provides the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities globally. For more information visit

The economy added 164,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. Here’s what you need to know.

Employers and economists alike looked to the July jobs report to set the tone for the second half of this year—and neither were disappointed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy expanded by 164,000 jobs in July. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at a low 3.7%, and average hourly wages jumped up by 8 cents, totaling $27.98. Here are the headlines from July’s report. Read the rest of this entry »

Tech Salary Trends Across the Globe

by Veronica Blatt

Hired has released its fourth annual State of Salaries report, providing tech salary trends for a variety of data points around the world. Survey data is tabulated from the Hired database and includes positions such as data scientists, software engineers, product managers, and more.

Which city is paying the highest salary for tech workers?

Tech salaries in San Francisco are the highest in the USA, for the fourth straight year. However, salaries are quickly rising in Boston and Toronto (9% increase in 2018 vs 2017). Austin, London and Washington, DC are also seeing significant salary increases. Each of those cities show an average annual tech salary increase of 6 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Avoid Roadblocks That Sabotage Your Job Applications

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Keith Grafman, Founder and Principal of Creative Content Consulting, LLC. CCC positions digital identity for your career, dating, and business, with a consistent presence across your digital footprint. For more information, visit:

Wondering why your resume that’s chock full of color, graphics, pictures, unique characters and symbols isn’t landing you interviews? The culprit is most likely all of those fancy bells and whistles—they typically work against you.

Don’t let this discourage you from taking a creative approach to your resume and career positioning because you do need to individualize yourself, but it’s important to avoid confusing the parsing systems. Rather than leading with aesthetics, focus on articulating value.

For those of you that have heard of ATS systems, AKA Application Tracking Systems, that’s not the only part of your job application process that should concern you. There are also systems referred to as parsing systems. The simple explanation of a parsing system is the technology responsible for analyzing and interpreting your digital application/resume data to be organized and reviewed thereafter. More specifically, have you ever noticed when you’re prompted to submit/attach your resume/CV, immediately thereafter, a whole bunch of information (such as your name, phone number, city/state, etc.) populates? That’s a parsing system as work.

When an applicant is prompted to attach a resume/CV, there are typically options to submit a variety of formats, e.g. Microsoft Word, PDF, etc.

There’s a lot of debate surrounding the use of Microsoft Word vs. PDF documents for the digital application process—the fact is, both file formats have value.

The benefits of submitting a PDF-version of your resume:

  • Typically an accepted format for job application submissions
  • Keeps your resume formatting secured for submission process
  • Protects your data, organization and formatting within the document

The benefits of having a Word-version of your resume:

  • An easy-to-reference version that can be modified as needed
  • Some parsing systems may require the submission of a Word formatted document

Ideally, it’s optimal to have both a Word and PDF version of your resume, so you are able to:

  • Modify/add any relevant new details, accomplishments, etc. as your career progresses
  • Control the context and visual presentation of your career-positioning assets

If you find yourself confused about which resume file format is optimal for a job application submission, my suggestion would be to submit as a PDF whenever it’s an acceptable file format—This way, you’ll be able to protect your resume’s formatting and content.

Business Development Tips for Recruiters

by Liz Carey

Recently, two of NPAworldwide’s most successful members hosted a topical call, “Business Development- Let’s Grow!” They covered topics like: How can you set yourself apart from other recruiting agencies? And how do you get started with business development? Here are some of their tips:

How did you get started doing business development?

Roman Duty – I really got started doing it by talking to the candidates I was recruiting. I don’t think we do enough of that today, from management down. It’s about calling candidates – if they say “I’m not interested” or “No, thank you,” I took initiative to say “tell me about your hiring process” or pain points. They’d say “You know what, we’ve had really hard times filling this management position… it’s been open 6 months, my boss has used two recruiting firms. Why don’t you send me your info and I’ll send it over to my boss.” I get 10 hits a year by doing this alone. It’s a little bit easier and less ‘cold’ than you seeing job on Indeed and calling into HR. It’s warmer this way. Any call I make isn’t just recruiting, it’s business development as well.

Kimberley Chesney – If you have a robust ATS where it’s a relational database, code people as being a hiring authority as well as a candidate… that can help your pipeline. One thing that remains consistent is relationships. Relationships do not happen overnight. The spark for a meeting happens quickly, but how do you develop a relationship? The principals are 1) honest and integrity. Don’t promise something you can’t do. Make sure you are always under-promising and over-delivering and then the relationship develops bit by bit. 2) A relationship has to be reciprocal. If they say “Hey my next door neighbor’s brother wants to talk to you,” and you know you can’t do anything with them, you should still take 5 minutes to talk to them – even if it’s just to say “we can’t help, but have you tried XYZ (i.e. a resource like going to the local library)?” Don’t blow them off. We’ve had so much work come back to us because our reputation is that we care.


Why is continual business development important?

Kimberley – Each and every recruiter knows how many balls in the air they should have to be successful. My associate operates very well with several balls in the air. For myself, when I’m actively engaged in a retained search, I never could have that number of balls in the air. Know yourself and what you’re capable of. When 1 ball comes to a close, whether it’s an acceptance or not, have your sights set on the next search assignment you’re going to bring in the door.

Roman – You need to make the process for every candidate as seamless and professional as possible. If you can stand out in your candidate’s eyes, you’d be amazed at how many times they come back to you. They could become a hiring manager; so you need to do business development all the time. Stand out amongst other recruiting firms. The market is good right now – a lot of companies are hiring in many industries; along with that comes competition. Business development you can do by contacting candidates and making it seamless. They will remember you and will use you in the future if you can stand out. I can’t say how many times I’ve heard from a candidate “it’s really nice to hear someone’s voice, and not just an email”


What types of pitfalls do you encounter in business development?

Roman – “Rationalizing rejection.” A lot of times you’re going to get turned down. You may make a lot of business development calls and send a lot of emails before you even get the first person to call you. I don’t think it’s anyone’s favorite thing to do.

Kimberley – My pitfall is forgetting to do it. We get so busy in trying to fill. If you see your desk as a manufacturing plant, if you don’t get the raw material, you can’t make the product (placement). The other thing is getting too focused. When you know in your heart that a deal is going sideways, don’t put all your effort into that. Some of the time in your day should be put aside for business development, rather than praying and hoping a deal happens.


How do you set yourself apart from other recruiting agencies?

Kimberley – NPA has set us apart hugely. Whether we’re competing with the “big boys” or competing with regular staffing agencies who dollar per dollar flip resumes, whatever market in our business we’re competing against, it’s really important you leverage your membership in NPA. We’re not an association, we own the network. You are not alone in your search. Even if you don’t choose to use NPA, you literally can present yourself as being so resourceful in terms of being able to source candidates, that you’ve already differentiated yourself. Leverage NPA for sure.

Roman – Take time to put together really concise information, whether on site with client (we give documentation on how many people we’ve placed with them, what our retention rates are, etc. For an automotive client in a very rural spot, we included the openings we’ve filled in 3 years that are very rural). In order to differentiate yourself, do a little bit extra – tailor presentations more, it makes you stand out better than someone else. HR people get dozens of calls a day, dozens of LinkedIn messages a day. How do you stand out? Statistics, fill rates, # days before we qualify 3+ candidates, typical week-length start of a search, acceptance rate of offers extended. All things we’ve compiled over the years.



What’s the consensus on cold calling as opposed to modern day social media networking?

Kimberley – I think both. They’re not mutually exclusive. You have to know your audience – whether or not they’re going to want to talk to a live person. Typically the higher you go, the more likely they’ll want to talk to you. Set a designated time to call. Use all techniques, but know your client.


There are 100s of 1000s of “sales people” sitting offshore calling all day long: how do you differentiate?

Roman – Pick up the phone. There are a lot of people now, whether RPO firms, that are inundating candidates, but they’re doing it almost exclusively via email (it’s difficult for them to call because of time change). Pick up the phone and call people. It’s almost a lost art – people are not calling people because we have access to so much more technology. But the first touch point shouldn’t be a LinkedIn Recruiter invite – use that to strengthen yourself, not “I hope this person reaches back out to me.”


When sending a blind email (e.g., a LinkedIn InMail, a Gmail, etc.) to a potential client, what do you use in the Subject line? Simply “Let’s connect”, or more direct?

Roman – I’d get to the point. I would never pitch a business model in an email – keep it casual. I think it’s 70% of all people now are getting emails on their phone, and 60% the first time they see an email is on their phone. You don’t want to be very wordy – keep it very succinct & concise, because no one is going to scroll on the phone for 3-4 seconds to read entire email.

Kimberley – If you reach someone via email, the worst thing you can do is keep the same string going by replying with the same subject line. Go back and change the subject line to what you’re talking about in that new message. You’ve got their attention already.


What do you feel is the most effective 1-2 opening you can use for a prospective client — either via email, InMail, or phone — to get him/her to engage with you?

Kimberley – I have two solid recruiters that do this well – they find a common ground… it might be they found they were listed in a publication or press release. People like to talk about themselves and their organizations – grab them that way.

Roman – I agree. “I saw you in the news recently…”



Key Reminders When Making Split Placements

by Sarah Freiburger

As the Director of Membership for NPAworldwide, I speak to many independent recruiters who are considering joining that are very familiar with the idea of split placements, have considered implementing them into their business model, or a good percentage of their business already involves split fees. Here are just 5 key reminders you should abide by and look for in others as you make successful split placements or are joining a network.

  1. Your trading partner’s time is just as valuable as your own. If you have reached out to a trading partner or posted a job, you owe them the acknowledgment and information to make their time worthwhile. Do not ask your trading partners to work jobs that do not have a chance of success, or that you are already almost closing on. Having chosen to be involved in a split placement network or agreeing to make split placements means that you are viewing your trading partner as your equal, and should treat their time and diligence as you expect yours would be treated. This goes hand in hand with sharing as much information as you can about the job order, keeping them updated on status changes, etc.
  2. Do not only give out needle-in-a-haystack jobs. A successful splitter realizes that being able to take on larger client orders or take on more clients means a growing business, and uses their trading partners to fill many jobs more efficiently. Only relying on, or wanting a trading partner for those nearly impossible-to-fill roles is not a beneficial situation for both parties, and will make it harder to establish long term trading partners willing to give your jobs attention.
  3. Their candidates deserve the same respect as yours. A trading partner who provides you with strong candidates should be given the same consideration and attention that you give those candidates you find yourself. They deserve to be kept informed once they are in process, and even given bad news if they are not chosen for a role, as you may end up filling a similar position again. Trading partners will notice and appreciate the way you treat their candidates, and use it as a reflection of how you treat your clients or other trading partners as well.
  4. Not everyone recruits the same way you do. While in a split fee recruitment network, or searching for trading partners on your own, you are going to come across a variety of personalities and business styles. None of these are bad, just different from your own and in order to make split placements, their style needs to be respected. If they require four phone calls for clarity on a position to present you with a star candidate, then the reward will be reaped in the end. If their style completely does not work for you, tell them instantly, so you both can move on to other trading partners and opportunities.
  5. Pay immediately and true to contract. Those independent recruiters that do not give reason to mistrust them are the ones that deliver payment in the amount, and in the time frame agreed upon. If you are getting a 25% fee from your client, you owe your trading partner 50% of that, and you owe them the minute you receive payment. The most common frustration I hear from recruitment firms wanting to join our split placement network is their concern that the posted fees will be less than what that recruiter is getting from their client, so the split placement is unequal and unfair. In this instance, make sure that you are joining a network operated on bylaws and ethics that prevent this from happening, such as NPAworldwide.

Recruitment an Inch Wide and a Mile Deep

by Veronica Blatt

recruitment and talent acquisition imageThis post is from guest blogger Scott King of Kings Resources in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Scott is a longtime member of NPAworldwide and is currently serving on our board of directors. Kings Resources is a boutique recruitment firm that specializes in the placement of contract and direct-hire information technology professionals.

I was fortunate to recently attend one of NPAworldwide’s many global conferences this year. This one was a networking meeting in Porto, Portugal and it was attended by many experienced recruitment professionals from Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, USA, Australia and Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

Recruitment News and Blogs to Follow

by Veronica Blatt

I make a point of doing some industry reading most days during the week, even if it’s just a quick glance at headlines. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite blogs and other sites for recruitment news:

Fistful of Talent – FOT is an opinion blog with a wide range of contributors in the talent, recruitment, and HR space, with pieces that are a little snarky/edgy. Always a great read; I particularly enjoy posts from Tim Sackett, Laurie Ruettimann, and Katrina Kibben. Read the rest of this entry »