This is a question we get asked on a regular basis, so I am sharing the answer with our followers today.
In the United States, a recruiting association is likely to be a non-taxable, non-profit entity. Recruiting associations, as well as many other trade associations, typically exist for the following reasons:
- To provide formal education by way of certification or other professional credentials;
- To create and enforce professional standards of behavior and ethics; and,
- To provide lobbying and other legislative support for the industry they represent.
The National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) is the predominant US association in the recruitment industry. (Disclosure: NPA is a corporate member of NAPS, and NPA’s president is also a member of the NAPS board of directors.)
NAPS is a great recruiting organization, offering the well-known CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credentialing program. While NAPS and NPA both offer access to a network of recruiters through meetings, seminars, conferences, and other events, there are some big differences between our two organizations.
NPA is, by legal definition, a not-for-profit cooperative, but we are NOT non-taxable. As a cooperative, NPA is owned by its members. Member-ownership is one hallmark that makes us different from other recruiting networks and recruiting organizations. NPA is not a recruiting association; we do not offer credentialing, professional standards, or legislative services.
NPA exists to help independent recruiting firms make more money through split placements. The network was founded in 1956 as a way for independent recruiting firms to work together to compete against larger, franchised employment agencies. These forward-thinking independent recruitment companies knew they could make more placements (and more money) by working together, but did not want to give up the autonomy of running their own businesses.
NPA’s cooperative structure means that all of our members contribute financially (via dues and brokerage) for products and services that create additional split placement opportunities. By pooling their resources, NPA members receive more products and services, more cost-effectively, than they would be able to purchase on their own.
Finally, member-ownership means that any profits earned by NPA are shared by the owners, or put back into the recruiting network for the development of additional recruiting resources. NPA exists solely to serve its members; it is not owned by a private individual who receives all the financial benefits.
These are the prime traits that distinguish NPA from a recruiting association. Are there other differences? Please share your thoughts below!