Split placements can be a lucrative and rewarding addition to your business mix. For recruiters who are making split placements without the benefit of a formal recruiting network or other recruiter organization, here are six ways to minimize split placement risk:
1. Get an upfront written (and signed) split fee agreement
The lack of a formal, written split-fee agreement is the number one cause of problems between split placement partners. Without a written agreement, both parties expose themselves to unnecessary risks over important details such as: how much is the fee, how will the fee be divided, when will payment occur, what happens in the event of a fall-off, what is the guarantee policy, etc. A safe estimate is that more than 90% of split placement disputes could be avoided simply by having both parties sign a detailed written agreement before commencing any work.
2. Have a clear division of work/responsibility
If it’s not covered in the written split-fee agreement, make sure both parties have a clear understanding of how the work is being divided, including tasks such as candidate phone screens, interview prep, client communication and background/reference checks.
3. Define communication expectations
Recruiters who are invested in split placements understand that clear communication expectations are critical. It’s important for each partner to understand how the other partner likes to work – phone, email, or some other combination. It’s also important to create a plan so that each partner knows how often to expect communication from the other partner, which activities will require communication, and which partner is responsible.
4. Be transparent and honest
Split placements work best when both sides are totally open and honest, and don’t withhold information from each other. That means being willing to share the name of the client, whether the client has identified an internal candidate, what other interview activity the candidate may have, etc.
5. Commit to closing a deal
When making split placements (especially on a contingency basis), both partners need to be fully vested in fulfilling the client’s need as quickly and efficiently as possible. No one wants to work for free.
6. Evaluate the split placement partnership
It’s a good idea to evaluate the working partnership a couple of weeks into the split placement process. This gives both sides an opportunity to see how the relationship is working, what could be different (or better), and make adjustments along the way.
The ultimate goal of any split placement is a satisfied client. Minimizing risk will help ensure a successful result for all involved parties.