Who owns the network? A split placement network can be privately-owned or publicly-owned, or in NPA’s case, a member-owned cooperative. There is no right/wrong, better/worse ownership model, but you should understand it before you join.
What is the average return on investment for members? Ideally, you want to join a split placement network that offers a high value for your investment. The most common way to measure ROI is to consider the average split fee revenue earned by each member, compared to the costs of membership. You can also measure VALUE, whether in terms of cost (or time) savings through member discount programs, or access to a network of peers who share business acumen.
What does it cost to belong? Some common models include dues-only, brokerage-only, or a combination of dues and brokerage. Informal networks, such as LinkedIn groups, are often free. Some networks also sell software or other business tools. Be sure to find out if you’ll be required to use any particular tool and if so, if there is an additional cost for that tool.
How do I work on positions / share candidates? A split placement network can have almost any arrangement for how its members ‘work the network.’ Some offer exclusivity on a particular role or candidate. Others follow a ‘first in, first out’ rule. Some allow recruiters to ‘bid’ for work and may control the number of roles you can work at any one time, or control the length of time during which a candidate referral will be honored. Recruiters may be required to use the network’s software tool, or they may be able to work directly with other recruiters. Pick a system that feels comfortable for you.
How are disputes handled? Even in the best of circumstances, there are bound to be disagreements or disputes from time to time. You’ll want to spend time exploring how these are handled. Does the split placement network provide formal dispute resolution? Are there time-tested rules and policies? What happens to network members who continually break the rules?
Is there any protection in the event of non-payment by a partner? If you’ve ever been burned on a split placement, this question is probably on the top of your list. What does the split placement network you’re considering do in the event one partner fails to pay another? This is an especially important question if you’re the partner with the candidate, since you’ll have to trust your partner to pay you on time. Will the network help you collect the monies you are owed? Does the network offer indemnification?
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