There is a saying in recruitment that time kills all deals. When it comes to successful split placements, I believe poor communication kills deals. Whether you’re committed to splits on your own, with an informal group of partners, or as part of a network, strong communication … maybe even “over-communication” … is the key to success. Here are a few examples:
- Lack of understanding over the fee and terms. If you are the recruiter with the job, make sure you clearly communicate what fee the client is paying, whether anything else is included (or excluded), what the payment terms and method are, how the fee will be split between you and the other recruiter, what your guarantee/replacement terms are with that client, etc. If you are the recruiter with the candidate, make sure to clearly communicate the financial expectation you have for placing the candidate. For example, if the other recruiter is collecting a flat $5,000 fee for the placement of a candidate with a $150,000 salary, are you OK accepting half of $5,000? Or do you expect to receive half of AT LEAST a 25% fee ($37,500)? Clarify the money in writing before any work begins – this is almost certainly where most disputes originate.
- Poor communication about the hiring process. In our network, we generally understand that the partner with the client relationship drives the placement activity. If you have the client relationship, make sure you are communicating clearly with your partner about how the client works, what their interview process is, when you and the candidate can expect to receive feedback about interviews, etc. I just saw a post where a recruiter’s candidate had gone on an interview with another recruiter’s client. Multiple weeks had passed with no feedback or follow-up for the candidate. That recruiter was getting ready to call the client directly to demand information. Calling another recruiter’s client will not lead to successful split placements. It will kill the trading relationship. Recruiters, don’t keep your partners in the dark about their candidates, especially in this market.
- Poor feedback about candidate submittals. If you are the recruiter with the client relationship, make sure you let your recruitment partners know that you received their candidate submittals. This is just common courtesy. Even better, take a few seconds to let your partner know whether the candidate is a good fit for the client/role, or not quite on-target. If it’s not quite on-target, let them know why. Your partners WANT to help, and they WANT to provide candidates that get hired. Help them be successful by providing guidance and feedback.
- Lack of understanding about the job before recruiting. If you are going to provide candidates for an open role, make sure you understand the dynamics of the role BEFORE you start recruiting. Is the job still open? Are there internal candidates already interviewing? Has anything changed from the original posting? Don’t spend ANY time recruiting until you have a thorough understanding of the role and any other recruiting activities that are already taking place.
- When in doubt, use the phone! Email gets lost in spam or is undelivered for a variety of reasons. If you’ve emailed something and several days have passed without a response, pick up the phone and call your partner. Don’t assume that every email you sent gets delivered … and seen … by its intended target, and that they’re simply ignoring you. You’d be surprised how often delivery failures happen. As the sender, you won’t always get a failure message letting you know there was a problem, and those on the receiving end frequently have no idea they’re not getting all of their messages. Don’t let email get in the way of successful split placements!
Do you have another communication tip to share? Add a comment below!