NPAworldwide is a global recruitment network that exists to help its members make split placements. We’re in our 63rd year of business, and we’re big believers in splits. Today I’d like to address some common myths about working split deals.
Split placements are inherently dangerous. There are people who avoid splits because they believe there is a high risk that they won’t get paid (if they provide the candidate) or that a split partner would infringe on their client relationship. While splits may carry some inherent risk, that risk can be easily mitigated with a good written agreement. I’ve included a link at the end of the post to a free sample split placement agreement that might serve as a good starting point if you don’t already have something. Splits *do* require a high degree of trust. It can be hard to trust a new partner, especially if you’ve been burned previously.
Split placements are faster than non-splits. Some recruiters think splits offer a magical way to fill deals fast. While it’s true that some split deals come together quickly — just like some non-split deals — it’s equally true that they can take the same amount of time (or more!) than a non-split. Difficult searches that require a unique skillset, in a market or niche that is talent-short, take time to fill.
Split placements require less work. Some recruiters approach split placements with a mindset that they only have to do “half the work.” Our experience says this is NOT the path to success. While you may “only” be working the client side or the candidate side, you still have to do ALL of your work. On the client side, you may be managing the whole process including communicating with the candidate, or you may delegate some of that to your trading partner. On the candidate side, you still have to do all of your normal activity to find the candidate, sell her on the opportunity, and keep the other person informed.
Split placements are easy. Nothing about recruitment is easy. Finding top talent in today’s candidate-short market is difficult. Working with clients who continually pressure recruiters to lower their fees or look to ways to avoid using external recruiters is difficult. If you approach splits thinking they’re a shortcut to easy money, you may find it hard to succeed.
Splits are a smart way to expand your business without increasing overhead. They give you access to industries, niches, and geographic markets you may not have had. They allow you to have more balls in the air and help you serve your clients more effectively. But splits are not a magic solution to a tough business. Be prepared to work as hard on splits as you do on other deals, have strong written agreements, and really focus on communication with your trading partner in order to reap the benefits.