In NPAworldwide, our default position is that members share in a 50/50 split placement. That is likely your split placement expectation as well, but what about unique or unusual circumstances? There are times when a 50/50 split might not be the best option. Here are some examples I have seen:
Your client gives you a job with a different division, a different geography, or a different niche. For recruiters who have a narrow specialty or even a micro-niche, these may not be the types of roles that you routinely want to work. I have seen some recruiters who want to be completely hands-off and will introduce their partner to the client for a flat finder’s fee. Another scenario involves a 50/50 split placement on the first deal, with perhaps a 60/40 split on the second placement, to an 80/20 split, and then nothing else. Having some creativity and flexibility allows you help your client without having to dabble in unfamiliar territory – especially if you really need assistance sourcing candidates for that role.
You are working on a global recruitment assignment, where a partner in another country has a significant role. It’s not uncommon to work with a client in North America, for example, to fill a job in China or Germany, where a local candidate is desired. If you don’t have the resources to source candidates, you will have to rely heavily on your partner’s assistance. In addition to advertising, sourcing and screening candidates, the in-country partner may also be responsible for scheduling (and hosting) interviews with the client, and even negotiating the offer to ensure compliance with local laws. In a situation like this, it may be wise to compensate your partner with a greater share of the fee. I have commonly seen 70/30 or 80/20 splits for these situations. In rare cases, I’ve even seen a 90/10 split.
While a 50/50 split placement may be the norm, you may find that you occasionally need to negotiate something different. It’s always a good idea to clarify your arrangement in advance, in writing, before your partner presents any candidates for consideration. For instances where you are making an introduction to your client, please take great pains to specify exactly what portion of the relationship you are turning over. Examples might be only jobs for a specific division, or only a specific job function (like accounting). There may be a time limit – maybe no splits after 6 months or a year. There is no single “right” way to accommodate unusual fee splits. What is important is that you do the work in advance with your partner to ensure everyone understands the situation the same way. This will help you avoid future problems, provide great service to your client, improve your trading relationship, and possibly lead to additional deals. And isn’t that the outcome you want from every split?