Joining a recruiting network can open up so many doors of opportunity. Recruiters come into a recruitment network to expand their reach, build their revenues, and to better serve clients and candidates. But for new members, it can be intimidating to jump in – How do I build relationships with these longtime members who all know each other and already work with each other? How long will it take to get my first split placement? Where do I start?
To be a successful trading partner, you need to keep in mind your objective, communication, and relationship-building with trading partners.
1. Objective. First, have in mind what you want out of your membership in a recruiting network and what kind of commitment you are prepared to make to split business in order to make it profitable for your firm. Ask these questions to help decide how to proceed:
- Do I only want to take my “extra” candidates and put them into Matchmaker, hoping that someone will find them in the database and make a placement for me?
- Do I want to just import candidates for my jobs?
- Do I just want to export candidates?
- Do I just want to import jobs and respond to them directly to affiliates with my candidates?
- Do I want some combination of the above? What is it?
Decide which method you want to follow and make the commitment to follow it. Regardless of which path you choose, you will need to create a general plan of action that includes a thorough study of your business and specialty so that you can gain the greatest benefits from your action plan.
2. Communication. Communication is the most important element of working split business in a recruiting network. You must be willing to plan your day to deal with communications with other members. In other words, you have to make the network part of your everyday business plan. Communication between trading partners is the key, and it comes in many forms.
- Decide how you want to communicate with other affiliates and how you would like those recruiters to communicate with you, i.e. phone, email, job/candidate posting dashboard.
- Establish a plan and communicate your methods to other affiliates.
- Learn the system. Understanding how to use your network’s dashboard and how to access and retrieve information will save you time and produce results.
- Learn how to effectively create a candidate record and a job record with information that will “add value” for your trading partner.
- Be willing to share your information freely with other members.
3. Get To Know Your Trading Partners. Your trading partners can be your best clients! Take the time to search out potential trading partners and establish communication with them.
- Make sure your own recruiter profile is current, correct, and complete.
- Determine the specialty you work and find out who else in the network works the same areas. Contact those recruiters.
- Determine how these other firms operate and prefer to exchange information.
- Determine how valuable you can be to your trading partners and sell yourself…just like you would to your best clients.
- Determine how many network recruiters you feel you can interface with effectively. Make sure that if you are primarily an importer (need candidates) you seek out exporters (need jobs) or vice versa.
The following is an example of how you might start your recruiting network strategy. It is only one method, but outlines a good format that can be used. It illustrates how to integrate the network into your daily work plan. We have chosen to spend about two to three hours per day working our recruiting network.
- Objective: We decided that our recruiting network involvement would include both importing and exporting. Our objectives are to market our candidates to network partners and use the network as a recruiting source to fill our jobs. We have reviewed our company business and have determined that we are working mainly the process/chemical industries and mostly in chemical and rubber and miscellaneous plastic products.
- Day One: The first day we selected 4-6 of our most placeable candidates and 2-4 of our most fillable jobs. We then completely and correctly entered the records onto the network’s job and candidate sharing site, being sure to add value to the records. We also sent them directly to our pre-identified network affiliates who work these same industries/products.
- Day Two: We spent time searching the network’s recruiter directory to locate 15-20 potential trading partners, with the goal of establishing at least 10 recruiters or firms to start working with right away. We also took the time to search and review candidates for our open jobs and to also search for jobs that fit our candidates. We set up Search Agents to automatically receive candidates who match two of the jobs we are trying to fill.
- Day Three: We made phone contact with the 15-20 network affiliates to introduce our firm and to actually find out how the other firms work. We established communication protocol with our affiliates. Our end result was that we determined eight of these affiliates could become strong potential trading partners. We also spent time entering information into our system for exchanging information with the affiliates, e.g. email addresses, etc., to prepare for future activity. We also reviewed the Search Agent candidate results in response to our job postings and reacted to the information by contacting one of the affiliates for further information about one candidate. We ultimately determined there was not a match with this candidate.
- Day Four: We started to match candidates and jobs from our entire database to meet the needs of the selected recruiters we are establishing as specific trading partners, as well as sending our jobs. We set into motion daily goals to start adding all our candidates and jobs to the network job/candidate sharing site. Again, we reviewed the Search Agent email and discovered another potential candidate for one of our jobs. We made contact with the submitting recruiter and determined that a call to the candidate would benefit both our needs.
- Day Five: We reviewed the entire process for the week. We did a follow-up with our new potential trading partners to get feedback from them as to our activity. We notified the network affiliate we had previously contacted that we had spoken with the candidate and would be proceeding with submission to our client company, providing that affiliate with the name of our client. We established further goals to build the trading partner process and began to evaluate our current trading partners.
Joining a network can be a great tool in your recruiting tool belt, but you have to work it and be proactive. If you want to make splits, there are tons out there waiting to happen, but they won’t just fall into your lap. A little bit of effort goes a long way, with a huge ROI.