Recruitment Firms join a split placement network to expand their reach, better serve clients and candidates, and add to their revenue. As a member engagement specialist for NPAworldwide, I help connect our members to trading partners in their niche, help them navigate NPA’s Marketplace, and facilitate practice group calls where they can meet other recruiters. But one of the most important steps is connecting with a new member when they first join to help understand their goals and set realistic expectations for their membership. Some of the questions I get – How does it work? How long will it take to get my first split placement fee? Where do I start?
What I suggest when joining a split placement network is to first have in mind what you want out of it and what kind of commitment you are prepared to make. A lot of times members will want to dive in with both feet – they plan to both bring jobs to the table that they need help filling, as well as upload their “extra” candidates hoping that someone will find them in the database and make a placement. I suggest starting off with what you feel most comfortable with… if you are a savvy headhunter, then work the candidate-side. If you prefer the salesy side and have a lot of clients and job orders, then bring those to the table. You can always gradually scale up to do both sides of it. Same with your specialty / niche…. sure, you can say you do “everything,” but maybe pick an area that you are really passionate about, and start making some connections and deals there.
Another thing I tell members is it is ALL about communication – that is the most important element of working split business in NPA. Treat your trading partners like your best client. If you are “too busy” to communicate with your partners and give feedback, then you will get a bad reputation and will likely not be able to develop effective partnerships. You have to make NPA part of your everyday business plan and commit to it. Set expectations up front with your trading partners and establish a plan on how you want to communicate and how you prefer those recruiters to communicate with you, as well as how often.
Now, that’s not to say that you’re going to get along with and partner with anyone and everyone. In a network, there are many different personalities and they don’t all work the way you want to work. It takes some trial and error to find partners that you “click” with, so I always suggest reaching out to one new partner a week. Take the time to search out potential trading partners, establish communication with them, and get to know them. You can reach out to your network staff for suggestions, search the database for recruiters who work in your space, or search the database for jobs/candidates in your expertise and reach out to the recruiters posting them. Or, look for who is doing deals in your space – they would be a great resource not only for potential splits, but to get to know them and how they made the network “work” for them.
Lastly, the one piece of advice I tell new members is: You get out of NPA what you put into it. NPA Membership isn’t a “golden ticket” to getting a split fee. You have to work the network. Upload a handful of your most placeable candidates each week to the database for other members to find in searches. Post a couple of your hottest job needs to the database and reach out to those who might be able to help. Visibility matters. If you only come to your network once in a while when you need something, people won’t know who you are and aren’t likely to help. But if your name is out in searches and alerts daily/weekly, and you are attending calls, and actively reaching out to other members, they are more likely to remember you and reach out to you when they need help or have bandwidth to help you.
Below is a chart of “Best Practices” for network engagement for NPA members:
|1 Networking Meeting
1 Annual Meeting
|Become known by other NPA members
|Trading Group Calls
|Introduce yourself to your NPA trading partners
Exchange jobs/candidates Discuss market trends
|Post Jobs/Candidates on Marketplace, Our Web-based Sharing Tool
|Minimum of 6 candidates per week (exporter)
Minimum of 1 job/week (importer)
|Become visible to NPA members
|Call NPA Members/Reach Out to Others
|Minimum of 1 NPA member/week
3 defined NPA partners within 6 months
|To develop relationships with trading partners
|Complete NPA Orientation and Training on NPA Website
|All steps completed by you and your staff, where appropriate
|Understand NPA and its policies and procedures
|Integrate NPA into Marketing Materials
|Email signature block
|Educate clients/candidates regarding value of NPA
|A minimum of 1 hour/day on NPA
|Make NPA a habit that grows your firm’s revenue