Short and Long-Term Cost Savers in Hiring a Recruitment Agency

by Sarah Freiburger

For both small and large organizations alike, satisfied clients can agree that their external recruitment agency has been at times the most time and cost-effective way to access pools of highly skilled workers, especially those who are not actively seeking new employment.

How Recruitment Agencies Save You Time:

Only 10% of the market, if that, is actively applying for jobs. Most of these qualified individuals choose to only work discreetly with a recruitment agency when they are looking for a new challenge and opportunity. A well connected recruitment firm has thousands of candidates within their network, both actively and passively looking new roles. These recruiters are quality specialists within their sectors that have the knowledge to find the perfect fit for any hiring need. These firms pride themselves on presenting the top candidates in each market so a client only needs to make time to view candidates that will be worth considering. An independent firm also addresses all administrative issues such as all communications with the pool of applicants, verifying candidate qualifications and references as well as following up with those candidates not selected. Compared to in-house staff who may require training on best practice procedures, these highly experienced recruiters and agencies handle the process smoothly.

How Recruitment Agencies Save You Money:

Using recruitment agency removes any increased spend on multiple job adverts being posted. For instance, the NPAworldwide network gives recruitment firms allocations on top job boards, so clients can ensure that your job is advertised in all the correct places without managing the spend. Future hiring costs are significantly reduced as the agency will have knowledge of client company growth and culture so the process will be quicker which will result in even faster fills. An international firm part of a global network of recruitment firms locally based on all six continents, can especially reduce the need for in-house resources or putting in place a unique HR team if your organization expands.

Impact of Midterm Elections on the Workplace

by Dave Nerz

With the US midterm elections behind us, it is time for employers, recruiters, candidates and hiring managers to get back to filling important job openings. But what impact will the results of the elections have on the workplace? Here are some things to consider: Read the rest of this entry »

Questions for Finding an International Recruiter

by Sarah Freiburger

Many employers attempt to first use internal resources instead of looking at external recruitment companies. In markets that the employers know well and have social media connections, perhaps it is possible to avoid independent recruiters or at a minimum reduce the dependence on outside agents.  When the needs of companies expand beyond a local market and into countries where there is no physical presence, recruitment agencies may be the only way to achieve the results that are needed. As an international agency ourselves, we have prepared a few questions to consider when contracting an international agency.

1. How does your fee structure work?

There are many different approaches that recruiters use. If you have a real and immediate need opt for a firm that requires paying some sort of engagement fee or retainer so that you know that your opening will get some attention, or a devoted team and number of hours immediately put to the search. This will shorten the duration of the search and turn up candidates more quickly.


2. Does your firm have partners and connections where we are hiring?

It is often desirable to make a connection to a local recruiter with international connections rather than searching for a recruiter in the market where you have a one-off need. Develop a relationship with someone in your time-zone, who speaks your language, where you can meet them for coffee or have a meeting to hold them accountable for results. Have a relationship that is more than a single transaction. Opt for a relationship that gets leveraged around the world for your benefit, but keeps you grounded right where you are.


3. What is the most common source of the candidates you place?

Locating names is easy; selling people on making changes to their lives as significant as leaving one employer and moving to another is not easy work. It is even more difficult for the hiring company to be seen as an impartial coach or motivator of change. Sometimes the recruiter can do what even very talent hiring managers cannot. Also, look for recruiters with connections to a group of peers. You want the best candidate available not just the best candidate in their database. More like the best candidate in 20 or 30 recruitment companies’ databases. Or 500.


5. Can you tell me about international placement you have done or your affiliates/partners have done?

Examples of success are a good predictor of future success. Not every recruiter you connect with will have partners and connections and be able to share success stories. The ones who are capable will know others who are successful and have made international placements.


6. Does your firm belong to an international network or association of any type?

Ask what organizations they belong to. If they do not belong, then this show a lack of commitment or focus on what you are defining as necessary to support your search. They may have developed networks and connections independently…if so, they need to share some details on how they remain relevant in the market they hope to search for you.


There are many more you can add. In the end, it is about building a partnership and developing trust. The big things to take away are: look at the need creatively, you may find someone locally that has connections where you need to be, look for the ability to communicate examples of personal/partners success stories, and find someone who is doing recruiting not just list building.

4 Top Reasons to form Strategic Alliances

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Eric Snethkamp, global channels & strategic alliances manager for SafeGuard Global. For nearly a decade, organizations around the world have relied on SafeGuard Global for their global HR needs, specifically around payroll and employee compliance. SafeGuard Global is an Alliance Partner of NPAworldwide.

Strategic alliances, strategic partnerships and joint ventures can have considerable impact on an organization. Large-scale growth, shifting marketplaces, and new ways of doing things can be the difference in a company becoming or remaining a market leader. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding the Best Candidates

by Dave Nerz

Have you considered the position descriptions you write and the advertisements you make for finding the best candidates? Are you in search of great candidates or great employees…the best hire?

Candidates must meet a certain level of expectation to get through the recruitment process that human resources and independent recruiters set as a multi-level screening exercise. They are being compared to a position description that fails to capture the essence of a great hire, but rather is used to disqualify those who do not meet a standard. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Actions That Recruiters Stand By To Reduce Hiring Mistakes

by Sarah Freiburger

While it may be difficult to calculate the exact cost of a hiring mistake, there is no doubt that a bad hire is a costly proposition. It is commonly mentioned that a hiring mistake costs somewhere between 2-5 times the salary of the person. A study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), puts the figure at five times the annual salary. SHRM also found that the higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more cost is associated with this bad hire. Many companies don’t resolve poor hires quickly which can escalate the costs.

What are the root cause issues associated with hiring mistakes? These mistakes typically fall into one of three baskets: 1. Poor skills match. 2. Not a good fit (intangibles.) 3. Didn’t understand expectations. Other performance related issues can come into play but taking steps to mitigate these three factors can greatly reduce your hiring mistakes.


Here are 8 actions that recruiters stand by that will help prevent hiring mistakes:


  1. Fully identify and understand the profile of the successful candidate. Consider all factors that determine success. This includes motivation, character, emotional competency, fit with culture, personality and values etc. Too many times hiring managers are infatuated with a certain skill or experience aspect and loses sight of other critical requirements.
  2. Interview for desired intangibles. It is easy to get very focused on behavioral interview questions developed from the job description and key requirements of the position. We can all agree that success takes place as a result of a person’s drive, willingness to take good risks, deal effectively with people, fit well within their environment etc. We tailor interview questions to successfully evaluate all aspects of the candidate that will impact performance.  


  1. Evaluate the potential candidate against goals and expectations, not job descriptions. The creation of a list of desired accomplishments, expectations and projects to complete will serve you in three ways. 1. Allow you to develop questions and evaluate the candidate against actual expectations. 2. Create the right expectation with the candidate. 3. Give a good start to the critical on-boarding plan.


  1. Gather feedback and listen. Even the best talent agents have blind spots. Everyone succeeds when the decision maker is listening to those around them. Be thoughtful about the individuals that you involve in the process and gather feedback from these stakeholders as part of your decision process.


  1. Red flags should never be ignored or discounted. Learn to read basic signals that a candidate might be sending. For example, if the candidate is not responsive or slow to respond during the hiring process consider this a message. Either they are not very interested in the job or they are not likely to ever be responsive. Every candidate tells a non-verbal story. This is every bit as important as the actual interview as they are glimpses of the person that you are potentially committing to hire. Consider a meeting with the candidate in a less formal setting such as a meal to observe their behavior.


  1. Ask the candidate to make a presentation. This can either be a response to a set of questions or a specific problem. Alternatively, leave it to the candidate to present what they want to communicate about themselves as a candidate for the position. This gives you a look at the quality of their work and a glimpse of how they might perform in a work situation.


  1. Use an assessment as a final step to provide additional affirmation. The right assessment will help you further understand the candidate. The five data points to consider when making sure you have the right candidate include: 1. Experience fit with role and related track record. 2. Interview answers and feedback (tangible and intangible.) 3. References (yes you can get good information from a reference check.) 4. Assessment. 5. Candidate interest level and motivation. These five factors together present the whole picture. While the “Perfect” candidate does not exist…you will have a much fuller picture of the candidate by consistently taking all of these factors into consideration.


  1. Create an effective on-boarding or “integration” plan. Many employers feel on-boarding is something the human resources area does. In reality, effective on-boarding sets the person on the right path and helps ensure they are fully equipped to navigate complex relationships and a new set of company behaviors. Getting off on the wrong foot can be difficult to overcome. Make sure the candidate fully understands your expectations. As an example, are they expected to listen, learn and build relationships or deliver specific results in the first six months? Build bridges between the new person and key internal stakeholders. This might include introductions or participating in initial meetings. Time spent on these “integrations” will pay dividends increasing effectiveness and potentially preventing disconnects that may lead to early turnover.


NPAworldwide member firms always provide clients with the best and brightest resource on a contract, contract to hire or full-time basis. They are backed by a network of 1500 highly qualified and trained consultants who are constantly in touch with top talent ready to pursue your needs and provide solutions. 

Client Global Expansion: A Case Study

by Sarah Freiburger

The opportunities and rewards that come along with transitioning a business in to a global operation are plenty, but so are the risks. Once your home operation is steady and strong, moving to new strategically picked markets is a good next step for the right company. As a global organization, our recruitment member’s clients frequently take on this type of expansion. Here is an informative case study on how a they accomplished a move to a new market using their international recruitment firm.

A network client, a privately-held US manufacturing company, had a strategy that called for a phased expansion into China. Their plan was to develop a supply chain for materials while cultivating short-term contract manufacturing partnerships.  The ultimate goal was a dedicated China-based manufacturing operation.

The immediate challenge was a need for local talent in advance of the brick and mortar expansion of operations.  The manufacturing company’s EVP had a relationship with a local US-based recruitment firm, one of our 500+ partner affiliates. Our affiliate firm explained how their network enables global connections to meet talent requirements anywhere in the world. The EVP partnered with our affiliate firm to leverage their network for the identification of local Chinese candidates for the China-based supply chain development position.

Our affiliate activated their connections with Asia-based partners. The local affiliates took on the challenge and developed a shortlist of candidates for the position. The manufacturing company’s hiring managers went to China to meet with the candidates sourced by affiliates.  Within two weeks, a preferred candidate accepted an offer and set a start date. Throughout the process, our partner firm, with assistance from the local  affiliates provided coaching on local HR requirements, payroll issues, housing and other critical details that made a successful close to a complex process possible.   

The manufacturing company’s expansion plans are on track and full speed ahead.  A single point of contact with an international recruitment firm local to their headquarters location, allowed for global connections and the leveraging of those valuable affiliations for a confident and well planned expansion into a new market.

Leaders Unleash the Power of “Yes”

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blog is from People 2.0, a premier global contingent workforce deployment platform and full-service business process outsourcing (BPO) provider for the staffing and recruiting industry. People 2.0 offers comprehensive back-office support and a complete employer of record (EOR)/agent or record (AOR) platform—empowering individuals and organizations to focus on growing their business and placing top talent.

As a leader, have you unleashed the power of yes with your team? In particular, are you offering unequivocal “yeses” as often as possible? Every leader or manager knows that saying “yes” to an idea, proposal, or request can positively impact morale, engagement, and performance. The power of a “yes” is that it encourages more problem-solving, initiative, and proactivity in a team and among team members. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Key Questions to Ask A Recruitment Firm

by Sarah Freiburger

There is no question that currently the hiring needs of employers require more time and diligence than ever with much of the power in candidate’s hands. When you are considering signing on a new recruitment agency, consider asking these questions to ensure you are contracting with an elite agency.

  1. What are the top reasons a company would use your services to recruit?

In the history of knowing independent recruitment firms, our network believes the answer to this should come from longevity and results. A firm should be able to show stability in business and understand how to effectively build your talent in a sustainable manner for the growth of your company. Regardless of your expansion efforts, a strong firm will have a specialized and locally based recruiter able to provide you the top candidate in the market.

  1. Are you able to take on international searches?

While many independent agencies attempt to say yes to multinational and international clients, unless there is a localized approach, the search can result in less than satisfactory results for the client. With a true global firm, the recruiter speaks the language of the search. They understand the culture, common terms, idiosyncrasies, and the demands each part of the world brings to executive level placement. The result is the top candidates presented at every search they recruit on.

  1. Why should I use an agency instead of internal resources?

Many employers may shy away from hiring an external agency suspecting they will save money by first utilizing internal resources. However, in many companies, this cost savings will be severely miscalculated and further result in wasted time and money. When a company hires an external agency, most times they have already spent nearly 6 months trying to fill the role internally. Those 6 months are hard to calculate from a monetary perspective, however during that time your employees and organization are undoubtedly under an extreme amount of stress and pressure.

While these questions are not all inclusive of what you should be considering when hiring an external agency, they should get the conversation flowing to determine if it is the right fit for your business. Please visit npaworldwideworks to learn more on choosing a recruitment firm for your needs.

Qualified or Likeable? How to Figure Out Who Your Candidate Is

by Sarah Freiburger

As recruiters or employers, we all know that the ideal goals of interviewing a candidate are to expose potential issues, reveal strengths, ensure that there is a fit with salary and compensation, evaluate personality against company culture, and verify qualifications, skills, and abilities for the role. Unfortunately, human nature often can cloud some of these key points when you relate personally to certain candidates over others. Many times, you can be drawn to personality traits that cause the candidate to appear stronger even if they are not the best one for the role. Even more than personal taste and bias, many are also likely to try and hire a similar employee to the one who was last in the role if they were successful, or the opposite if they were not highly reviewed.

Here are five important concepts to keep top of mind in any interview, regardless of the amount of experience you have.

  1. Standardize your interview process. Before you start to recruit and further qualify candidates, create a new job description that lists only the essential skills and experience required. As Betterteam states, “A good description shouldn’t over describe. It should focus on what is absolutely necessary for someone to be successful in the position, and describe what success looks like over specific periods of time – typically 30, 90, 180 days and 1 year.” Rank, or color code these in order of importance and keep your own radar up on knowing what extra qualities or transferable skills could fill in the gaps, but the top ones make sure you are keeping as a hard barrier to moving a candidate forward. It is always a good idea to have a partner, colleague, or team member also double check for matches of skill, experience, and cultural fit. This will help further cement confidence in final candidate choices. Each interview should also include a real work sample to see how the candidate would start and finish a task similar to what they are going to be encountering.

2. References are provided but you need to dig deeper. Obviously, most times the references provided by a candidate will be ones they assume would be very positive. Due to this, sometimes recruiters or employers take this less seriously, when in reality references and your network could be the best source of who the candidate is and how they would fit in the environment when they are not on stage. Focus on the tone and specific examples the references give when referring to the candidate, and try to describe your organization or the skills you have considered a top need for this role and see how the references believe the candidate fits in. Linked-In makes it slightly easier to also consult your own network to determine any cross over with someone who has worked previously with that candidate to gain their opinion as well.

3. What is their motivation to work each day? This is a question that should not be skipped over or assumed when interviewing candidates for roles. This exact question will be one that you are able to constantly revert to during negotiations and offers, and the answer could remove poor fit candidates from the beginning as well. For instance, those that show more energy and curiosity tend to exhibit pragmatic thinking, stay on top of trends and what is happening in business around them, and their natural energy usually translates to leadership or energizing those around them. If they are willing to invest in themselves, they usually also grow and learn well from others, which helps teams develop more unified and collaborative working environments for better culture.

4. Know your bias. The strength of hiring a good candidate is sometimes realized by knowing your own weaknesses. A good exercise is to practice interviewing or having one on one conversation with those team members or employees that fall outside of the standard personality traits you are drawn to, and be able to analyze their qualities in a subjective manner. If you are someone who is drawn to humor and sarcasm, try and build a better relationship with a coworker who is the opposite and see what other strong qualities you deem them to have that you might not have immediately noticed. The more differing personalities you sort through with this exercise, the easier you will be able to turn off your natural willingness to interview those more similar to you or what you are drawn to.

5. Stay up on the millennial shifts. The time of millennials in the workplace and taking on higher roles is upon us. The Millennial Branding survey revealed that 43 percent of employers want to hire employees who are a great cultural fit. For millienials, this has a lot to do with work life balance, and a company with staff who butts heads on what this balance looks like tends to create conflict and hostility in the work force. As a recruiter, a good initial question to begin incorporating is what does the work life balance of the team look like? What are ideal working hours daily or weekly for this team, and how important are benefits or flexibility?

Naturally, this is not an end all guide to evaluating each candidate, but perhaps you have realized that your standardized process could use a refresh, or you may spend some time evaluating new interview questions your candidate may hear at further interviews. Review these sample interview questions from The Balance Careers to further refine your core categories for interviewing candidates.