Recruiting Resources

Fee Agreements: You’re Worth it Even in Uncertain Times

by Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Roman Duty of Recruiting Services International / RSI in Rushville, Indiana. RSI is a boutique executive search firm that is celebrating 50 consecutive years of business in 2020. The firm provides highly individualized recruiting services to clients on a local, regional, and international basis. The firm’s recruiting activities are focused on high-level technical search and managerial placement in many manufacturing arenas.

As recessions go, this is my first time recruiting in one because I began recruiting full time in 2012. There are many of you who have navigated recession-era challenges multiple times and I commend you for it. Even though we are entering into a period of uncertainty due to COVID-19 (the likes of which no living recruiter has experienced), I was still surprised at the number of recruiting firms whose fee agreements did them a disservice even during times of uninterrupted economic growth. Fee agreements with money-back guarantees or large replacement periods (more than 6 months) are incredibly one-sided in favor of the client, don’t allow flexibility, and can hurt cash flow. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Favorite Recruitment News Sources

by Veronica Blatt

business section recruitment newsI like to keep abreast of news and trends impacting the recruitment industry, particularly in a rapidly changing environment. Today I want to share some of my favorite recruitment news sources with you, in no particular order: Read the rest of this entry »

Are Contract Placements for Me?

by Liz Carey

Despite a volatile economy and many companies putting job orders on hold, some members of our split placement network are reporting that their clients are increasingly asking for contract workers.

Contract placements continue to be a source of growing revenue for many NPAworldwide members who are looking for dependable residual income. Even if your firm doesn’t have a dedicated temp/contract division, you can still fill contract roles. At first glace, you might think the smaller fees are not worth it, compared to a hefty fee on a permanent placement’s yearly salary, but monthly fees for a contract worker can quickly add up, and adds to your bottom line.

Clients have come to rely on recruiters to provide top quality temp/contract candidates that meet their specific needs within a specified time limit – whether due to a merger, a project, or maternity leave. If they really like your candidate, a contract role can also lead to a permanent placement in the long run.

Contract roles are a win-win-win for clients, candidates and recruiters. For your clients, contract staffing is cost-effective: they can eliminate many salary and benefits expenses and do not create a long-term financial commitment. For recruiters, and can also be cost-effective in terms of the amount of time spent on a hire, as the hiring process for contract employees is typically a lot quicker than permanent / direct hires. For candidates, there is often less competition, a higher rate of pay for skilled workers, and flexibility in terms of time off, hours worked, and duties performed.

And contract hiring isn’t just a workaround for full-time hiring freezes due to a down economy because of the pandemic. Contract staffing can help with rapid growth or expansion, or help with large projects or seasonal needs.

Recruiters who want to get into contracting often ask two things:

  1. How would I handle payroll, onboarding, background checks, etc.? – There are third-party organizations out there that provide back-office support and/or can be your Employer of Record. NPAworldwide has several industry partners, such as Evergreen Contract Resources and People 2.0, that can help so you aren’t burdened by back office demands.
  2. How can I get contracting job orders? The best place to start is to simply ask your current direct hire clients if they have contractor needs or a deadline/special project that needs to be completed. Ask if they have a hiring freeze that is prohibiting them from hiring someone. There is always work that needs to be done, and you can offer them a solution because contractors often come from a separate budget, so you can workaround that hiring freeze.

Working contract job orders doesn’t need to be complicated, and in today’s climate, it can provide you with a stable residual income. The return on a small investment of time and energy can be huge.

Exclusive Job Orders Lead to Better Outcomes

by Veronica Blatt

Yesterday I saw a crazy headline claiming that lowering your fees would lead to more money. My initial instinct was that this must be another fluff piece from some recruiter who focuses on high-volume, low-margin deals. And then I thought it must be the latest “how to save your business in the pandemic” advice. I’m a firm believer that fee integrity is really important, so I wasn’t going to give this piece the time of day. Later I saw the same article with a slightly-different version of the headline. When I saw it was written by our recruitment friend Greg Savage I decided to give it a look. Turns out, what he was REALLY talking about is the value of exclusive job orders. Read the rest of this entry »

Recruitment Best Practices Before and After COVID-19

by Dave Nerz

Things have changed. Spend less time worrying about a return to the past and more time on developing the recruitment best practices you will need to accommodate the present and the future. Easy to say, hard to do!

Get Set

Hopefully you have made the move to technology. If not, do it now. Be a model for your constituents. If you have made the move, look at ways to refine your methods. Get a paid subscription to Zoom or MS360, or Webex. Zoom offers a custom site address that makes it easier for employer and candidate contacts to find your meeting location. Start using online meeting/calendar scheduling tools. This allows people to connect with you without all the back and forth on picking a time and date. If you are using video conferencing to meet clients and candidates, get set to look your best. Pick up a green screen and a light to light your face. LumeCube is cheap and easy lighting tool and there are lots of green screen options on Amazon. Recruiters need to model best practices for their team and for the candidates and employers they work with.

Increase Flexibility

You are likely working different hours now than in the past; so are others. Make times available to people that work for them. We are all at home way more, so work early evenings when needed and not just traditional office hours. If you are around on Saturday or Sunday, make it an option for the really tough-to-get contacts.

Go Virtual

Maybe you used to go to job fairs or engage in small trade shows to get exposure. Get back at this virtually. Can you offer a collection of candidates a 4-hour virtual job fair where they pick a 20-minute slot on your calendar for a quick video screen or phone screen? For them, the “price of admission” to your fair is a resume in advance. Remember that the phone is the original virtual meeting tool. A conversation is sometimes less threatening and difficult to make happen than a video meeting. Use the phone as an option for those less inclined to use video. Engineers, accountants, and scientists come to mind, but we all have our preferences. The phone is a great and underutilized tool!

Use Chat

For teams, look to chat features and tools to stay connected. Slack and BaseCamp are two such connection tools that might work for your small team. Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp are great options too.


Looks for ways you can assist candidates and employers who need to virtualize the onboarding process. Your placements will fail if you do not help make the transition effective, so invest time in supporting a best practice virtual onboarding process.

Stop visualizing a return to the past and start thinking about the new way you will work in the 2-3 years ahead. Create recruitment best practices that you can share with others.

3 Next Steps For Elevating Your New Recruitment Firm

by Sarah Freiburger

tips for new recruitersOn a phone call today with a recruitment firm owner who, like many, is trying to take the time to re-brand or enhance their firm during the pandemic, she asked for some advice. She decided to open her own agency about a year back but due to her past experience, found herself mainly recruiting lower level roles that were a lot of work without as big of a reward. When I explained that NPAworldwide is an executive level network, she wanted to know how recruiters like herself can elevate themselves to the world of executive search from where they are at. This is quite similar to a question I often get asked by firms who do not meet the minimum time in the industry to also qualify for our network. Everyone is looking for a quick answer to make more money and get paid larger fees. While I do not have a magic wand, there are some commonalities I have noticed over the years that could help your current situation of wanting to elevate your recruitment firm.

Here are my top 3:

  1. Invest in yourself first. It is amazing to me when I ask new recruitment industries what costs they have incurred so far in their business, their answer is always easily 3-4 tools that they have spent thousands of dollars on. Recruiters are shelling out the cash for recruitment licenses on Linked-In before they even know the basics of the industry. Most professionals in other industries that make the kind of money these recruiters want to make are required to have what? Education. That’s right, before you put the cart in front of the horse, a really good investment is training from the top people in the industry. Our network members highly recommend Tricia Tamkin and Jon Bartos, and many that have been in the industry for years highly tote Mike Gionta’s programs.

  2. Get over pride. Many businesses, especially new ones, fail because the owner of the business is afraid to admit when they need help, when they are doing something wrong, or when they have bad habits. Do any of these pain points resonate with you?
  • Your income spikes one month and then stagnates (or sinks) the next…
  • You land new clients and contracts, but your bank statements aren’t increasing the way you thought they would…
  • “Two steps forward and one step back” seems to be your business theme song…
  • You set goals but never seem to hit them.

    If those points resonate with you, you likely have some development to do on yourself and your business and you should not be afraid to ask for help. If you currently belong to a network of recruiters, share your woes or concerns to see how others discipline themselves to be more successful and make a commitment to implement their advice rather than shrug it off. In various recruiter groups I see call out schedules referenced that frankly sound like a nightmare of a day, but if I had a pain point to conquer, I would give it the best attempt I could. Like the old quote states, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results” This is your sign it is time to try something different, something that seems way too hard.

3. Can you manage yourself? This is a great question each independent recruitment firm owner starting out or at a breaking point really needs to get a handle on. Whether you are just starting out or have been doing this awhile, you will either quickly learn or already have a pain point that is the time sink that comes with hiring and training recruiters to work for you. The ebb and flow of any desk can change so drastically that one minute you may need 5 of you to handle all the requirements, and the next everyone is getting heated because the roles have dried up. A really good solution to this is building up your own split network, or joining one. Several networks exist that allow a firm owner or recruiter to have more flexibility to manage a desk without hiring or training anyone. Your kid comes down sick with 5 open roles? Call up your partners for help on sourcing the candidates… your industry hit by the pandemic? See if a partner still has roles in their industry that will keep you afloat until yours picks back up. 

While those 3 tips may not be new information for you, you are reading them, which already shows you have a passion for elevating yourself to the next level. Continue your research with more reading and self reflection and you will start to see the results of your effort.

5 Essential Survival Skills for Recruiters

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Bill Benson with WilliamCharles Search Group located in Grand Rapids, MI. WilliamCharles is an executive search and professional recruiting firm specialized in finding managerial and executive talent in finance, HR, operations, sales/marketing as well as president/CEO roles. They have a concentration of clients in Michigan but they also work across the US. Bill is the past chairman of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

Where in the hell is my cheese? Survival skills for recruiters are tested right now. Anyone who has survived in our business for a long time has found the ability to grind their way through difficult times. I feel bad for the restaurant owners and other small businesses that are literally shut down. We are fortunate to work in a profession where we can re-invent, change, pivot and grind our way forward. I am not downplaying the challenge right now! In my 40 years I have been through several difficult economies and other challenges. Here are five survival skills for recruiters that I have found important. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Onboarding Can Make or Break Placements

by Dave Nerz

onboarding word cloudRecruiting has never been easy, regardless of what your clients think. You are typically asking someone to leave their employer to move to a new and unknown situation, and we know people do not like change. This is a huge unknown for most candidates you place. They research, they hope and in the end they take a risk and accept the position. Lots of fear, lots of change headed their way. An effective onboarding process can ease the transition. In these times, onboarding has become more difficult, but significantly more critical to making a new hire work for the long-term. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Practices for Recruiters Returning to Work

by Dave Nerz

We are in Michigan so maybe a bit behind others in North America and around the world, but if you are not back to your recruiting office or visiting clients, you might be soon. So here are some ideas to consider for returning to work. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to Fill Your Pipeline

by Liz Carey

Prior to the pandemic, recruiters focused on building a pipeline of talent, so that when their clients handed over a job req, they had candidates at the ready. Despite a completely different labor landscape than we’ve ever seen in the past, this recruiting tactic is still practical. Even if all hiring is on hold, recruiters should continually grow their talent database (or pipeline)… that way, you won’t have to start anew when things do open up. When this pandemic is over and the economy rebounds, those roles that were put on hold will open back up and employers will be overwhelmed with applications. You want to be one step ahead of the game and have that top talent ready to present to them.

When COVID-19 happened, a lot of jobs were suddenly put on hold or cancelled altogether. The pandemic and economic collapse resulted in record-high unemployment, so for those passive candidates who were keeping an eye out for other opportunities, many have made the choice to stay where they are — feeling lucky to even have a job. So with top talent reluctant to leave their current roles, what is a recruiter to do?

To continue building your pipeline, even in times of economic uncertainty, it’s important to continue to foster relationships with current employees, former employees, past applications, and runner-up/silver medalists — those candidates who were interviewed or considered for a role, but ultimately weren’t selected. Keep in touch with these candidates and ask questions to stay abreast of what’s going on in their lives — maybe they don’t like their current job, or were recently laid off, or want to relocate due to family.  Even if they are happy where they are or are hesitant to make a move now, they might have a referral — the next hire you’re looking for.  Additionally, be proactive and keep your eyes and ears open on rivals’ employees. Court the competition and reach out – ask them if they are content/satisfied with their work, and build a relationship from there.

Just because the market isn’t uber-competitive right now doesn’t mean it’s not the time to fill your pipeline. It’s always the time to network and keep your eyes open for potential top talent. When your client is ready to pull the trigger on hiring, you’ll be ready with talent at the ready.