Recruiting Resources

Which Recruitment Conference Should You Attend?

by Veronica Blatt

recruitment conferenceAttending a recruitment conference can be an excellent opportunity to hone your craft. There are dozens of events held every year – there is a good list on this site. It can be difficult to decide which one(s) to attend. Many 2020 events are already scheduled; for example, early registration is currently open for our Global Conference. Here are some tips to help you decide where to spend your time and money:

Start with the content

A recruitment conference is likely to have a specific purpose, mission, or theme. Learn what that is and whether it ties into specific goals you have for your desk or firm. If it’s an event about sourcing but your job is business development, it might not be the best fit for you. Some events focus more on personal networking and relationships. Others provide a classroom training experience.

Who else is attending?

Is there a specific trainer or speaker you’d like to hear? Does the event offer appointment scheduling? Does the recruitment conference include clients or job seekers you can help? Are you likely to meet a lot of new people, or reconnect with old friends? How about the event sponsors? All these groups of people offer valuable connections.

Where is it?

Conference destinations are always interesting. We spend a lot of time thinking about destinations that are intriguing, accessible, and affordable. We survey our members and keep a close eye on where other organizations are holding events. So from a business standpoint, we try to be very tuned-in to destinations that are likely to draw a healthy number of attendees. But, there are other reasons why people attend. Sometimes it’s to visit a client or do some business prospecting. Sometimes attendees piggyback on to another event that is being held nearby. Still others have an opportunity to visit friends or family or use the conference destination as a way to build a memorable vacation.

How much does it cost?

Many attendees look at the cost of a recruitment conference before they look at any other factor. It is also important to calculate value and/or return on investment (ROI). Viewing a recruitment conference as an investment instead of an expense can help you make a better decision about attending. Professional development is an investment in your career. Some investments show their ROI in a short amount of time; others take longer. If you are able to learn one or two tips that save enough money or time to recover the cost of your attendance, you’re in great shape. Investing in your skills makes you a better recruiter and makes your business a stronger competitor.

The recruitment conference landscape is rich; you’re sure to find something that meets your needs. Make 2020 the year you invest in yourself!

Recruiters, What Are Your Values?

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Laura Schmieder of Premier Placement Inc., specializing in manufacturing especially engineering, operations, supply chain, sales and marketing roles globally. She currently serves on the NPAworldwide board of directors.

I recently read an article in Network Magazine titled Why Best Practices – Aren’t by Mike Myatt. An interesting premise, his thesis was: don’t copy, create. He felt to evolve and be successful, one needed to think outside the box – beyond accepted methodologies, processes, rules, concepts and theories. It was an excellent read and thought-provoking for both recruiters and other business professionals.

As I read it, I thought well that’s all fine and good; however, recruiters still need to work within a framework of standards and policies. He did say that he did NOT recommend a blatant disregard for rules and methodologies but fostered the belief that one needs to challenge the status quo.

Long ago I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s a philosophy/travel book that mixes discourses on Eastern and Western culture with the blessings/burdens modern technology bestows on us. It’s a quirky book but I often go back and think about the lessons I learned reading it. Repeated throughout is the conviction that you must live a life of quality but also give quality to life around you.

There are many precepts about life throughout the book. Things about not allowing technology to take over your life but using it to your advantage – to produce good work. To instill patience, care and attentiveness in my work, are to achieve peace of mind. Peace of mind produces right values that produce right thoughts (stay with me on this!). Right thoughts produce right actions that produce quality work.

Examine Your Equipment

What is emphasized is the need to examine oneself and the equipment that carries you through your life journey – where have you been and where are you going in the road of life? Is your motorcycle capable of taking you the 200 miles you want to go the next day? Do you have the tools to make the fine adjustments necessary for a smooth and efficient ride? Have you checked your tire pressure, oil level lately? How efficient is the engine that moves you? Computer and telephone systems, wireless headsets, smart phones, resume databases, social networking sites – all great technology but in the end, they are only tools…tools to help you reach out and communicate with prospective candidates, clients or split trading partners – back to basic conversation, picking up the phone.

If you don’t periodically take the time to educate yourself, stretch your mind, share your experiences and expertise, meet new people—you will find yourself in a rut with at least a flat tire (no one to send in for interviews) or worst, a blown engine (offer turned down and NO BACKUP!) Think about it…ALL major professions require continuing education credits. Where are you getting yours? ALL motor vehicles need yearly or bi-yearly inspections – when was the last time YOU inspected your placement machinery and systems?

Networking and training meetings or nowadays, the many webinars or conference calls available…are like the preventative maintenance necessary to run all systems. If you don’t tend to them, then you will be constantly fixing, as oppose to preventing, breakdowns.

Learning new technology, fine-tuning existing systems, reiterating the basics of how to develop candidates and new clients – sometimes it takes getting off the desk and phone, even out of the office completely to gain the full benefit of training and education. Find out how other recruiters are succeeding in this economy (don’t be jealous, LEARN what they are doing that YOU aren’t!). Come back to your own desk with a fresh attitude, with enthusiasm to try that new technique.

Communication Matters

Another example is how lack of communication affects the process. Look at what happens when candidates don’t tell the recruiter or the prospective employer what they really need to make a change OR when the resume is not well-thought-out or the presentation complete. When employers don’t give recruiters feedback throughout the process—for that matter when split trading partners don’t communicate—the process fragments and ultimately can break down. It leads to the breakdown of quality work: negative action instead of positive, forward-moving action.

Avoiding Breakdowns

The lack of honesty, truth and integrity corrupts the process and leads to breakdowns. When you lie about a career opportunity to a prospective candidate or hiring authority and they learn the truth, their trust in you and the entire industry is broken. When candidates pad their resumes with false accomplishments or dates of employment and are found out, the process breaks down. When a client or split partner receives a candidate’s resume from a recruiter but chooses to see if they can find them in a candidate database on their own using that original referral, the process is corrupted. When a hiring authority expects a bribe before sharing job orders —and certain recruiters provide them—the process is corrupted. Negative action instead of positive, forward moving action.

Back to that precept of quality: the conviction that you must live a life of quality, but also give quality to life around you. Are you someone that clients, candidates, your peers turn to because they respect your opinion, your knowledge, your abilities to give sage advice? Do you take the time to share your knowledge and wisdom with new recruiters or students just out of college or outplacement organizations? Sometimes the best way to learn, is to teach a lesson…we are reminded of the adage, “Do as I say, not as I do!” Teaching, or being a mentor, is one way to reinforce what we should always be doing. Have you volunteered in your professional associations or business networks? I think we can all look back in our careers to someone that took the time to teach us. Have we returned the favor and passed on the knowledge and perspectives to be successful in our profession?

Last but not least, do you have peace of mind…have you striven to be the best person you can be? What have you done to improve your mind, your physical body, your soul AND do you avoid actions, people, or situations that are detrimental? In this age of information overload, it’s easy to stray off the path. We have many distractions and it’s up to us to disregard the negative messages and focus on truth, sincerity and integrity. In the end, you only have one life to live. You will have a lot less to worry about if you try to live each day striving to be the best person you can be. It should lead to success in your profession as well. We all want to do business with someone who is not only knowledgeable, but who we respect and trust.

Remember: peace of mind produces right values that produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions that produce quality work…and ultimately a life of quality.

No More Ghoulish Videoconferences

by Veronica Blatt

It’s Halloween this week and let’s face it, we have all sat through some pretty frightening videoconferences. From run-of-the-mill technical difficulties to barking dogs and other interruptions, I think it’s fair to say everyone has had at least one not-so-great experience. While some things will always be outside your control, there *are* things you can do to improve your participation on videoconferences.

Start with the Lighting

Bad lighting is a videoconference killer. You don’t want to look ill, washed-out or have other strange effects, so make sure you spend some time checking out your lighting before you join the call. Natural lighting is best; sit facing a window if you can. If natural lighting is not an option, position a good quality lamp behind your screen – the light source should be in front of you. Avoid fluorescent lighting and overhead lighting, both of which are harsh and can cast unflattering shadows. Never put the light source behind you.

Remember Your Camera Angle

Bad camera angles are also scary. Be sure to check the position of your camera and screen before joining a video call. You want your webcam positioned close to eye level. Other camera angles can make you appear to be towering over the other party or even worse, show an unflattering view up your nose. The angle of your monitor matters too – you don’t want your counterpart to see mostly ceiling and just the top of your head. Aim to have your head and shoulders centered in the camera view. You may need to experiment with raising or lowering your chair or your monitor to achieve the best camera angle.

Check Your Webcam Settings

Your webcam likely includes a basic set of tools to adjust brightness and contrast. Once you establish the lighting you will be using, check the camera settings to see if further adjustments are needed.

Dress for Success

Avoid patterns and wear a bold, solid color near your face. If your clothes are close to the same color as your background, you can end up looking like a disembodied head. Contrast is important for successful videoconferences.

Review at Your Surroundings

Once you have your laptop set up, take a critical look at the area around and behind you. Is there anything visible on-screen that would make a less-than-professional impression? For example, if you’re in a bedroom, is an unmade bed or dirty laundry in the frame? How about personal items or wall hangings that are distracting? Do you have a plant or flowers that appears to be growing out of your head or shoulders? What about a mirror that might be reflecting an odd view? Study the background carefully and move anything that looks awkward or unprofessional.

Watch Where You’re Looking

Making appropriate eye contact can be a bit tricky during videoconferences. During an in-person meeting, it’s normal to break eye contact to write notes, but it can seem very disjointed to do that during a video call. Make sure your note pad and pen are nearby and that you can write without turning away from the screen. DO NOT look at YOURSELF in the split screen view – this takes some practice! Similarly, if you’re looking at the other PERSON on the screen, it may appear to *them* that you are looking down or away. The best place to look is into the camera, but that often feels weird. You may find it helpful to tape some notes to the edge of your monitor, or a picture of the person you are talking to just above and behind the webcam.

Successful videoconferences require practice and a dress rehearsal. Figure out lighting, camera angle, and your surroundings well in advance. Give yourself plenty of time to connect, and have your notes organized and ready to go. You’ll be a video pro in no time!


5 Business Development Tips for Recruitment Firms

by Liz Carey

In recruiting, the biggest piece of infrastructure that needs to stay solid and sound is your pipeline. You should always be developing new clients and candidates. Even if you have a handful of solid, longtime clients that keep you busy…. things can happen, such as job orders being cancelled or put on hold indefinitely, or your client company could decide to move recruiting efforts in-house. Never take your pulse off developing new clients and building strong relationships with candidates… but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on end doing cold-call sales calls.

Here are 5 best practices when it comes to business development:

1. Make sure your online presence is strong and focused with a solid website and seamlessly integrated social media presence. One NPAworldwide member reported seeing a 45% increase in activity on their website, and could attribute 9 new clients over the last 6 months, just due to SEO and their website presence. Post articles geared toward your prospective client’s interests to give them value and keep your name in front of them. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in inbound calls, from new clients and/or clients we’ve lost touch with.”

2. Build a rapport. It’s one thing to have a fancy looking website and lots of buzzwords throughout your social media profiles. It’s another to be human and build relationships by offering genuine comments, thoughts, questions, etc. One NPAworldwide member makes it a practice to congratulate their clients after they make a placement. Several members have mentioned they send birthday cards, or congratulations cards after a client/candidate has a baby, etc. Another member said she sends a quarterly newsletter to all her clients and former clients with photos, blog articles, etc. Recruiting is a people business, and it’s important to make a strong emphasis to leverage those relationships.

3. That includes candidates. It’s important to keep constant contact with candidates, too… even after you’ve placed them or didn’t have success placing them. You have invested time to get to know these people and represent them in the marketplace… you never know if they will become a hiring manager one day, and need your help to fill a role. One NPA-er said that 33% of their customers ultimately became clients. Check in with them from time to time, and

4. Share good news! Testimonials, stories about recent placements, spotlights/videos about your company… This kind of information will show that you make an impact in the marketplace and keep your name in lights. Give a potential client documentation about how many people you’ve placed in that role/field, acceptance rate of offers extended, what your retention rates are, etc. Differentiate yourself and don’t be afraid to boast a little bit – this is how you can stand out amongst the other recruiting agencies out there.

5. Turn a no into a maybe. If you call a potential client and they say “I’m not interested” or “No, thank you,” don’t end the conversation there. Take the initiative to say “tell me about your hiring process” or “what are your pain points?” They might say “You know what, we’ve had a really hard time filling this management position… it’s been open 6 months, my boss has used two recruiting firms. Why don’t you send me your info and I’ll send it over to my boss.” One NPAworldwide member gets 10 hits a year by doing this alone: “It’s a little bit easier and less ‘cold’ than you seeing a job on Indeed and calling into HR. It’s warmer this way. Any call I make isn’t just recruiting, it’s business development as well.”


3 Website Marketing Strategies Your Firm Should Focus On

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Tim Bell, President of People 2.0’s Global Search and Recruiting Support Division. People 2.0 is a leading provider of back-office solutions for staffing and recruiting organizations, nationally and globally. People 2.0 is an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program.

Marketing your staffing or recruiting firm is very different today than it was a few years ago, as we are experiencing a fundamental change in customer buying behavior. Clients no longer take cold calls or accept lunch meetings in hopes to make a connection for their next partner.

Today, since most consumers finding out about products and services by searching online, marketing has become a crucial aspect for businesses when attracting potential clients—especially when it comes to your company’s website. Not only is it important to make sure that you’re keeping your company’s website relevant and easily navigable, but that you also utilize strategies that attract viewers and keep them there!

As such, here are three website marketing strategies your firm should focus on to ensure you are attracting the right types of prospects to your firm, and helping you win new business!

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Enabled

In the human capital industry, it is critical that your site is mobile-friendly. Your prospective candidates are using mobile devices to search for potential positions, ask questions, register online, and upload resumes. If your firm doesn’t have a responsive mobile site, potential candidates will just give up and leave. It should be easy to find, read, and navigate on any device.

Further, you also have to ensure your email marketing messages are mobile-friendly. Everyone uses mobile devices to check their email, whether they’re at home, in the office, or on the go. Don’t turn off prospects with messages that are difficult to read on phones and tablets.

Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Your online marketing strategy needs to incorporate an effective SEO campaign. Keep in mind that this is not a one-time thing. Google is always updating its algorithms for search since their goal is to deliver users the most relevant search results. Your firm’s ongoing success depends on improved search engine results and website traffic, so don’t neglect this key component of online marketing.

If you do not have a marketing team who knows SEO well, or do not have a lot of experience yourself, you can always call upon a third-party provider to ensure you’re meeting the mark!

Focus on Blogging Frequently

Blogging is often overlooked, as it is a time-consuming task that tends to fall low on the priority list. However, candidates and clients are online and they’re reading content, so you should create a company blog that can continually generate quality content to share online.

There are many benefits to blogging for business. Use it to educate clients and candidates, build your brand, gain trust, establish credibility, increase visibility, drive traffic, and generate leads.

Your blog should also be SEO and social-media friendly, to improve your search engine ranking and facilitate easy sharing on social media. If you can’t find the time to blog regularly, consider delegating the task to your staff or outsourcing the content creation.

For more strategies on how to enhance your staffing and recruiting firm’s marketing strategies, check out our eBook, “A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms” today!

4 Ways to Increase Recruitment Revenue in 2020

by Sarah Freiburger

The end of the year is typically the time where annual contracts are renewing for your tools and services, you’re evaluating what you still need to close to hit financial goals, and always thinking about how to increase your bottom line. This means now is the perfect time to reflect on what happened in 2019 and create your plan to increase recruiter revenue in 2020.This article focuses on four ways that recruiters may increase recruitment revenue in 2020. 

  1. Engaged Recruitment

While different versions of this type of recruitment exist, typically a recruiter will receive $1,500 to $2,000 before the search begins. Of course, this upfront fee amount will vary depending upon the salary range of the open position. This portion of the fee is non-refundable and subtracted from the final fee payment after a candidate is hired.

With this option, the recruiter changes the scope of the services provided to the employer. It is a great start to add retainer elements to a contingency model. It positions the recruiter as a professional service provider for an employer,  similar to the relationship an employer has with an accountant or attorney.

A recruiter with this type of fee arrangement will invest more time in the research phase of recruiting than recruiters with a contingency recruitment agreement. Independent recruiters with their own firm, either where they work alone or have a small staff, do not have the time to invest in research for a candidate if an employer isn’t willing to make a commitment to the candidate search by paying a partial fee upfront.

  1. Split Fee Placements

Are you currently making split fee placements?  If not, you may want to consider this option as a way to better serve your clients and candidates.  Isn’t 50% of a fee better than no fee? When you are working in a high level network such as NPAworldwide, many recruiters have 25-30% fees they are splitting, which is a better certainty than hoping a brand new  contingent client you signed will agree to a 12-15% fee. Independent recruiters who make split fee placements serve their clients better than those who don’t by being able to increase the pool of candidates in their niche by working with other recruiters. In addition, they ask for and fill positions located in other geographies because they are confident their trading partners will be able to assist them.  On the candidate side, a recruiter making split fee placements is able to provide more opportunities to candidates.

Independent recruiters can increase their revenue by developing informal networks of other independent recruiters interested in splitting fees. Another option is for a recruiter or recruiting firm to consider joining a formal split fee placement network.

All of a recruiter’s business doesn’t have to result from split fee placements.  Decide on a target percent of your revenue and create actions steps to meet your target.

  1. Contract Placements

If you are not currently making contract placements, 2020 might be the year to add them to the mix! Many recruiters offer contract placement services to their usually direct clients, helping them to fill their temporary assignments. With contract placements, a recruiter usually receives a small fee on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, earning money for every hour the contractor works. While this seems complicated to keep track of, there are now so many back office support companies that are affordable and manage all of that for you.

Let’s say in addition to one permanent placement, a recruiter also places a contract employee at his client’s company for a short term assignment of lets say 8 months. During that time, the recruiter earns $16,000 in placement fees. That’s a steady income of $2,000 per month that you know will cover some tools/services, etc your firm is using monthly while the direct placements become more like bonuses on top of any contract placements that slowly start to add up. 

  1. No Guarantee

Yes, I said no guarantee! One of NPAworldwide’s new members explained how she has not had a guarantee for more than 10 years. Instead, she charges a fee of 30% of the candidate’s annual salary which is paid in three equal payments on the date of hire, 30 days after hire, and 60 days after hire.  In addition, she offers the client a discount off the 30% fee if the client pays sooner than agreed; 25% if the fee is paid within 10 days and 27% if paid within 30 days.

The reasoning behind not giving a guarantee is that the independent recruiter supplying the candidate to the client has no control over what happens after the candidate is hired. The client must accept responsibility if the candidate does not work out. Other professionals – accountants, attorneys, etc. – do not return fees.  Why should you? This is a paradigm shift worth implementing in 2020.

Do you have any other suggestions as to how independent recruiters may increase recruiter revenue in 2020?

Recruiters, Make Using the PHONE Easier!

by Dave Nerz

Recruiters were once known as headhunters. Some see this as a negative spin on global recruitment professionals. At one time, it really was an accurate description of the process to find talent. I do not propose a return to 1980s style recruitment, but it seems sensible to add some proven process to the technology we use today.

Recruiters today are using social tools to find talent. Not a problem for me. But can an outcome be to draw prospects/candidates in so that my call will be accepted? Think about things you can do to help tee up some better and easier phone calls to candidates, contacts and potential reference sources for talent. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Under-the-Radar Tools for Recruiters

by Veronica Blatt

tools for recruitersThere are plenty of blog posts dedicated to recruitment-specific technology tools like ATS products, payroll or back-office applications, electronic document signing and more. Today I’d like to cover three tools that aren’t specifically designed for recruitment professionals, but are still really handy. Even better, all of them offer a free version. These tools save you time and can also shore up areas that may not be your strengths or top priorities. Here’s a summary: Read the rest of this entry »

What Fee Structure Should I Use as an Independent Recruiter?

by Sarah Freiburger

marketing-leftover-candidatesThe agreement for fees between independent recruiters and employers can take many forms and have been evolving as the cost of being an independent recruiter has increased when you want to update your business to include the latest technology tools and assessment options. These added annual services that a recruiter wants to maintain to be delivering efficiently for their clients in a tight candidate market have led many firms to update their pricing and reconsider a straight contingency model. This article shares different fee structures we see in our recruitment network, NPAworldwide. Our recruiters specialize in executive level placements, who join to share jobs and candidates and leverage other members.

What are the differences between these fee arrangements for managers and other professional level positions?


  1. Contingency Recruitment

As the name suggests, recruiters with a contingency recruitment fee arrangement agree to search for a candidate to fill an employer’s open position. The employer is obligated to pay the recruiter only if a candidate the recruiter presented to the employer is hired for the open position. The timing of the payment of the fee depends on the agreed upon payment terms and varies greatly by employer.

  1. Container/Engaged Recruitment

While different versions of this type of recruitment exist, typically a recruiter will receive $7,500 to $10,000 before the search begins. Of course, this upfront fee amount will vary depending upon the salary range of the open position. This portion of the fee is non-refundable and subtracted from the final fee payment after a candidate is hired.

This type of fee option positions the recruiter as a professional service provider for an employer similar to the relationship an employer has with an accountant or attorney. If you are a contingent recruiter now, this option is a good idea to trial with current clients. A way to do this might be lowering your fee percentage, but in return asking for an engagement or container fee. Perhaps instead of 25% for one search, your fee percentage is 20% for three searches with upfront engagement fees paid for all three.


  1. Retained Search

Retained searches focus on key management positions within a company including C-level positions. While fee arrangements for retained searches may vary, typically, the employer commits to three payments. The first payment to the recruiter is made before the search begins. The second payment is made to the recruiter after a certain number of candidates are presented to the employer. Final payment occurs after a candidate is hired.

When looking to switch to a retained model, the value that you provide to clients should appear to extend further than just providing candidates. Many firms that work mainly retained search position themselves as more of a a consultant and as a hiring expert. Ask your client to come in and evaluate their hiring, send your clients articles or a newsletter highlighting your knowledge of the industry or market insights. Provide personalize market intelligence regarding industry trends or HR issues.


If you are currently thinking about changing up your fees for 2020, here are some great brainstorm questions:

What do you consider the value on your time and expertise?

What are your annual operating costs, how many placements cover that?

What price point do you think ensures your fees are competitive without being “cheap”?

Only Real Leaders May Apply

by Veronica Blatt

image of group leadersOur guest blogger is Clair Bush, Strategy Director Logic Melon. Inspired by job seekers, designed by recruiters and built by experts, LogicMelon is a refreshingly different recruitment solution. Find out more at

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been looking long and hard at my own skill set as we embark on a new chapter of growth at LogicMelon. As the business is set to transform, I’ve found myself wondering about my role in helping the business get to the next level, more specifically I want to make sure we have the best people in the right place to help us to achieve all we can – and that includes me. Read the rest of this entry »