5 Mistakes Independent Recruiters Make

by Sarah Freiburger

Recently, Social Talent published an article directed towards recruiting firm owners. It breaks down five common mistakes that recruiters make that are usually due to being clumsy or not focused through the process. These are slight mistakes that could easily end up with a recruiter losing valuable revenue. I believe they are mistakes that are good to keep top of mind and refresh yourself with to stay on top of. 

I’ve listed the mistakes below. Head over to the full article to read the solutions!

MISTAKE #1 – Job Description Is Not Inclusive

MISTAKE #2 – Poor Application For Job Search Strategy

MISTAKE #3 – Interviewers Bad Behavior During The Interview

MISTAKE #4 – Forget To Check The Candidate’s Reference

MISTAKE #5 – Failing To Follow Up With Interviewed Candidates

Also included are some tips to make the recruitment process more effective such as :


  • Avoid Salary Ranges in the Job Description

  • Offer More Than the Expected Salary

  • Offer New and/or Above Par Industry Benefits


If you are a recruiting firm owner, are there any other critical mistakes you believe are more important than the ones listed above?

AI-Powered Recruitment Tools

by Dave Nerz

image of a robot to illustrate ai-powered recruitment toolsRecruiters beware! The robots are coming!

Actually, the robots are already here and their impact will grow in the decade ahead. Surveys show that companies are using AI and AI-powered recruitment tools to assist with recruitment and hiring decisions today. About 25% of those surveyed by The Littler Annual Employer Survey in May of 2019 were using AI to screen resumes and applications. While larger numbers are not yet using AI, (63%), the trend is pointed toward more use in the decade ahead. Read the rest of this entry »

Attraction Marketing Principles for Client Development

by Veronica Blatt

Earlier today we were pleased to offer a webinar for our members from speaker and coach Patricia Conlin. The topic was Attraction Marketing: How to Get More Clients Without Endless Cold-Calling (disclosure: Tish is a former NPAworldwide member). Attraction marketing is a concept where you provide education and value as a client development strategy as opposed to hammering them with your sales pitch. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Your CV Ready

by Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Jason Elias of Elias Recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Elias Recruitment is a specialist legal recruitment consultancy, finding lawyers for law firms, not for profits and corporates, across Australia. Jason is the Chairman-ELect of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors and received our Chairman’s Award in 2014. Jason is also a Fellow of the peak recruitment industry body in Australasia  the RCSA (Recruitment & Consulting Services Association).

A study by The Ladders found that professional recruiters give most resumes an initial 6-second review to look at key details before deciding whether to contact you for an interview.

During that 6-second window recruiters are quickly scanning: Read the rest of this entry »

“Ghost”-busting in Recruiting and in Life

by Liz Carey

After 3 out of 7 candidates flaked out interviews (that were booked AND confirmed prior) in one day, a recruiter connection of mine took to LinkedIn to pose the question, “are we as a society becoming flakier?”

Recruiters and employers are well-aware of the phenomenon of candidate “ghosting” — in fact, according to Indeed, 83% of employers have reported experiencing it.  But this recruiter lamented how it’s increasingly becoming more and more common… not just in recruitment, but even with work, friends and family, ghosting has become the norm. “Why do we as a society find it so hard to commit to the plans we make?” he asked.

Bailing at the last minute, or cancelling 30 minutes AFTER you were supposed to show up despite confirming yesterday that you’d be there, or being a no-show/no-call/no-notice… this behavior is increasingly more common, and incredibly inconsiderate.  In terms of interviews or employment screening, the recruiter or employer blocked that time out of their day just for you – time that could’ve been spent on other important matters. It’s also inconsiderate to the other potential candidates who may have missed out on an interview due to the employer or recruiter investing in you. Even more astonishing is a candidate ghosting on what is supposed to be their first day of work. The recruiter and employer have put time and resources into recruiting and the hiring process, and now they have to start all over because you chose not to be up-front about your reason not to follow-through, and instead just vanish.

Why is this all of a sudden a “thing”? Granted, ghosting has been happening for a long time, but has seen a surge in the past few years.  It started in the world of online dating, and has transcended into nearly every realm of life. But why is it happening so much?

In the recruitment world, it puzzles recruiters and employers why a candidate would go through the trouble of applying for a job and/or going through most of the hiring process, only to ghost. Candidates see it as “the tables have turned” — whereas they used to apply for jobs and never hear back from the employer, or reach out to a recruiter on a job and not hear any feedback — they are now in control. We are in a candidate-friendly market right now, and candidates are keeping their options open (in other words, you’re not the only fish in their sea). Candidates aren’t desperate, and if they decide the job isn’t right for them, or if they receive another offer after yours, or decided the salary/benefits aren’t enough… they are prone to just drop you right then and there without expending any more of their effort or time on an explanation.

You can’t change a behavior that has become almost the “norm” in the recruiting industry, but recruiters may be able to help reduce the likelihood of themselves or their client experiencing it — if you build a solid relationship with the jobseeker founded on transparency and trust, it may make it easier for the candidate to feel more comfortable explaining they had a change of heart about a job or company.  If you provide the candidate with feedback and open communication, it’s more likely that they will offer you the same. In other words, hold yourself accountable and treat others the way you want to be treated.

Eat the Frog and Other Time Management Tips

by Veronica Blatt

In the world of time management tips, you’re likely familiar with the “Eat the Frog” concept. American humorist Mark Twain is often credited with the origin of this saying, paraphrased as if you eat a live frog every morning, nothing worse will happen the rest of the day. In other words, if you get your most unpleasant task out of the way first, the rest of your day will be easier and smoother. The trouble is, it’s hard for all of us to actually eat the frog.

Here are some other ways to organize your tasks to improve your time management:

Triage according to Must Do / Should Do / Nice to Do

Obviously your most important tasks get put into the Must Do column. Things you’d like to do go into the Should Do category. Everything else is in the “wishes and dreams” category of Nice to Do. I like this system when considering something like a software purchase … the software MUST do these things, there are a bunch of features that you basically expect to be there, and there are some things that would be amazing if they existed, but are not a deal-breaker if they don’t. When it comes to prioritizing work, it’s not as helpful for me. “Should” is a squishy word – somewhere between required and optional, and often tinged with guilt. Nice to Do, for me, really means optional … I don’t think many of us feel like we have “optional” work.

Use the Eisenhower Method of Urgency/Importance

With this method, tasks are applied to one of four quadrants: Important and Urgent, Important and Not Urgent, Urgent But Not Important, and Not Urgent OR Important. This is another commonly-cited option when researching time management tips. I have tended to use this most often, but sometimes have difficulty separating urgency and importance. I have a lot of calendar-driven activities that create urgency, and those can sometimes get in the way of more important tasks.

And a Bonus Variation

After eating a frog earlier this week, I stumbled upon a variation of the Eisenhower Method that I am going to start using. This uses the same four quadrants, but labels them a bit differently: Things You Don’t Want to Do But Need to Do, Things You Want AND Need to Do, Things You Want to Do but Don’t Need to Do, and Things You Don’t Want OR Need to Do. These words definitely resonate with me. They’re not squishy. They’re not cute. They don’t make it hard to know which tasks belong in which categories. And honestly, I kind of like how they call it like it is … because the frog I ate earlier this week was SQUARELY a thing I did not want to do, but which needed doing. Why pretend it’s something else?

Ultimately, the best time management tips are the ones you will use. The right system is the one that meshes with your style and the kinds of tasks you have. What is your best tip? Do any of these work for you?

Coach your Clients on the Background Check / Reference Check Experience

by Dave Nerz

Recruiters and employers spend hundreds of hours to develop a shortlist and extend an offer to the top talent selected to fill a critical role. The last steps before candidate hire are the background check and the reference check. In today’s world, candidates have choices and are likely getting multiple offers and counteroffers if they are truly top talent. Don’t let an automated process (background check) or a hiring manager-driven manual process (reference check) derail the plan you have put in place. Coach clients on how to speed and smooth the process while letting the candidate know what is happening and how long it might take. Communication is key to a great candidate experience.

Long before these final steps are implemented, check with your client to see if they are using a professional and reputable background checking partner. Recruitment best practices have this step being completed in as few as 24-72 hours with a good business partner. If it is taking longer, ask your client why? Might be a good idea to test the practice for yourself. Run a check on yourself or on an internal employee willing to give it a go. A clunky process will cost your client top talent and will give a less-than-outstanding candidate experience.

Communicate well what is happening in the reference check process. This is a joint responsibility of the candidate and the employer. It is a great way to see if the candidate cares about the outcome and is able to effectively manage things outside of their direct control, but well within their sphere of influence. If the employer has more than a day or two invested in the reference checking process and has still not connected with a reference source, communication needs to direct and specific with the candidate. The candidate may need to do a reference replacement if someone is non-responsive.

For clients not doing this regularly, they need to be coached. As the recruiter, you need to fill the void between candidate and employer. Information needs to flow freely and with speed. Good luck! Get coaching!

Not All Split Placement Platforms are Created Equally

by Sarah Freiburger

As the Director of Membership of a split placement network, one of the first topics that come up with recruiters considering membership is if they have formerly, or are currently making split placements. Further questions reveal they didn’t make the split placements the “traditional” way. Instead, they provided a candidate to an employer via an online service like BountyJobs or Scout. 

In 2020, I have found that  the “recruiter community” language for split placements has changed. You can no longer assume that when recruiters state they have made split placements that it occurred the “traditional” way.  Specifically, what I mean by “traditional” way is when a recruiter with a job works directly with a recruiter with a candidate and the candidate is hired by the employer. This results in the two recruiters splitting the client fee.

“Traditional” split placements happen in one of the following ways:

  1. Informal Network
  • Recruiters form their own, usually small, network of trusted trading partners. Most savvy recruiters will have signed split fee agreements even if they make splits with recruiters they have known for a long time.
  • In addition, larger informal split networks exist online in various Facebook groups or on Linked-In. It is not unusual for recruiters in these informal networks to have never met face-to-face or know much about the others background. 
  • If you are a recruiter considering making split placements with other recruiters or are currently making split placements and do not have an agreement signed with the other recruiter, check out our sample split fee agreement which can be used as a starting point to create your split agreement.
  1. Formal Network
  •  A recruiter pays to participate in a formal network. In NPAworldwide, members pay one-time enrollment fees, monthly dues, and brokerage payments when split placements occur.
  •  Networks can have a general focus or specialize in an industry or niche. In NPAworldwide, we have over 10 practice groups that help specialized recruiters navigate the community and easily form relationships or customize their experience to their most prevalent industry.  Some networks may include members located in only one country or state and others, like NPAworldwide, have members throughout the world.
  • Formal networks should have rules of engagement so that trust can build among its members. If the formal network is not built on trust, an environment develops where split placements will not flourish. The rules of engagement will typically include how to handle candidate referrals, client poaching, permission to advertise, etc . Also, a formal network should address what happens if something in the split placement process does not go well. Of course, clear and written communication between the recruiters can minimize these situations. As a cooperative of independently-owned recruiting firms, NPAworldwide recruiters are bound to act within the Bylaws approved by our members.
  • Signing the network’s membership agreement or contract binds its members to abide by its rules of engagement and may eliminate the need for a split fee agreement to be signed between trading partners. In NPAworldwide, a separate split fee agreement between trading partners is not necessary since the owners of the member firms signed the NPA Membership Agreement.

In contrast, split placements that come about from a client utilizing Bountyjobs or Scout are only labeled splits because the online platform itself is taking a percentage of the fee off the top. Many frustrations can exist in these types of splits due to the transactional nature of the placement, as well as the loss of candidate ownership and lack of direct communication and relationship building. 

If you are considering adding to your bottom line, consider all of the above when making the best decision for your independent recruiting business.

5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Recruitment Placement Fees

by Veronica Blatt

image of contract representing placement fees protectionToday’s guest blogger is Wilson Cole. He is the CEO of BackdoorHires.com and Adams, Evens & Ross, the nation’s largest credit and collection agency designed exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. In 2008 he was inducted into INC Magazine’s, “INC 500” for being the CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the 307th fastest-growing privately held company in America. Adams, Evens, & Ross has helped more than 3,000 staffing and recruiting firms recover more than $1 billion in past-due debt and is an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program.

There are 5 main things people get flat out wrong about recruitment placement fees. Most of the things people get wrong are before they even have a candidate get back door hired and have to go chasing down the money they have already earned. Number 1 is getting a contract signed. Number 2 is avoiding arbitration clauses in your contract. Number 3 is knowing you have the right to remain silent when someone does not pay you. Number 4 is knowing when to turn it over for collections. Lastly, number 5 is never telling your client you have voided their contract. If you can do these 5 things, you will help yourself out tremendously in not getting back door hired in the first place, but also making it much easier to collect the debt. Read the rest of this entry »

What Is the Definition of a Successful Recruiter?

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’ve been pondering off and on for years “the meaning of success,” especially during the awards season. How do they decide the Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Director? It’s all a bit subjective, because it certainly isn’t determined by box office sales OR the profits made once a movie goes out for distribution. It shouldn’t be popularity – how many tickets are sold or logins for streaming. It should be a performance that so moves you that you think about it for a very long time, at least in my opinion! Subjective decision.

What is the definition of a successful recruiter? Read the rest of this entry »