5 Ways to Shorten Time to Make Placements

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 chairman of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

Time kills deals in our business. Anything you can do to move things faster will help you win the battle against time. Read the rest of this entry »

US Hiring Plans for Q1 2020

by Sarah Freiburger

We’ve all heard a talent shortage exists. However, what are employers reporting in regards to the first quarter of 2020 hiring? Manpower has released their projections for the first quarter that answer that question. More than 11,500 interviews were conducted with employers within the United States, including all 50 states,the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), theDistrict of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to measure hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2020 My post today will provide an overview of the findings. I encourage you to review the survey results in more detail.

% of Employers Expecting to Add Payrolls

Employers in 22 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed expect to add to payrolls in the first quarter of 2020, with 5 percent anticipating a decrease and 72 percent expecting no change. It is definitely a job seeker’s market with these types of results.

Top 5 Industry Sector Results

While Employers in all 13 U.S sectors expected to grow payrolls during the first quarter, these 5 industries had the largest increase expected:

  1. Leisure & Hospitality (+30%)
  2. Construction (+22%)
  3. Professional & Business Services (+22%)
  4. Wholesale& Retail Trade (+22%)
  5. Transportation & Utilities (+19%)

Regional Comparisons
The Midwest Outlook takes the lead by matching the strongest reported since 2001, with 23% of of employers expecting workforce gains. Regionally after that was:

  • South (21% net employment outlook)
  • West (17% net employment outlook)
  • Northeast (15% net employment outlook)

Global Outlook

Manpower also surveyed a total of 58,000 employers across 43 countries to report on a global outlook and employers in 42 of 43 countries and territories surveyed expect to grow payrolls. The strongest labor markets are anticipated in Greece, Japan, Taiwan, the U.S. and Romania, while the weakest hiring activity is expected in Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Italy and Spain.


What impact does this have on independent recruiters? While many exist, I suggest the following:

  • As an independent recruiter, bump up your business development efforts to retain new clients affected by talent shortage.
  • Employers unwilling to work with recruiters during the past four years may be more willing now to seek the professional assistance of an independent recruiter with such a tough candidate market, new techniques need to be employed to uncover passive talent.
  • If you are focused on one niche only, consider changing your niche or adding to your current niche, especially in areas where the market is not as tight.
  • Develop a recruiter networking group of trusted trading partners around the world to assist you with filling difficult jobs and placing candidates who can’t find a job locally.

The Benefits of Member-Ownership

by Veronica Blatt

Our Global Conference is just 8 weeks away, and I’m neck-deep in the details that lead to a successful event. NPAworldwide’s member-owners elect officers and directors and make decisions about network policies and future plans during the annual meeting portion of the conference.. Member-ownership is perhaps THE thing that makes NPAworldwide different from other split placement organizations. I love this time of year when owners come together to share ideas and debate a wide variety of topics. I’m always impressed and excited by the passionate enthusiasm that members display.

What exactly does member-ownership mean? Well, in it’s simplest terms, the entire network is owned by its members. Each firm becomes an equal co-owner upon joining. We are governed by a board of directors elected from the membership. Members have control over the rules, which are established via a democratic process. Members pool their resources and work cooperatively to reach common goals. Profits can be reinvested in the network or shared among the owners. There is not a private individual or corporate structure that benefits from the profits of the network. Because each member firm is an equal owner of the network, a small recruitment firm can have just as much influence as a larger business.

NPAworldwide members determine the rules that define split placements, membership qualifications, financial responsibilities, dispute resolution and more. Our bylaws were modernized and rewritten in 2012 (not for the first time) and have been amended almost every year since then. As recruitment changes and evolves, our governing documents strive to keep up with that change. Member-ownership means that members can help shape the way they want to work with other members in the network. Members are accountable to each other to ensure the rules are followed. This helps foster a high degree of trust among partners and an increase in split deals.

The ownership of a split placement organization is an important detail. Learn more about different ownership structures here.

Recruiting Blog Year-End Reading

by Veronica Blatt

top recruitment blogsToday is the last post for the Independent Recruiter Blog for 2019 – we’ll be back on Tuesday, January 7th. As you wind down for the holidays, here are some of our top recruiting blog posts from the year so you can catch up on any you’ve missed.

Replace No with Yes, But … In recruitment it is not always easy to get what you want or even what is needed to deliver top talent. Sometimes you just need to walk away and say NO to something that is headed the wrong way. Before sealing the deal’s fate with a NO, why not try what some refer to as the evil twin of YES, AND…try a YES, BUT.

Three Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Interviews: How to Create an ATS-Friendly Resume … While software automation has simplified the recruitment process for recruiters, staffing specialists, human resources professionals and employers, it has made the hiring process much more challenging for job seekers, applicants and candidates. Nowadays, Application Tracking Systems (ATS) are becoming continuously more sophisticated each day, and as a consequence, a resume won’t get selected to move forward and be reviewed by a human unless it satisfies a custom-programed, specific set of keywords and criteria for a particular position.

The Number 1 Thing to Do in an Interview … What’s the number one thing to do in an interview? It’s so simple and effective! We talk about doing sufficient research about the company, preparing for an interview with answers for the most likely questions and of course being ready with your questions. However, none of this is going to work if you don’t do one thing. Smile!

What Happens if You Receive a Counteroffer? … Changing jobs can be a huge source of stress, even when you *know* it’s the right decision. It’s common to feel sad or anxious, or even a little bit guilty even if you are excited about the new opportunity. On top of all those emotions, you have to actually resign – you know, tell your boss you’re leaving. And that’s when they hit you with the counteroffer. Maybe you didn’t see it coming, or maybe you should have, but either way it’s on the table and now you have to deal with it.

Is the Cover Letter Dead? … On our recruitment network forum, one recruiter asked recently asked: “Do you read the Resume or Cover Letter first?” The overwhelming response was, with all the applications recruiters receive, most do not have time to read a cover letter at all. So, does that mean a candidates shouldn’t write one at all? Not at all.

Are there particular topics you’d like to see us discuss in this recruiting blog? Drop a note in the comments below! In the meantime, we wish all of you a very safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Recruiters, Pause Busywork to Think

by Liz Carey

The end of the year is a great time to look back at your processes and see what’s working, what isn’t, what can be improved, etc. It can be hard to reflect and make a change when you’re trapped in a cycle of constant demands – which is especially true for recruiters, who are so busy it’s often hard to “come up for air.”

An article about resolving to do less busywork has been floating around our office. In the article, from Associations Now, it suggests that to grow professionally, you have to stop spending so much time on “busywork” – i.e. logical tasks that don’t require much brainpower and are often done while distracted.

In the recruiting world, what comes to mind is the endless daily “to-dos” and quantitative goals to accomplish (i.e. send X # of InMails or emails, make X # of cold calls to prospective clients, checking social media, entering candidates into your ATS, pulling reports/data entry, etc). But while you’re glued to the phone trying to achieve a certain amount of phone calls, you might “look” busy but actually be achieving nothing.

“Busywork” often does have inherent value and needs to be completed, but tends to not create “new value.” The article stresses you need to carve out time to just think. It’s easy to get caught up in the endless cycle of calls and emails, but it’s important to step back and create time where you can reflect on the bigger picture. Block out an hour say on Thursday morning to work on something that will get no attention unless you break free of the email catch-up game.

This is an opportunity, the article states, to focus on “deep work” opportunities, which create new value, improve skills, and his hard to replicate. For a recruiting firm, a good activity to ponder might be your current marketing processes or business development strategies. If your team each had an hour or two each week where they were free from the phone/email, it would allow them to research, brainstorm new ideas, and possibly create new processes for your business that could save time and/or money, or increase productivity. It also places value on the employee – for their skills and thoughts, and encourages them to think outside the box, rather than thinking they’re just another cog in the wheel.

Do you have a process in place to allow yourself time to just think?



Global Hiring Expected to Rise in Q1 2020

by Veronica Blatt

global payroll outlookManpowerGroup has released the results of its newest Employment Outlook Survey. The survey asked some 58,000 employers in 43 countries and territories to forecast employment changes from the current quarter to the next. While survey answers are decidedly mixed, global hiring growth is expected in 42 of the 43 surveyed locations. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, 15 countries report stronger hiring prospects, while 23 are expecting slower growth, and 5 are unchanged. The next survey results will be available in March 2020.

Here are some of the notable items in each geographic region:

Read the rest of this entry »

6 Ways to Improve Production in 2020

by Sarah Freiburger

marketing-leftover-candidatesIn today’s world, business keeps moving faster and faster. Staying current with technology is a challenge in and of itself. So, who has time to analyze the past?

Bill Benson, Chair of NPAworldwide’s Board of Directors, believes in taking time at the end of the year to take inventory on what is going well and what could be going better. A recruitment firm owner needs to ask themselves what are they expecting next year. Let’s assume that your competition is improving and business may be tougher to get in 2020. Thinking this way forces you improve your game.

  1. Get back to basics! Conduct a self-audit to make sure that you are continuing to do the little things right – small details can make a big difference! Look at your processes for interviewing candidates, presenting candidates to clients, prepping candidates for interviews, reference checking, qualifying candidates and clients. Ask the hard questions of your clients and candidates in order to further qualify Interest levels. This is a good time of year to ferret out any bad habits.
  2. Use social media to help stay more connected to your clients. You don’t need to be a social media maven to use technology to your advantage. Skip Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and focus on Linked In. “Like” your clients on linked In. Set Google alerts for your clients to stay informed when they are in the news. This insight will give you angles and opportunities to communicate and even pitch a candidate. Share articles that you believe are informative to your client personas.
  3. Start dating your clients again. We often can get busy focused on current assignments and fail to stay more connected to long standing clients. Understand you have competitors that you didn’t know exist that are calling on them. Take them to lunch over the holidays or call them to simply see how they are doing. You build trust with your clients by showing this type of interest.
  4. Schedule follow-up calls. Use your calendar system to give yourself reminders to make calls. An Example: Set a 30, 90, 180 and 360 phone call reminder with your placed candidates. Why? If a problem exists… some early intervention might avert a fall off! This follow up also shows you care as much as you hoped they believed when you placed them in the first place. These people are your best referral sources. Set similar call reminders with your clients, referral sources and key NPA partners. Set a 12 month out call every time you take a job order. Do this whether you fill the position or not. It might be a cyclical need and your 12 month out follow up call might hit at exactly the right time. You will more likely hit your call goal if you have a rolling list of these phone calls popping into your calendar every day. Anything you can do to structure your day will give you positive results.
  5. Stay focused! Let’s face it…most of us have attention or focus issues! Block your time into hourly segments of “focused time” to work jobs and stay on the phone. Start each day with a list of calls and 2-3 jobs where to place your focused time. Set goals that help you track daily progress. Daily planning and phone discipline are still the top predictors of success in our business.
  6. Training. Use a training platform to help you “sharpen the saw.” This is Stephen Covey’s Habit number 7. At WilliamCharles Search Group we use Next Level Exchange. Also look for webinars and other training material. 

Finally, always remember that when you go back to the start of the placement (way back to when you received the job order) and take it all apart, you find things that could have been done better. Good luck to all recruiters in the New Year!

Salary Histories Obscure While Salary Transparency Increases

by Dave Nerz

While questions about salary history are top of mind for recruiters and candidates looking to be considered for jobs, employers are struggling with salary transparency issues every day. Pay has long been a confidential topic in the workplace. In fact, most conversations about pay are limited to review time or when an employee is being given a raise or adjustment. With some employers, salary transparency is beginning to change.

Current studies show that in the US only about 27% of employers share salary information with employees and early-stage candidates. Another 22% indicate they are likely to start sharing this information with both employees and candidates. So, the workplace is very evenly split on this topic of salary transparency, or will be, as those planning to share actually start doing so. A full 51% do not share salary info and do not intend to do so.

So, what are the advantages to greater salary transparency? Those that currently share details, they find it speeds the hiring process, streamlines the negotiation process, ensures fair pay, filters out and saves time spent with those that would likely decline and offer, and creates an environment where more interview time is spent on other topics.

The future is sometimes driven by the market and other times government intervenes. Governments worldwide are interested in fair pay and are busy pushing forward transparency laws. Even from an employer perspective, the goal is not really about transparency. The ultimate goal is fair pay; transparency forces that faster than good intentions alone. Fair pay then instills trust in the company and the process. Lack of transparency creates lack of trust and can create pay inequity that is systemic. Leaving employees in the dark can create candidates that are suspicious and employees that are distrustful. It has been found that many employees incorrectly assume they are being underpaid relative to market conditions. PayScale, LinkedIn and Salary.com are driving market transparency that will require employers to share more if they do not want to be compared solely against generic industry/marketing data. A clear picture of rates and ranges will give employees an awareness of standing within their current job and what upside exists. This can all be used to retain and motivate when used appropriately.

Transparency comes with both risk and complications. Each employer needs to make fully informed choices that have been strategically thought through and implications considered. No doubt recruiters will save considerable time on candidates that may be a mismatch on salary where employers are fully transparent on salaries.

It is certainly an interesting trend that while employers are in the process of becoming more transparent about salaries, recruiters and employers on the other side of the equation are becoming limited in what they can ask employees. Salaries are trending toward transparency while salary histories are trending toward completely obscurity.

Add Split Placements in 2020!

by Veronica Blatt

NPAworldwide will celebrate its 64th year of facilitating split placements next year, so it’s fair to say we’re biased on this topic. Splits are an excellent way to diversify your business focus. They can help you increase your geographic reach. Splits also offer economical business expansion for boutique recruitment firms. If any of these items keep you awake at night, consider adding splits in 2020.

Diversify Your Business

Split placements can help you fill roles in additional occupations and niches. If your engineering client suddenly needs a CFO, a good split partner means you can say yes with confidence. If your niche is softening, let your split partners serve as your business development division and source candidates for THEIR jobs.

Increase Your Geographic Reach

Do you have the ability to source candidates in Germany when your client opens a new manufacturing facility there? Are you knowledgeable of the salary and compliance laws in Australia? How do you interview candidates effectively with a 9 hour time difference between your locations? Many recruiters are intimidated at the prospect of accepting global assignments. Split placements are a perfect solution. Your in-country partner can help source and interview candidates, and may also be able to assist in the details of the offer, local business customs and more.

Economical Business Expansion

As a business owner, you’ve likely grappled with how to effectively grow your business. In many instances, real growth involves a significant investment of capital. Since the outcome is not guaranteed, it’s a risky model. For recruitment firms, it typically means hiring additional recruiters. In turn, you may also need to provide equipment, software, tools and support, and training. You’re committing to ongoing overhead costs with no guarantee that they will be productive enough, all the time, to cover those costs. Split placements mean reaching out to trusted partners when you need them. You don’t need to train them or purchase a LinkedIn seat. When the role is filled, you’re not continuing to pay. If managing people is not your strength, this model will reduce the amount of time you spend on that activity. In turn, that gives you more time to spend on placement activity.

Split placements are not a magic pill to cure all of your business pain, but when done properly can be an outstanding supplement for your firm.

Recruitment Marketing – Social Media Stats that will drive your strategy in 2020

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest contribution is from Amanda Davies, a marketing consultant and business coach with Green Umbrella Marketing – a recognized brand known within the recruitment industry for providing social media management services, coaching, design and online marketing strategies.

We are suddenly sprinting towards the end of 2019. As usual it seems, we’re commenting ‘where has this year gone.’ Well, in the blink of an eye it will be 2020. A new year and a new decade. Where will this take your recruitment business?

Hopefully you are ahead of the game and are tuning into your marketing strategy for the next 12 months. What has worked for your recruitment business this year and, as a result, where are you going to show up next year? What’s your focus, which events should you attend, how do you leverage any big brand developments to get candidates flocking to you, and clients knocking on your door with placements?

Measuring recruitment return on investment (ROI) is often a sticking point with marketers. It is incredibly difficult to measure definitive ROI when it comes to marketing. Candidates or clients will rarely choose you as a result of one singular piece of marketing activity. It takes multiple touch points before there is any signing on the dotted line. It’s often better to focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than a direct ROI.

As a result of those multiple touch points you need to ensure your recruitment marketing strategy keeps your business visible in the right places over the coming year. Looking at social media in particular, what have we learned about recruitment marketing over the last 12 months that we should be keeping in mind for our 2020 strategy?


  • Facebook is still the biggest social media platform by far (both in the UK and globally). It has 2.41 billion active users and is the world’s third most visited website after Google and YouTube. (source Hootsuite)
  • Research shows that 74% of Facebook users log in daily, and they spend an average of 38 minutes per day on the platform.
  • In the UK 70% of UK adults have at least one social media account, and 1 in every 5 minutes is spent on social sites. (source Ofcom: Online Nation)
  • Use of Facebook owned platforms WhatsApp and Instagram has grown over the last 12 months with 1.3 billion and 800m users respectively.


  • Over 200 million people visit a least one Instagram business page per day. However, demographics of Instagram users in the UK are heavily in the under 34 age-bracket, with 66% of users falling in this range. (source Statista)
  • It is still one of the most popular and growing social media channels, both in the UK and globally. Use of ‘stories’ is also increasing. This is the 24 ephemeral content that appears at the top of the feed. Use of stories hit over 500 million users daily this year.
  • In fact, behind Facebook, YouTube and messaging platforms – it is the platform accounting for the largest market share. (source Smart Insights)
  • The top 3 reasons people engage with businesses and brands on social media is to ask a question, discuss an issue or to praise the product or service (via Sprout Social)


  • Twitter has 134 million daily active users and is mid-level in terms of its popularity as a social media platform
  • Good for sharing content and up-to-the-minute news, it satisfies our thirst as curious, demanding consumers
  • Twitter has (arguably!) a more mature user demographic with 63% of users between 35-65 years old, with more men than women on the platform. (source Oberlo)
  • Your tweets have short life span so don’t be afraid to repeat yourself or share links to the same content but with different support commentary
  • For larger recruiters it is still a fantastic platform for controlling your brand narrative, responding to comments good or bad and, for any size recruiter, for sharing content and engaging with your audience.


  • LinkedIn is still viewed as the professional social network and is popular with recruiters and job seekers globally. It’s also a valuable place for showcasing skills and sharing content
  • Think of LinkedIn as a search engine, every post and piece of content on it is indexed and is searchable – great for your SEO juice!
  • This year Linked added new features enabling you to post downloadable documents, as well as videos and images to support your posts, make use of this
  • They also added a feature that alerts employees when new company content goes live to drive engagement on these posts
  • LinkedIn has over 610 million users with just under half of these active users. As a platform it is responsible for 80% of B2B leads from social media (source 99firms)

WhatsApp, Messenger and TikTok

  • TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform. If you have teenagers in your life, you will know it’s hard to extract them from it. It is particularly popular with under 25’s so unless you are marketing to that age demographic, just be aware of TikTok but put it to one side for now. It may become more mainstream in the next 12 months. We have had these conversations before about Facebook and Instagram so keep TikTok on your radar.
  • WhatsApp and Messenger are increasingly popular and acceptable ways of communicating for businesses. Remember you can use desktop platforms for both.
  • You can automate replies and engagement on WhatsApp and Messenger, and both are aiming to increase their B2C footprint.
  • This year WhatsApp enabled businesses to showcase products and services, almost as a catalogue to potential consumers – or in recruitment terms, for candidates.


  • Video is not going anywhere as a means of creating, sharing and digesting content. YouTube is the second largest social media platform behind Facebook
  • In terms of recruitment, video adverts and interviews have shown a 47% increase female applicants
  • Video adverts are shared 5 x more than text-based job ads (both stats via Video My Job)
  • A staggering 9 in 10 internet users visit YouTube every month, spending an average of 27 minutes a day there (source OfCom)
  • Video content does not need to be high-end, or Hollywood budget productions but think about how you can introduce video content to your strategy.

We could write a blog for how to leverage each of the above platforms for your recruitment marketing strategy. There are certainly enough statistic out there to explore. Remember though, that not all platforms will be relevant for your recruitment business so don’t try and manage them all! For example, Pinterest doesn’t feature above but if you were a consumer retail business it might be the perfect platform for you.

Give some serious thought to and document your candidate and client persona. Where do they hang out online? That and keeping in mind the statistics above should form the basis of your recruitment marketing strategy for 2020.