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 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.

Thanksgiving Thoughts for Recruiters

by Liz Carey

Here in America, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and a time to reflect and express gratitude for things that give your life meaning. In the recruiting world, this may be a time where candidates assess whether their work gives them satisfaction and if they find it meaningful. With the start of a new year coming up, candidates may be at the point where they want to make a change if they don’t feel they are making a positive impact in their current job.

I recently read a great article that suggests steps employers can take to help keep employees satisfied with meaningful work, which ultimately will help ensure the retention of top talent:

Similarly, recruiters can take this time to reflect and express gratitude for all the people and tools that help make you successful. A quick email blast with a Thanksgiving wish can help remind candidates that they aren’t just a number to you… and it will reinforce that personal connection that makes your work meaningful.

Recruiting can be stressful and time-consuming, but take the time to remind yourself of the success stories of finding a candidate their dream job, or fulfilling a difficult need for your client, or sending a lead to a trading partner that helped them land a new client, and it may help you appreciate the hard times and realize how rewarding this line of work is.

Be thankful for your candidates, clients, and trading partners; when you make your next placement, they’ll surely be thankful for you.

Building a Better Recruitment Database

by Veronica Blatt

We are beginning the process of transitioning to a new association management software tool. This creates a terrific opportunity for us to reconsider our database structure, processes, and workflows. We will look to create new efficiencies, while reducing or eliminating inefficient, duplicated, or manual work. If you’re considering a new ATS product, you may have some of the same opportunities to critically review your recruitment database. Here are a few things we’re exploring that may not be “top of mind” in your business: Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking Outside the Square

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Paulette Steele with Real Resumes located in Queensland, Australia. Real Resumes is educating people from beginning to end on getting a job.  Short videos cover all aspects including: where to look for a job, writing effective resumes, researching and preparing for the interview, and most importantly, mastering the interview itself. Paulette has 15 years of recruitment experience and a vast career in various industries.

We’re told to think outside the square, the box or whatever. Yet, we try to pigeonhole people in many situations and particularly in interviews. Read the rest of this entry »

Year in Review: Split Placements Up in 2019

by Sarah Freiburger

NPAworldwide is a global network of independently-owned, professional recruiting firms working together to increase revenue through split fee placements. The network enables members to better serve their clients through extended geographic reach and greater access to industry specialization. In the process, NPAworldwide members benefit from increased production and a stronger competitive position.

Not only did the number of NPAworldwide member firms grow immensely in 2019, the number of split fee placements made by members also drastically increased, with total member revenue reaching 7 million dollars!  Split placement activity occurred around the world with North America leading the network in deals. The following information highlights key 2019 results:

  • Placements of positions with US$100,000 and above salaries were 35% of total split fee placements
  • Placements of positions with US$70,000 and above salaries were 59% of total split fee placements

Top 5 Practice Groups based on number of split fee placements, listed high to low. Click here  to view industries/niches included in these Practice Groups.

  • Engineering/Operations/Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Sales / Marketing / Business Development
  • Accounting / Financial Services
  • Chemical Process

It’s not even the end of the year yet and our members are sharing jobs and placing candidates with one another at a rapid pace, excited to see what the rest of the year holds for the network! What does 2020 look like for you? If you are leaving additional revenue out of your business model by not leveraging other independent recruiters there is still time to set yourself up for success in the new year.