3 Ways to Increase Recruiter Revenue in 2012

by Terri Piersma

fireworksThe end of the year and the beginning of a new year are typically slow for independent recruiters. This means now is the perfect time to reflect on what happened in 2011 and create your plan to increase recruiter revenue in 2012. Industry consultants for the recruiting industry offer suggestions on how to develop a plan to achieve the goals you set. This article focuses on three ways that recruiters, including those involved in global recruiting, may increase recruitment revenue in 2012. The purpose of this list is to inspire independent recruiters to work with clients and candidates in 2012 in new ways.

1. Container 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 is different than obtaining an engagement fee upfront. With this option, the recruiter changes the scope of the services provided to the employer. It is a hybrid fee option that adds 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.

2. 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?  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 on other continents 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.

3. No Guarantee
Yes, I said no guarantee! In 2011, one of NPA’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 2012. 

Do you have any other suggestions as to how independent recruiters may increase recruiter revenue in 2012?


Anyone Can Be an Independent Recruiter, Right?

by Dave Nerz

increase recruiter profitI have attended several webinars that educate recruiters on how to build lists of hard-to-find candidates. Sometime these webinars are offered by those selling tools that make the process of list generation easier. You know the names: LinkedIn Recruiter Professional, ZoomInfo, and the Boolean search string education seminars. To the non-recruiter, it seems that candidate list generation is what is difficult about recruiting…finding more quality candidates. Even if refining a list of 1000 candidates down to the 20 top prospects is demanding, it is the next step that is really where recruiters separate themselves from researchers.

Don’t get me wrong, these recruiting resources are time savers for independent recruiters. They make the challenge of finding talent easier and in most cases increase recruiting profit and production. These are services that every recruiter should consider adding to their recruiting toolbox. But again, getting the names is easy…recruiting is difficult. This is where CEOs, CFOs, and the rest of the non-recruiter world lose touch with reality. Non-recruiter audiences think the list is what recruiting is all about. That’s like assuming someone who is a superb dishwasher can run a restaurant. It takes more. There is a bit of magic that happens between the creation of a candidate prospect list and the actual hire of a candidate. This reality is being missed by those not familiar with the recruitment process. Everyone thinks that with good access to names there is little need for a recruiter. We will see more prevalence of this thinking as LinkedIn promotes itself to the masses and Facebook, Google Plus, and others look for ways to monetize the value of their electronic recruiter networking platforms. So get ready. It has happened to other industries; it will happen to recruiting.

But the magic. Everyone forgets about the magic! The magic happens when a professional recruiter contacts someone on the 20-candidate short list and gets a referral to the perfect candidate who was not even on the original list of 1000! The magic happens when a seasoned recruiter gets a return call that the small company CEO could not have managed with 50 calls to the prospect! The magic happens when the global recruiter finds someone in Russia who speaks Portuguese and wants to relocate to Brazil. The magic happens when the tested recruiter works with the candidate to get their 3 horses, 5 llamas and a pig relocated to a new state! Why don’t independent recruiters get more credit for the magic that they make happen? Why does everyone think they can be a recruiter? 

Magic = Experience x Knowhow. Magic is worth the price!


Image: Luigi Diamanti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking for recruiting resources? Check out these blogs!

by Veronica Blatt

Blog-Computer-KeyNPA’s Independent Recruiter Blog has been added to a list of the 50 best blogs for recruiters, as compiled by the folks at www.onlinemba.com. We’ve been working hard for the past year to create valuable content for independent recruiters and global recruiters alike. It’s nice to be recognized for our effort!

If you’re looking for new recruiting resources to help you stay ahead of your competitors, this list of blogs is a great place to start. I’m familiar with many, but certainly not all, of the blogs listed. Here are my favorites, in no order:

  • Fistful of Talent – One of my all-time favorites, Fistful of Talent offers insights on virtually anything related to HR, recruiting, social media recruiting, employee relations, and more
  • Unbridled Talent – Information about recruitment strategy, social recruiting, employment branding and leadership/career development
  • Talent HQ – Talent HQ is an online news and advice channel for the recruiting, talent acquisition and human resources community
  • ERE Community Blogs – Online recruiting community jam-packed with blogs from those in the recruitment field, including independent recruiters, corporate recruiters, and HR professionals
  • The Human Capitalist – A blog by Jason Corsello about HR services, technology and outsourcing trends
  • Jim Stroud and The Recruiters Lounge – Jim blogs about the recruiting industry, including recruiting resources such as training, research tools, and a podcast
  • Monster Thinking – Insights, observations, and ideas about hiring, recruiting, talent, and the job market (disclosure: Monster is an Alliance Partner of NPA; we do not receive any benefit for liking their blog!)
  • Recruiting Toolbox Blog – Focuses on corporate recruiters, with case studies, trends, and events for recruiters and recruiting leaders

I encourage you to take a look at all 50 blogs on the list, especially if you are in need of new recruiting resources to help you stay informed about the global recruitment industry. What’s YOUR favorite recruiting blog? Any other recruiting resources you can share?


Do Global Recruiters Have Enough Time for Social Media?

by Veronica Blatt

social media for recruitersYou know about social media. You probably have a LinkedIn account and a personal Facebook page for staying in touch with friends and family. Now you’re hearing that you need to create a Facebook fan page for your business. As for Twitter? Forget it.

If you’re like many global recruiters I know, you’re thinking, “Yeah, yeah, social media. Sounds great. I know I *should* be doing it, but I’m BUSY with clients and candidates! How can I possibly find time to fit anything else into my day?” Especially something that seems as hard to measure as social media activity.

Global recruiters DO have time for social media. Here’s what to do:

Get a social media dashboard.

What’s a social media dashboard? Simply put, it’s a tool that lets you monitor all of your social media activity in ONE place, at ONE time. At NPA, we’ve spent the better part of a year (so far) building a social media presence. It takes a lot of time. It was overwhelming for a while. I couldn’t figure out how to do my “regular job” supporting our independent recruiter members AND still have time for Tweeting, Facebook and LinkedIn.

But then… Mike Owcarz (@MikeOwcarz, @PCRecruiter) from Main Sequence Technologies told me about a little gem called HootSuite, a web-based social media dashboard. And it changed my entire outlook on social media, especially Twitter. In fact, I’m in love. (And no, I don’t get paid for confessing my love of HootSuite.)

I use HootSuite to follow all social media activity on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that is relevant to NPA. Since it’s web-based, it’s simply a matter of having one extra browser tab open. When I have content I want to share via social media, I do it through HootSuite. This allows me to choose which channel (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or a combination of all 3) to use. HootSuite also allows users to create posts and schedule them to auto-publish at a future date/time. I can see all content that is directly about NPA and respond quickly. I can also see information that would be interesting or important to NPA members or other independent recruiting firms, and share that with our followers.

It’s made the most difference with Twitter. Before HootSuite, I rarely Tweeted. I don’t have a smart phone, so I don’t have a way to integrate Twitter with my mobile device. It was too overwhelming to manage either on Twitter’s website or via email. HootSuite gives me a way to sort and categorize the Tweets that are most important without having to wade through so much of the other chatter.

In another post, I gave some suggestions for how independent recruiters can use Twitter. You can use the search feature in HootSuite to look for topics or keywords that are important to your global recruiting business. While you’re at it, please follow NPA, @npaworldwide.

HootSuite offers a free 30-day trial, so you can check it out yourself. The “pay version” is available for as little as $6 per month. Global recruiters who are seeking out a larger network of recruiting partners can’t go wrong with social media. HootSuite makes it easier and more efficient, leaving you more time to spend on moneymaking recruitment activities.


Global Recruiting Growth in Europe

by Dave Nerz

global recruitingSo maybe I’ve been reading the newspapers too much and watching those depressing business news programs too often. I was surprised to learn that recruitment growth in Europe is happening. Europe is growing at a year-over-year growth rate of 14% for November, a growth rate that mirrors October’s result. I thought that Europe was in a bad spot and getting worse. I was under the impression that all of Europe was in a recession and that recruitment growth was on the same trend line. Monster indicates that is not so. In fact, consider the following from the December 2 Monster Index:

  • Germany is up annually 30% year-over-year
  • Engineering is the star performer of the industries tracked
  • Engineering, transport, telecommunications, and production are all up over 25% this year
  • UK is up 8% year-over-year

It is true that some markets are negative and trending more negative. For example Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands are all negative year-over-year. France and Sweden are relatively flat. 

There is opportunity for those who are connected to make placements with employers and perhaps do international splits with recruiters working in Europe. If you are not asking your clients about what they do internationally, this may be the year to start paying attention to the opportunities for cross-border placements. If you are recruiting in a flat or down market in Europe, ask your clients what they are doing in Asia, North America, or South America. The more you grow your market coverage area, the more you can make your business immune to the constant gyrations of a local market. 


Independent Recruiters and LinkedIn: Corporate HR is taking over!

by Dave Nerz

image of LinkedIn, a tool used by agency recruitersA year ago when I opened LinkedIn Group pages, the number of recruiters and recruiter offers was overwhelming. It seemed that LinkedIn was the playground of recruiters and that others didn’t get it. I would like to see the actual metrics that LinkedIn keeps on usage and audiences. It seems to me that things are changing quickly.

I now see corporate HR has taken over LinkedIn. Of the jobs posted in LinkedIn Groups, it seems that the vast majority are jobs posted by companies or corporate HR. What was once the recruiting resource of choice for independent recruiters seems to have been swallowed whole by the employers. What is your experience? Are you seeing employers overwhelm your groups and the jobs postings with their open positions?

So why has this changed so quickly and with such emphasis? Are recruiters finding less success with LinkedIn postings and slowing usage? Or perhaps corporate HR is finding that LinkedIn works? Do you think that LinkedIn Recruiter Professional Service is being sold and used by corporate HR in record numbers? Spending $5,000 on LinkedIn RPS is not as big a deal for a company as it may be for an independent recruiter. What are you seeing?

I question if the trend will slow or if this independent recruiter resource will forever be changed by the number of corporate HR users now exploiting LinkedIn as a candidate sourcing tool? Have you had any clients tell you, as they did in the old days with Monster and CareerBuilder, that if they find a candidate on LinkedIn, they will not honor your fee request?  Are you prepared to address that one head on the first time it happens?

Linkedin Lesson for Independent Recruiters

by Veronica Blatt

image of LinkedIn, a tool used by agency recruitersIf used correctly, Linkedin can be a great resource for independent recruiters. Because most people use Linkedin strictly for business purposes, you don’t have to worry about your newsfeed and inbox filling up with things unrelated to your professional career.  Linkedin allows recruiters to identify and contact candidates based on their work history, industry skills and specialization. It is very easy to target candidates, whether they are active or passive, if you know the basics of Linkedin. Since not everyone is familiar with Linkedin and how it can be used as a resource to identify candidates and publicize positions, here are five basic tips to help you survive on Linkedin.

1.  Use your Inmail
With the free version of Linkedin, you have five inmails a month that you can use to connect with active or passive candidates or potential clients outside of your network. Use these wisely as they are the best way to get in front of someone you may not normally be able to contact. Carefully craft your message so that it isn’t confused with spam. The more personalized the better. Make it clear who you are any why you are contacting them.

2.  Create a company page
It’s important to send the right message about your firm to candidates and clients who may be viewing your company page. Linkedin recently added a new feature where you can post updates and content directly from your firm page. This is a great place to post your current openings. Also, make sure your current employees have linked themselves through their work experience to your firm page. That way, candidates will have a clearer picture of the size of your company and the recruiters working for you.

3.  Keep your personal profile current
Job seekers and clients can get a very accurate view of you and your firm if you provide them with correct and thorough information in your personal profile. Use this opportunity to put your firm description as well as your areas of specialty and how long your firm has been in business. It doesn’t hurt to make this page keyword optimized as well. In a lot of cases, when someone does a Google search on you or your firm name, your Linkedin profile will probably appear within the first page of the results. Also, there are several applications that can be downloaded to your personal profile page to increase its interactivity, such as Reading List by Amazon, Blog Link, SlideShare Presentations, Tripit and much more. There is a great tool to the right of your screen when you are under the “edit profile” option called “improve your profile”. By clicking this tool, Linkedin will suggest profile updates for you and identify areas where you can improve. It’s great for those that are new to Linkedin and just starting to complete their profile.

4.  Post updates frequently
Both your company and personal profile pages give you the opportunity to post updates with the option to attach a link to relevant content. Use this tool to post open positions, industry news, or content that you think may be useful to others in the recruiting industry. You can also use the automatic twitter feed to post the same information to your twitter account. Another great feature of the posting tool is that you can push your update to all the groups that you are currently a member of. By clicking the “share” link under the post, you can select the group you want to push the update to. This way, you are visible within the groups that you participate in as well.

5.  Frequently browse your connections’ connections
By browsing your connections’ connections you may find people that you already know but haven’t yet connected with, or people you should know/connect with. I do this all the time and find long lost co-workers, business contact and friends. It’s a great way to increase your reach.

I think one of the most important tips that I can give regarding the social media sphere is that whatever you do, do it consistently. The more consistent you are with your updates, posts and content, the more recognizable you will be through whatever social media channel you decide to use.

3 Ways Independent Recruiters Can Use Twitter

by Veronica Blatt

twitter_newbird_boxed_whiteonblueLately, it seems people are all atwitter over Twitter. Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, asks users to answer the question, “What’s happening” in 140 characters or less. A lot of recruiters seem to wonder if Twitter is an actual recruiting resource or simply another new fad destined for the “time waste” trash heap. I believe Twitter CAN be a valuable tool for independent recruiters, and I’m going to share some ideas to get you started. First, though, some Twitter basics:

Your Twitter Profile. Take time to create a complete profile. Use keywords in your bio to describe what you do. Make certain you include your website. If you have a blog or another website, you can link to that in your profile by entering http:// and then the rest of the URL. Twitter will convert it to a live hyperlink for you. Add a picture of yourself. Twitter users want to interact with a “real” person, not an avatar.

Twitter Commands. Familiarize yourself with the basic Twitter commands and how to use them. At the very least, you need to know the following:

  • # (called a hashtag in Twitter-speak) – use this to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet, like this: #npaworldwide for #recruiters who love to make #splits
  • RT (Retweet) – use this to “repost” someone else’s Tweet, like this: RT [username]
  • @[username] – use this to show that your Tweet is a reply to another user, like this: @npaworldwide Thanks for sharing!
  • D [username] + message – use this to send a direct (private) message to another user, like this: d vscrimshaw What time are you heading to #grwineshow?

URL Shortening. Because you’re limited to just 140 characters (including spaces), you can’t afford to Tweet long URLs. You’ll need to use a URL shortening service such as http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl.com to reduce your URL to just a few characters.

Now that I’ve covered some of the basics, here are 3 ways to make Twitter a valuable recruiting resource:

1. Post new job openings. Twitter’s platform is perfect for connecting with people on mobile devices (the 140-character limitation was designed for compatibility with mobile SMS/text messaging). Get to the point, add a couple of hashtags, and voila! Your job is Tweeted instantly.

2. Share news. The thing I love most about Twitter is rapid news sharing. By strategically following people who are likely to have information that is relevant to NPA, I learn about breaking news and other developments faster and more regularly than by other methods. In turn, I can share that news with people and organizations that follow #npaworldwide. Can you share news about the job market with your followers? Hot new careers? New developments from your clients? How can you position yourself as a thought leader in your recruiting niche?

3. Listen, Learn, Retweet. Twitter is a great recruiting resource for developing intelligence that will benefit your independent recruiting firm. Use http://search.twitter.com to search for Tweets on a specific keyword or topic, like #jobs, #careers, or other relevant terms. Not sure what hashtags to use? Check out www.hashtags.org for a comprehensive list. Follow trending topics that are relevant to your clients and candidates, and share that information with your followers. Create opportunities to engage and interact with candidates and clients.

There are myriad resources for learning more how to use Twitter in your recruitment agency. Here are a few of my favorites:

You can also try a Google search for “twitter job postings,” “twitter for recruiters,” or “twitter hashtag directory” to learn even more. What’s your favorite Twitter tip?

Job Boards: Recruiter Revenue Tool or Time Waster?

by Dave Nerz

recruiter job boardA 2010 CareerXroads study of major companies found that 25 percent of all jobs were found as a result of job board applications. This was second only to employee referrals as the source of job candidates and placement. Even with these strong facts supporting the success of job boards, it is interesting to see the varied opinions the recruiting community has regarding job boards. (Disclosure: NPA launched its own recruiter job board in August 2011.)

Here are a few of the points of view I have been exposed to. I’ll start with the least interested and most hostile parties toward job boards and move my way up the line…

There is a small but vocal collection of recruiters that don’t want to use job boards. These recruiters view job boards as “cheating.” As recruiters, they feel capable of finding talent without the use of this “crutch.” They come at if from a “we did it before job boards and we can do it without job boards point of view.” These are typically “seasoned veterans” of recruiting. Some have gone as far as to experiment with job boards and come to the conclusion that the time invested is not worth the return. They see the number of poor-fit candidates that apply to their ads and require a response as “wasting their time.” They are not willing to sift through “trash” to get to the “treasure.” Within this category is an even more job board-hostile collection of recruiters. These recruiters go a step further and see job boards as the “enemy” of “real” recruiters. This group is willing to endure hardship because they are used to it and are just unwilling to change. This group is happy with the way things were before job boards. Deny the existence and perhaps the job boards will fail or go away.

A second point of view comes from the group of recruiters that see job boards as a “necessary evil.” Job boards exist, they cannot deny the existence of this tool; therefore, it makes sense to participate and to use job boards as a recruiter revenue creation tool. This point of view is hatched out of the “if you can’t beat them, join them” way of viewing life. This is a practical bunch, but given options these folks would rather not be using job boards. This group wants to survive, so they participate.

Many recruiters embrace job boards as a tech-savvy way to reach audiences and candidates that they could otherwise never reach. This group of sees job boards as recruiter revenue generating machines. They are eager and ready to deal with the implications of having a job posted on a job board. They know that 80 to 90 percent of those who apply are not a good fit. This group is willing to sift through the “trash” to get the “treasure”. They know that the treasure is a placement that will create recruiter revenue and translate to recruiting profit.  This group is looking to prosper.

It seems that the beliefs held about job boards are often a function of the type of recruiting each individual or firm does and the length of time they have been doing it. 

My opinion? Get with it…times change. If you are not using job boards, you are missing what is reported as at least 25 percent of how the market is operating. If fact, if you are not using job boards maybe you should skip a technology cycle. Job boards are winding down and the next tech wave is underway…social media. Personal experience tells me you can skip one cycle of technology, but don’t skip two. You run the likelihood of becoming a recruiter dinosaur if you skip too many cycles. If you are in it for the challenge and recruiting revenue and profit are not a concern, that’s fine. Stick with what you know and don’t evolve. Just be sure to recognize you are shrinking the size of your market and you are making the process of catching the next technology wave just that much more difficult and that much more important if you expect to survive. 

What do you see as the next “wave” of recruiting technology tools?

Tips for Hiring Within Your Recruitment Agency – Part 3

by Veronica Blatt

22945207 resized 600Part 3 is finally here! Thanks to industry trainer, Mark Whitby, see tips 11 -15 for How to Hire Top Producing Recruiters.

11. Look for proof of achievement
Add a competitive element to the interview process. Any good sales person will be able to provide proof of their sales history so ask about achievement awards or industry recognition they’ve received. Also, ask for relevant references and follow up with them diligently. Ask performance-based, work-style and attitude questions. Candidates are on their best behavior during interviews so their references might be able to provide good insight into past performance.  

12. Create an incentive program for referrals from your current employees
Let’s face it, finding superstar recruiters is not an easy task. Take some of the weight off your shoulders and create a program within your firm that provides an incentive for your current employees if they refer a hire. Make sure to give your employees a detailed description of what you are looking for and an ideal personal profile.  

13. Conduct an on-going market mapping campaign
You know who your competing firms are, but do you know their recruiters? Ask your current clients who they’ve used in the past and whether they were successful. Those people could be great additions to your firm. Also, ask candidates you are working with to fill positions for your clients what other recruiters/firms they are working with. Any names you can add to your market map will not only give you a better sense of your competition, but give you some leverage when you are ready to make that next hire within your firm.  

14. Work out a direct approach
Use the same recruiting techniques you use to hire for your clients when you are hiring within your firm. Be a model client and use the golden rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated. Make sure you are providing a detailed job description, keep your potential hires up –to-date and communicate with them quickly.  

15. Build a following of recruitment professionals
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make it very easy for you and your independent recruitment agency to be visible. Regularly post relevant content and engage frequently with other recruitment professionals through their social media accounts. You will increase you visibility ten-fold by commenting on discussions or adding feedback to their content.  

So, now you’ve got all 15 tips for Hiring Top Producing Recruiters. But I think one of the most important things you also need to focus on is how you can hang on to your recruiters. Create a work environment that is focused on learning, developing and coaching your talent. In a business that is based on individual performance, it is important to do everything you can to reward achievement. Also, be generous with holidays, vacations packages and financial compensation plans.   

Mark Whitby – The Recruitment Coach – helps recruiters and recruiting firm owners to maximize their billings and business performance. His recruitment training course “Recruiting in Tough Times” has been downloaded by 2500+ recruiters worldwide. Get your FREE copy here:  http://www.RecruitmentCoach.com.