Behind the Scenes of a Global Recruitment Network

by Sarah Freiburger

hands and wrenchesAs the Director of Membership at NPAworldwide, a recruitment network, I am often asked this question: So who runs this network? As a network that is member-owned and run, this is a multitiered question at best, and does not apply to every online network that you may find. However, here is the breakdown of what is happening behind the scenes at our specific split-placement network.

  1. Staff. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, NPAworldwide has a staff of six employees in office, and one located in Brisbane, Australia who mirrors the work for the Australian members. They all work diligently to be reachable by members and enroll and train them to be successful in the network. In charge of membership, I personally qualify firms to determine if they meet the characteristics of being an NPAworldwide firm prior to submitting them for membership approval. A Training Director and Member Services Manager then take over new firm’s onboarding by showing them how to utilize the web-based sharing tool for posting candidates and positions, and how to build recruiter lists to start to form solid trading partners. This is an ongoing process throughout any membership, as we are constantly expanding the number of trading partners. Our global conferences and global networking meetings are all also planned at headquarters, in addition to the monthly trading group calls and other networking opportunities.
  2. Regional Directors, Managing Directors and Trading Group Chairs. As mentioned, this network is member owned and run, and the reason it has worked since 1956 is the volunteer and elected positions the members take. As an independent recruitment firm owner in NPAworldwide, you not only have the power to vote on changes in the network, but are able to be in leadership roles as well. Each region globally has a Director that oversees the region, or multiple regions, and works on being involved in bringing on quality firms, and then introducing them to trading partners in that region and being a resource as they begin their membership. The Trading Group chairs are responsible for organizing monthly trading group calls and regular communication regarding their particular niche, and exchanging industry topics and hot jobs/candidates with other members in that group.
  3. The Board of Directors. The top elected position in NPAworldwide is a seat on the Board of Directors, which governs the network and upholds the Bylaws and Operations. There is an election each year and firm owners can rotate onto the board. Since the network began in 1956, this has been the network’s strength in knowing how to best provide membership benefits for the network with direct feedback from the members themselves. This Board also is broken up across various committees, that along with staff, specifically focus on membership growth, retention, technology, and partnerships/sponsorships. The President of NPAworldwide here at headquarters is responsible in large part for implementing the Board’s direction and addressing concerns.
  4. The members. The network would not exist without over 400 firms and 1200 recruiters making split placements each and every single day. As an expectation of membership in a split placement network, engagement is essential for success. By posting open job requests and hot candidates, the sharing tool is able to help members grow revenue that would otherwise not be possible. Attendance at networking events, logging on to trading group calls, and connecting with many trading partners are the things we see from our top grossing members.

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Hot Markets for Global Recruiters

by Veronica Blatt

image of hot markets for global recruitersGlobal recruiters continue to adapt to the ever-shifting employment landscape. A recent report by Evenbase summarizes some of the most interesting countries to watch through the year 2020. The report includes data on GDP but also looks at factors not traditionally considered, such as the regulatory environment, language, and cultural factors. The full report is worth reading; here are some of points I found most salient:

  • The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, China, India) are often reported as the hottest emerging economies. While Evenbase lists Brazil, India, and China as the top 3 hottest markets, they have Russia pegged at number 9, partly due to continuing political and economic uncertainty. Global recruiters may also find opportunities in Australia, Japan, and Canada among others.
  • China’s recruitment industry is still in its infancy. Language barriers are significant, and the regulatory environment is also difficult. Enterprising global recruiters would do well to investigate partnerships in order to penetrate this market. One thing to consider is working on a split-fee basis with recruitment partners who are already operating in China.
  • Japan has more than three times the number of employment agency branches than its nearest competitor (83,000 vs 26,000 in the US).
  • Only 1.1% of the total workforce in Brazil is currently hired via a recruiting agency. Additionally, Brazil is also one of the countries where jobs are hardest to fill – 71% of employers report having trouble finding qualified candidates compared to 34% globally. These two facts should indicate a ripe market for global recruiters.
  • China’s workforce is aging, with 1/3 expected to retire in the next 20 years.
  • In India, job boards are responsible for 50% more hires than either recruitment agencies, direct hires, or word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Smartphones also impact global recruiters. Australia has the second-highest smartphone penetration (behind Singapore) and use a lot of apps, but social media adoption for recruitment is much slower than in other markets.
  • In the US, almost 1/3 of recruiters report that social networks are a major source of hires, but this number is much lower in other countries. Younger workers (25-34) are most likely to be using smartphones and represent a big target for global recruiters who are digitally-savvy.

Global recruiters who adopt digital platforms, social networks, and capitalize on smartphone technologies, will find plenty of hiring opportunities over the next decade and beyond.

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