Tips for Solo Recruiters Branching Out

by Liz Carey

XG6OE0OXGHGoing solo? Recruiting is a hard business, and if you’re an independent recruiter working from home, it can present some additional challenges. Here are three things to keep in mind when branching out:

1. Solo recruiters need a strong network – from former co-workers to the talent pool, experience in a staffing firm or the industry you plan to recruit in is invaluable. Working on your own you will need a group to bounce ideas off of and consult with. How are you going to stay current with the latest in your industry? Join business groups and groups on LinkedIn, register for additional training, and stay social to keep abreast of trends and new regulations. Talk to other recruiters and firms to hear about their methods, challenges they’ve had, and things they do that work. This is something where the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

2. Solo recruiters need a plan – working from home allows for flexibility that working for an employer may not have. But you won’t have the same structure or guidelines, so it’s a matter of effective time management and self-control. It’s important to make goals like connecting with a certain number of people per day, and working set hours each day. Make sure you have steady activity when it comes to sourcing, qualifying and submitting candidates. In addition, you won’t have the resources that a full firm has, so it’s good to make connections with other recruiters or a split network, to get orders and get revenue coming in while you build your desk.

3. Solo recruiters need to get out – email, phone calls, and Skype are great, but there’s nothing that replaces sitting down with someone face-to-face.

Once a week, Marcus Ronaldi of Marcus Ronaldi Recruiting goes into and works out of another NPAworldwide firm’s office in San Francisco. “Doing that allows me to get a better sense of the things he’s working on,” Marcus said. “There’s a criteria of submitting a candidate, vs when you’re doing calibration, like ‘does this work?’”

Another NPAworldwide member, Jim Lyons of LH International, visited another members’ office that he saw while driving through CT. He’s worked out of their office, and it’s led to several splits and a lot of money.

“If there are people in your area that have an office, find out if they have an open desk,” Marcus said. “If you have an open desk in your space, invite someone over. It’s good to meet face to face and get a sense of what people are working on.”

Are you a solo recruiter? What works for you? What challenges did you encounter first starting out?

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Differences between NPAworldwide and Fee Trader

by Sarah Freiburger

Question MarkAs the director of membership for NPAworldwide, I occasionally am asked by independent recruiters how our network is different and better than Fee Trader. In my opinion, neither one is necessarily better than the other as they are so very different. As an independent recruiter, deciding which to join will depend on how you like to work, and how much of a relationship-based recruiter you are.

1.   Structure
NPAworldwide is a member-owned and -run network of independently-owned recruiting firms that work together to make split placements. Owners of the firms set the strategic direction of the network. The network is led by a Board of Directors of owners of member firms and has a selective membership process. At the end of the year, profits are reinvested in the network to continue and improve services to our members.

Fee Trader promotes itself as a recruiting tool and platform for outsourced/agency-side recruiters and employers to partner with each other through job bidding.

2. How positions/candidates are exchanged

NPAworldwide uses a live, web-based sharing tool for members to post jobs and candidates freely. The members are able to search these databases, as well as search for recruiters and firms based on location or specialty. Each position lists the fee schedule and guarantee. When a member has an interest in working a position, they are able to send candidates directly to that firm or recruiter, and have access to all of their contact information to connect through a phone call or email to see where they are in the search. There is no limit on the number of positions that an independent recruiter can submit candidates to or work on, and the split placement is the result of a placed candidate.

In Fee Trader, a network of staffing agency recruiters can view the posted jobs and respond with candidates (or synopsis of abilities) and “bids.” The bids provide the fee amount the recruiters would be willing to charge for filling the employer’s or other recruiter’s open position with one of their candidates. Recruiters are unaware of competitive bids made by other recruiters; therefore, they must be as competitive as possible with their bids to secure the business. Employers and other recruiters then have the option to accept or decline the bids made.

3. Cost of the Network

Fee Trader has a $150 start-up fee and then monthly costs ranging from free to USD $199 per user, per month based on plan details. To utilize all of the employer features and also to be able to bid on numerous jobs per month you will need to upgrade to the higher monthly plans. Fee Trader pays the placing recruiter a ‘commission rate,’ which is a percentage of the fee that the client pays to Fee Trader. NPAworldwide has a one-time enrollment fee of USD $500 plus dues of USD $190 per month for a typical North-America, single-location firm (pricing varies by location and/or number of locations being enrolled). Brokerage in NPAworldwide is 2.5% from each partner.

4. Networking Meetings and Conferences

NPAworldwide strongly encourages members to participate in its annual global conference as well as numerous global networking meetings to utilize one of the oldest business tools, face-to-face networking. During these meetings, strategic ownership meetings for the direction of the network take place, as well as trading group breakout sessions, industry leader presentations, and social activities to establish camaraderie. The goal of the network is to have deep relationships established among independent recruiters.

Fee Trader does not have networking meetings or conferences, but prides itself on the transactional business opportunities recruiters have to access employer jobs directly, as well as bid on other recruiter jobs for split fees. By using this model, you are able to bid at whatever amount you feel comfortable to secure a job.

In conclusion, which option is better for independent recruiters to join – NPAworldwide or Fee Trader? It depends! NPAworldwide is a relationship-based network facilitating split placements among its members. The members are then able to market themselves to employers as being part of the network and having access to ethical trading partners globally. If you prefer to work on a transactional basis, then you should consider Fee Trader, and have more direct access to employer postings and be able to secure these positions with your own bids. Or, if you are undecided, you may want to consider joining both and experiencing them each firsthand.

If you do consider joining Fee Trader as an independent recruiter, I suggest you take some time to understand their rules and regulations in regards to candidate ownership and other safeguards. NPAworldwide has time-tested bylaws and an operations manual that clearly define these.

As an independent recruiter, which option do you prefer?

Willing to Wander: Job Seekers On The Move

by Sarah Freiburger

FutureAccording to the 2014 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, over 70% of the US labor force is in the market for a new job. 50% of that includes employed workers who are “willing to wander.” These percentages reflect a transformation in the market due to the social web, where job hopping has now become more and more common. What this means for independent recruiters, is that those purple squirrel candidates or hard to fill positions may be easier to find and fill with the knowledge that most candidates, even those happy in their current positions, are willing to consider a change. US News Careers offers this advice to job seekers:

Research and contact recruiters in your field. Again, it’s most helpful to build these relationships before you need them, but now is better than never. Find out which recruiting firms work in your field and make those contacts. Even if the recruiter doesn’t have an opportunity that’s an exact fit at that moment, just letting them know you’re open to hearing about new opportunities keeps you on their radar. Check in occasionally.

It is also an advantage to seek new opportunities when you already are happy in your current employment. Having a job while searching for new employment gives you leverage when it comes to negotiating terms for the new gig. Teach, author of career novels, says. “You’re in a greater position to make demands and get what you want. Without a job, this leverage goes out the window.”

While having this leverage opportunity, it is also important to consider sensitivity to your current position. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated, but do not indicate that you are seeking new employment. Most importantly, tell your recruiter and prospective employers to keep your job search confidential. Working with an independent recruiter is an excellent way to keep discretion and avoid posting your resume all over the internet.

To view a directory of NPAworldwide’s highly professional and ethical recruiters, click here.


What Cities Hold Opportunity for Independent Recruiters?

by Sarah Freiburger

“America is another name for opportunity,” stated Ralph Waldo Emerson. As a recruiter working either national or international recruitment, it is important to know which cities in America are currently on the rise in terms of drawing in workers who are looking for higher standards and living and better jobs. Once these areas are highlighted, you are able to secure clients in those areas knowing the candidate pool will be the larger to choose from.

As it has stood for the past decade, the housing market made selling your home near impossible, and with jobs being scarce in many parts of the country, Americans chose to not make moves in relocation or careers. According to Yahoo Finance, these are the 10 cities that have been highlighted for 2014 as the ones drawing candidates and workers.







Source: Demographer William Frey, Brookings Insitution, Census Bureau, Dept. of Labor

What is common among these cities is the low unemployment rate due to local industries thriving. In Austin, Seattle, and Portland that industry is IT. Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio are benefiting from the revival of oil and gas drilling and transportation. Charlotte, Columbus, Raleigh and Denver are attracting businesses with lower costs than in other big cities plus an easier lifestyle than that of, for example, New York.

As an independent recruiter, it is important to note these trends in cities as well as industries to be able to extend your reach to what is hot.

Split Fee Placement Agreement

Working with Other Independent Recruiters to Improve Results

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s post is courtesy of guest blogger Kimberley Chesney. Kimberley is the owner of Prime Management Group in Canada, with offices in London and Kitchener (Ontario) and Victoria (British Columbia). Kimberley is a long-time volunteer for NPA, currently serving as Chair of the NPA Board of Directors.

Working as independent recruiters can be difficult.  We want to produce excellent results for our clients without the normal resources of large, international firms.  We know, all too well, that our individual reputation depends on the results we can achieve for our clients.  With the advent of social media, we are constantly challenged in differentiating ourselves from our competition.

How are we able to deliver excellent results and earn a respectable fee?

Understanding the complex needs of our clients is key to producing the outcomes that they are expecting from us.  Taking the time to meet with our clients (either face-to-face or online) will be essential if we truly want to put ourselves in their shoes.

Working through the process of recruiting, rather than seeing it as a transaction, is very important.  Aligning ourselves with other independent recruiters who value the personal nature of our role can be extremely helpful. It is essential to use every tool available in order to produce the results we are expected to deliver.

Often, we focus entirely on the “client” part of the placement and virtually ignore the needs of the candidates we are presenting.  If we would only stop and remember that we are in the “people” business and that both parties have special needs of their own.  Learning what your candidates are looking for as a package is much more than hearing about their salary expectations.  Often there are many other factors which affect the candidate’s desire and ability to say “yes” to an offer and yet we don’t take the time to really learn what is important to them.

If we are fortunate to have other independent recruiters as partners who want to assist us, we can better navigate through this complex business relationship.  If they have an existing relationship with the client or candidate, it increases the odds that you will be able to close the placement.  They may have some information concerning the client or candidate which provides the basis on which you can close the placement.  Imagine the power of knowledge gained in working in a cooperative placement process where your partner helps you with the entire recruitment journey!  Imagine if they have access to excellent candidates who provide exactly what your client is looking for.  You would be more than happy to share the fee and ensure you are serving your clients so they come back to you over and over again.

Being an independent recruiter can have its advantages, but networking with other recruiters who are like minded provides for excellent scope and results and keeps not only your clients happy, but your pocketbook too!

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