Decision-making and Democracy in a Recruiting Network

by Veronica Blatt

ballot-boxOver the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on distributing proxy authorizations to NPA’s voting members for our upcoming annual meeting. It’s a great reminder for me of the member-ownership aspect of our recruiting network. As a member-owned cooperative, NPA is run democratically. Voting members who attend our annual meeting cast their votes in person. Those who are unable to attend assign a proxy to NPA’s secretary/treasurer, who ensures each vote is cast in accordance with that member’s wishes.

During the annual meeting, audited financial statements are reviewed and discussed, elections are held for the Board of Directors, bylaws changes are voted upon, and members have the ability to bring up new business from the floor. Every member firm of our recruiting network has an equal say in how NPA is run, regardless of the size (or success) of each firm. As with any election, members may not be satisfied with the outcome, but they are certainly an integral part of the process.

Last year, NPA members voted to adopt brand-new bylaws. The old bylaws, adopted in 1981, had become out-of-date, and needed to be “modernized” to fit today’s business environment and the global nature of our recruiting network. Already this year, NPA’s Board of Directors is proposing two amendments to the bylaws based on member feedback. The changes will be discussed and debated, and members will vote on whether or not to adopt these changes. Next year, it’s conceivable there will be further revisions.

While it’s tough to get excited about bylaws (unless you’re like me), this process is an important distinction between NPA and other recruiting networks or recruiting franchises. It’s what makes us different from our competitors. Other recruiting organizations are owned by individuals. While members or franchisees may be able to offer feedback about how those organizations are run, they do not generally get to participate in business and financial decisions that may impact their own businesses. By contrast, NPA’s president and staff do not establish policy; we implement the programs, services, and policies developed by our members.

If you are considering joining a recruiting network, is member-ownership important to you? Or are you more comfortable paying someone else to make decisions? There is no wrong answer, but it’s a point that deserves careful consideration. Click the link below for a checklist that helps you compare NPA to other recruiting networks.



NPA Is a Global Recruiting Cooperative

by Dave Nerz

I am frequently in a position where I need to describe what NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network is all about and how it works. One of the greatest challenges is describing the structure of NPA as a recruiting cooperative, and explaining member-ownership. So I started to doing some research on cooperatives, including a chain of independent recruiters and other  recruiting cooperatives and here is some of what I learned…

  • 2012 is the International Year of the Cooperative. No that does not mean you will find it right after the Year of the Rat or the Year of the Boar on a menu at a restaurant. It does mean that the United Nations believes that “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” That is the slogan for this year long campaign.
  • There are tens of thousands of co-ops around the world, no others focused on split fee recruiting.
  • Co-ops are owned and democratically controlled by their members. NPA is a member-owned recruiting cooperative.
  • Service to members is prioritized over profit.
  • Shared services co-ops provide services to meet the needs of their members. This sometimes includes joint advertising and marketing, offering training and educational activities, and negotiating prices with vendors.
  • Some examples of cooperatives include:
    • Ace, True Value and Do it Best hardware chains. These chains are owned by more than 13,000 independent hardware stores.
    • Best Western is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 4,000 independently operators in 80 countries.
    • NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network…which is really a global recruiting cooperative.

Have You Earned Your Recruiter Certification Yet? Why Not?

by Dave Nerz

Let ‘s start one step back from recruiter certification. I view recruiter certification as the culmination of a commitment to your profession as a recruiter. So maybe we should start at the beginning.

Where does the commitment to the profession begin? To me, it is connecting with and getting connected to others that are working in the same profession as you, a recruiting industry trade association or group. To me, there are many professions that are legitimized by a governing body or an association that ensures professionalism and standards. I want my lawyer to pass the bar exam, I want my doctor to be a member of the appropriate medical association and I want my pilot to be a member of the trade association or governing body that pilots belong to. I expect professionals to be connected to other professionals so that I don’t get bad medical advice or a pilot who doesn’t understand the dangers of wind shear.

So for me…

  • STEP 1. Join a recruiting industry trade association or recruiter association like the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) in the US. There are other groups in Canada like ACCESS or in Australia like RCSA. As a point of reference only, our organization so believes in this that we have corporately joined NAPS and make NAPS membership available to our members for just $100 annually. We are committed and walking the talk.
  • STEP 2. Study the manuals necessary to become an expert on issues and legal requirements of performing to the highest and most ethical standards of your profession. Look for a certification class and take it. Finally once you are confident, take the recruiting association’s exam to become a certified recruiter.

If you expect to be treated like a professional and want your clients to view you as committed to the profession, do these two things. Join your industry’s trade association and get your professional certification. It doesn’t cost much or require much time, and it will set you apart from the crowd.

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