There’s No “Me” In Recruiting

by Liz Carey

Recently, we had a staff meeting centered around establishing our goals and values as a team — while each staff members has their own set role and responsibilities, the purpose of this meeting was to discuss how we all view the “bigger picture” of our purpose and view for the organization. It got me thinking about how it applies to a recruiting firm. Within a recruitment firm, recruiters work as part of a larger team, but because this industry is so cut-throat and quote driven, it could be perceived as every person for themselves. And a little bit of healthy competition is great, but it’s important that your team is focused on working towards a common goal.

Your recruiting team are the people who are going to help you succeed in finding talent and keeping your firm’s clients happy, so it’s important to make sure you are all on the same page. It could be useful to hold a team meeting to discuss your recruitment firm’s goals, values, purpose, and expectations. As an owner/manager, here are a few things to consider:

  1. It’s not all about metrics. Of course your recruiters should be held to a certain standard, and you can expect them to make a certain number of calls made per week, send-outs, placements, etc., but owners/managers should empower team members to learn as much as possible – spending time networking, learning, sharing best practices with each other, and improving internal processes. Because there’s so much pressure to fill roles, this will likely take time and support from leadership to encourage recruiters to shift their gears to learning and growing.
  2. Involve your team in decisions. Experience is one of the most valuable assets that recruiters bring to their firms. Leverage these diverse perspectives and insight to get them involved in the decision-making process and ultimately, build stronger recruiting operations. If a recruiter has background/experience in an area that you currently don’t recruit in, let them try to build up that sector as a new area of business for your firm.
  3. Set expectations. If you’re part of a recruiting network / organization, make sure your recruiters are using these resources to get the most ROI. Set up a training with the network staff to ensure all your recruiters know how to use the site/database and how to get the most out of your membership. Make it a requirement for your staff to post any new reqs to the site to get help from your network affiliates. Set a goal for your recruiters that if they hit a certain number of placements, they can attend an in-person recruitment network meeting/conference. One placement made through your membership pays for itself!

How do you keep your recruiting team motivated? If you’re part of a recruiting network, what is your process for getting your recruiters involved?


You Joined a Recruiting Network… Now What?

by Liz Carey

A recruiting network can be a powerful tool in a recruiter’s toolbelt, but you have to work the network. Some have the mindset that they will join and job orders and candidates will fall into their lap… It doesn’t work that way. You have to make working the network a habit, kind of like going to the gym – once you start going once a week, it just becomes habit. Engaging in a network is similar, it becomes habit, and it can make you money!

NPAworldwide recently hosted a topical phone call on “How to Make NPAworldwide a Habit,” hosted by moderator: Anne Downing, Demetrio & Associates, L.L.C., and panel member: Charlie Diana, Advanced Search Group, Inc.

Charlie and Anne, who have been members 20+ years, have done many splits and are very active in the network. How do they get active and stay engaged in NPAworldwide? Charlie says he makes it part of his daily routine. Read the rest of this entry »


New Year, New Start for Recruiting Networks

by Veronica Blatt

union-jackToday’s guest blogger is Liz Longman, the Managing Director of TEAM (The Employment Agents Movement), and has been involved in recruitment for 20 years. She previously headed up a region for a generalist agency before joining TEAM some nine years ago. TEAM is an NPA partner that extends NPA’s reach into the UK and in return offers TEAM members access to NPA affiliation. Each of these recruiting networks offers unique value to members.

It’s safe to say that over the last few years, businesses of all shapes and sizes – including recruiting networks – have had a tough time. With the economic downfall and several changes to UK legislation, the recruitment sector has been on a real roller coaster ride, which many couldn’t see the end of. The words ‘doom and gloom’ were prevalent across the media throughout last year and the outlook for the UK economy was pretty bleak.

However, as we enter 2013, I think it’s time to move onwards and upwards! We can all take our own lessons from the recession, but it’s time we left the past behind us and looked to a positive future. After all, how else will we move closer to success than with a motivated, optimistic attitude? Recruiting networks are poised to capitalize on some of the positive changes happening.

The situation in UK recruitment now is much better and reports from the end of last year are real proof of this. The Office of National Statistics reported in November that the UK economy was growing slowly but surely, finally pulling us out of recession. The Autumn Evenbase Quarterly Report also showed a few positive signs, with a 40% rise in contract and temporary recruitment roles being advertised and an 11% increase in proactive jobseekers sending CVs.

This positivity is reflected across many of the recruitment agencies we speak to at TEAM. As the recruiting network continues to grow and share activity, we are seeing more members reporting an improvement to their business. Fees are improving and in general the outlook is much better than it has been in the past few years.

There’s not just high growth in the UK market though. Positively, we are seeing an increase in interest in overseas markets from both our members and international partners within NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network. This focus on growth also extends to individual industries. Some of our member agencies are now moving their businesses into different specialist areas of recruitment, and are using TEAM members’ expertise to fill vacancies in new areas.

On the candidate side, we have noticed that, despite the new technology available to recruiters and the benefits which come with using social media, many recruiters are looking to be more personal. While using online opportunities to attract and manage candidates, recruitment is a people business and we need to maintain that personal touch that you can’t always get from an email or Tweet. It will be interesting to see how this pans out throughout the year, but I imagine we’ll see more agencies striving to be innovative in talent attraction, particularly as clients’ expectations are high.

Looking forward to this year, we’re expecting to see the focus on candidate attraction and expansion into new industries and markets continue. There are a lot of positive signs for 2013 and I personally would love to see a continuation of the optimistic attitudes we’re noticing. It won’t be easy though and I expect recruiters will be forced to work harder to come up with fresh ideas in order to compete in the market.


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.

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Recruiting Networks and Personal Relationships

by Veronica Blatt

Recruiting networks can be formal or informal. There are many different business models that are successful. Some recruiters are drawn to a transactional model, where the focus is on the placement, not necessarily on a long-term partnership. Other networks, like NPA, are relationship-based. While our members are certainly focused on making placements, they are vested in NPA as member-owners of our cooperative structure. They spend time cultivating relationships.

I am proud of the close relationships our members have with each other, and equally proud of the relationships between our members and our staff. Our members are successful because they meet each other face-to-face. They talk on the phone. They shake hands, they share war stories, they vacation together, and they cheer for each others’ kids. NPA members celebrate their successes together, and lift each other up when the chips are down.

Since May, NPA members have supported each other through the deaths of three of our longtime members. They have attended funerals, sat Shiva, sent cards and memorials, and helped run their fellow partners’ businesses. Heartfelt condolences have come from members throughout our global recruiter network. NPA members know each other.

These members were more than just email addresses. They were mentors, leaders, volunteers, and friends. And they are missed. Rest in peace Lou, Dave, and Dan.