Split Placement Story:

  By Anonymous  |    Monday September 30, 2014

Category: Expert Advice, Recruiting


Doing split placements does not come naturally to many recruiters.  You know who you are…the paranoid and suspicious recruiters of the world…I know you are out there!  Trust takes time and many feel it is earned and not offered at the start of a relationship.  As Joseph Heller the author of Catch-22 said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” For this reason, we have experimented with training on splits.  

In March of 2014 NPAworldwide announced customized training for recruiters doing split placements provided by industry expert Mike Ramer. (Mike Ramer, CPC, CPS, is president of Ramer Search Consultants in the New York metro area. Mike’s career billings exceed $4 million and he is known as one of the recruitment industry’s premier trainers.)  The session, titled “How to Make More Split Placements,” was delivered to an audience at the NPAworldwide Global Conference.

The training covered the basics of building a foundation for success.  Mike detailed the need for trust, integrity and superior communication. He then facilitated a discussion to uncover and document the expectations of each potential participant in a split.  It was very interesting to see how paranoia can seep into a recruiter to recruiter relationship with a few simple misses in the communication chain.  So much of trust is based on the other party understanding your expectations.  So recruiters need to over communicate on what they expect and quickly offer feedback without judgment when the expectation is missed.  If recruiters start to place judgments and attribute blame or motives to actions before sharing clear expectations, that is a sure fire way to kill a trust-based relationship before it has a chance to get going.  

Mike Ramer addressed best practices, including the establishment of clear expectations at the start of each new shared assignment. The goal is to allow each business to operate independently, but appear to the client and candidate as if they work for the same firm.

An NPAworldwide success story was used as a case study. Glenn Rapp of PartnerWest (San Francisco, CA) and Joshua Ro of People Consulting Group (Seoul, South Korea) recounted the details of a successful placement completed for a client after a major global recruitment company failed to deliver on the client’s expectations. The search was handed over to the NPAworldwide split partners.  The role to be filled was for a manufacturing plant manager in a very remote part of Korea. People Consulting Group’s knowledge of the local market made all the difference in the world when searching for such a unique candidate. And the success delivered resulted in a long-term client relationship for the North American-based PartnerWest with 5 additional placements since the initial split.

Mike Ramer and several of the participants in this training session agreed that setting targets for annual business to be derived from splits will drive a level of results that cannot be achieved absent the focus on a goal.  So if you are going to add split placements to your business mix, get serious and set a goal for results. 

The key learning from this trail training program is that communication of expectations on both sides of a split placement is necessary for satisfaction, success, and the development and maintenance of trust-based relationship.  Timing of feedback and leaving the feedback devoid of blame or motive is critical to having the feedback heard and appropriately acted on.  


Editor’s Note: Dave Nerz (dnerz@npaworldwide.com) is the President of NPAworldwide (www.npaworldwide.com), a member-owned recruiting network since 1956. The more than 1000 recruiters, from 400 member firms, in 32 countries, and on 6 continents count on NPAworldwide to grow their revenue through splits, expand their industry and geographic capabilities, and offer access to a trusted peer network of recruiters.

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