Split Placements: Why & When You Should Make Them

  By Anonymous  |    Wednesday March 2, 2017

Category: Expert Advice, Recruiting


Top Echelon Network will celebrate its 29th birthday this month. That’s nearly 29 years of helping recruiters make split placements.

Of course, not all recruiters make split placements, and in fact, some recruiters actually bristle at the notion of making splits. That’s because they largely misunderstand split placements. They don’t realize the value they provide, nor the fact that they don’t have to go out of their way to make them.

With that in mind, we’re going to address two aspects of split placements: “why” to make them on your recruiting desk and “when” to make them. We’ll start with the “why.”

Below are five main benefits of making split placements:


#1—Opportunities for additional revenue

Yes, everybody likes to earn a full fee on a placement, but what if your choices were a split placement fee or no fee at all? Which would you choose? Half a fee, of course! You know the old adage: “Half a loaf is better than none.” Half of $20,000 is certainly better than half of nothing.


#2—A balanced recruiting desk

Some recruiters have more job orders than they know what to do with. Some recruiters would give their left pinky finger for just one job order. Too many job orders? Ask your trading partners to source candidates to fill them. Not enough job orders? Work the orders of your trading partners and help them fill their positions.


#3—Satisfied hiring managers

Your clients don’t really care where the candidates come from. They just want the right candidates, and when you provide them with those right candidates, they will reward you with not just more job orders, but their most important, executive-level, high-quality job orders.


#4—Insurance against a recession

When job orders are scarce, split placements can help a recruiting firm supplement its income and keep its doors open. If you’ve been in this business for any length of time, then you know that the good times do NOT roll on forever. During a recession, “half a loaf” is definitely better than none.


#5—Less overhead

If other recruiters are filling your job orders and placing your candidates, then you’re less likely to hire additional staff. That’s because your trading partners are acting as your staff, helping you to close deals. In fact, some recruiters know and trust one another so much that they fill in for each other during vacations, following up with clients and candidates.

Knowing why to make split placements is just one half of the battle. The other half is knowing when to make them.

There are some situations that lend themselves naturally to making split placements. If you’re able to identify those situations and act on them, then not only are you NOT going out of your way to make a split, but you’re also leveraging the power of another recruiter’s resources to generate revenue you would not have made otherwise.

Below are five situations that lend themselves naturally to making a split placement:


#1—You receive a job order outside of your specialty.

A client loves the job you’re doing for them and they have so much faith in you that they give you a job order that falls outside of your specialty area. Obviously, you don’t want to turn down the order, but then on the other hand, how do you fill it? With the help of another recruiter, that’s how!


#2—You’re “drowning in job orders.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Until you realize that not only can you not fill them all, but you can’t even give them all attention. This is when utilizing the time and resources of another recruiter makes sense, even if they work the same specialty as you . . . especially if they work the same specialty as you.


#3—You can’t find the candidates your client wants.

Sometimes, companies just won’t “pull the trigger” until they’ve found what they consider to be the “perfect candidate.” So if they want yet another candidate, send them a candidate from another recruiter. They could have somebody that you don’t have, and that somebody could turn out to be THE candidate your client wants to hire.


#4—You have plenty of quality candidates, but not enough job orders.

This is the flip side of #2. Whenever there’s an imbalance on your recruiting desk, regardless of whether it’s on the candidate side or the job order side, making a split placement or two can help you to rectify that imbalance.


#5—You need a candidate from a specific geographic region.

So let’s say you need a suitable candidate who wants to move to who knows where to fill your client’s job order . . . but you don’t have such a candidate in your own database (or through other sourcing methods). That candidate might end up being another recruiter’s candidate, and you’d gladly split the fee because without that recruiter and without that candidate, you’d be placement-less.

It’s tough to ignore 29 years of experience. Top Echelon knows about split placements—why to make them, when to make them, and how to make them. 

Regardless of the industry in which you work, the candidates you usually place, and the model of your recruiting firm, split placements could help you generate more revenue in less time without dramatically increasing your overhead.

If you don’t already make split placements, consider adding splits to your business model in 2016. They’re a solid investment—regardless of what the future might hold.

Editors Note:  Founded in 1988 in Canton, Ohio, Top Echelon’s mission statement is to “help recruiters make more placements by continuously exceeding expectations.” Top Echelon started solely as a split placement network, but it has expanded over the years, growing with its customers and creating new products and services to meet the needs of those customers. Top Echelon helps recruiters make more placements through its four main products and services: Top Echelon Network, the leading split placement network of recruiters; Big Biller recruitment software for applicant tracking; Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution; and Web Design for recruitment and staffing agencies. Visit www.topechelon.com to get started today!

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