Unexpectedly, both focussed on the remoteness often felt as a small business owner. Even in the recruitment industry, where every day has the constant chaos of so many personal interactions, an owner can be isolated.
Do they have the right strategy? Is their next step the right one? How do they deal with that client/staff/finance/legal/compliance/marketing/technology issue? Are they concentrating on the right issues?
Meeting peers is not that easy. There is often seen to be an ulterior motive if you contact a near competitor. And one on one it is difficult to build a trusted relationship.
We have a suggestion that works for many owners of smaller agencies. Both of us support NPA Worldwide (NPA) - Scott directly as an active member and Rod via industry support.
We’ve outlined some information on what NPA is and how it works for agencies. It is worth investigating as a business opportunity and as a trusted peer business network.
What is the NPA?
NPA is a network of boutique recruitment firms located across the world. Members are generally small or medium sized agencies who work cooperatively to fill talent needs locally, regionally and internationally.
The success of the network is driven by the success of the membership. Unlike other associations, competitors network proactively to establish how both agencies can be successful together. Scott - “They have been the most open forums of information sharing that I have experienced, it’s fantastic.”
Is it more than fee Splits?
NPA is known for its fee splits, a formal structure of agencies sharing a placement fee – usually by one agency working the client relationship and another agency providing a candidate.
Fee splits work especially well across regions but is also good for local talent shortages.
As an example, Scott’s agency is based in Perth and has clients with offices across Australia. When Scott’s client had a vacancy in another state the vacancy used to be just let go or handled poorly from afar. Now with the NPA Scott can confidently call on a like-minded small boutique agency that is on the ground in the other location to provide the client and candidate with a quality level of service.
But it is not just about the fee splits, this is a very open network. There are regular meetings in each region to share job opportunities but also to look at client opportunities and industry activity in general.
Are there Conferences?
The annual conferences are truly quite unique. Members will seek you out, want to learn more and offer to assist. All business conversations are about “how can we make success together?”.
Australian conferences are usually held in May on the East coast. The 2-day conference has an initial focus on owners and senior managers, with powerful presentations and discussions on the industry. This is followed by a day with staff that is more training and award/presentation orientated.
Taking your business overseas?
Like the Australian conference, there are also conferences in different countries. The Asia and USA conferences have been particularly beneficial to Australian members.
They are great opportunities to connect with recruiters in these regions. Recruitment is becoming truly international. Clients are operating across borders, and you have the opportunity to undertake high-quality service when you are working with a trusted local partner.
Marketing for Candidates?
It is not just about the jobs either. Western Australia has experienced a downturn. Many candidates have exited the state looking for work or have just simply returned home, often asking for recommendations to a recruitment agency. With NPA you can go one better, registering and sharing the candidate across the network, providing opportunities for NPA members in other regions and providing a great candidate service.