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Split Placements: 5 Benefits of Making Splits (and 3 Bonus Benefits)

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Top Echelon Blog

If you’ve been a recruiter for any length of time, you know the mental, emotional, and even physical euphoria associated with receiving a $25,000 placement check in the mail.

There’s just something about landing that full fee. It’s intoxicating. It’s alluring. It makes you want to land it again . . . and again . . . and again.

That’s why some recruiters bristle at the notion of a split placement. After all, that’s NOT a full fee. That’s half a fee. However, if you completely disregard the possibility of making splits, then you could be cheating yourself and helping to ensure that you don’t reach the full potential of your recruiting desk.

What is a split in recruiting?

But let’s “pump the brakes,” shall we? First, what is a split in recruiting? It makes sense to identify and define split placements before we discuss their many benefits.

In its most basic terms, a split in recruiting is an agreed-upon arrangement between two recruiters. In this case, we’re talking about agency recruiters or third-party recruiters. One of the recruiters supplies the job order or search assignment and the other one supplies the candidate. As you might have guessed, the recruiter with the job order uses the other recruiter’s candidate to fill said job order. Once the placement is made and the employer has paid the fee for the placement, the two recruiters split the placement fee.

As an example, if there is no brokerage fee or any other fee involved and the fee is $25,000, both recruiters would receive $12,500. However, it should be pointed out that the job order recruiter is the one who cuts a check to the candidate recruiter for their half of the placement. That’s because the employer pays the full fee to the job order recruiter for the placement. After all, it’s the job order recruiter’s client.

So in essence, the candidate recruiter is trusting the job order recruiter to actually pay their half of the recruiting fee. This is why many recruiters who like to make split placements join a recruiting network (like the one that Top Echelon offers). When you’re part of a network that screens all applicants for membership, you can rest easy knowing that you will be paid your half of each split placement that you help make.

When it comes to split placements, the recruiter who has the candidate in the split situation is called the “exporter.” The reason is because the recruiter is “exporting” the candidate to another recruiter for possible placement. On the other hand, the recruiter who has the job order or the search assignment is called the “importer.” That’s because—you guessed it—they’re importing the candidate from another recruiter for possible placement.

Now that we’ve identified and defined split placements, let’s discuss the benefits of splits for professional recruiters and search consultants.

The benefits of split placements

There are many benefits to making split placements. Some are fairly obvious, as you will see. Some, meanwhile, are not so obvious and could be considered “hidden” in nature. Taken collectively, they represent viable reasons to consider making splits a part of your recruiting desk.

The thing to keep in mind is that making split placements does not replace the non-split portion of a recruiter’s desk. Instead, splits are made to supplement the non-split placements. They’re in addition to a recruiter’s other placements. Not only that, but splits are placements that a recruiter would not have made otherwise. The reason they would not have made the placement otherwise is because they did not have the job order or candidate required to do so. If they did, they would have made a full-fee placement.

Who doesn’t like the idea of making extra placements throughout the year? This is especially the case for exporters. Obviously, recruiters do not place all of the candidates in their database in a given year. So why not place the candidates you don’t use for your non-split placements by placing them in split situations? You maximize your database and you’re making more money! It’s a win-win.

But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.

With all of this firmly in mind, below are five main benefits of making split placements (and three bonus benefits):

#1—Additional opportunities for 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.” While that was originally meant to describe a loaf of bread, it also describes a placement fee. Having an extra $10,000 or $15,000 is certainly better than not having it. After all, the goal is to bill as much as you possibly can.

#2—A more 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. Both recruiters—and every recruiter in between—can benefit from the value that split placements offer. Too many job orders? Ask your split recruiting partners to source candidates to fill them. Not enough job orders? Work the orders of your trading partners and help them fill their positions. Everybody wins, my friends.

#3—Happier hiring managers

Your clients don’t really care where the candidates come from. This is especially the case now, in this current candidates’ market. They don’t care if you get them from another recruiter, travel through time and bring them back from the future, or use a mind-control device to kidnap them from their homes. They just want the right candidates.

Day after day and week after week, recruiters in a split network make placements solely because one of their trading partners presented them with a great candidate. Their client couldn’t find the right candidate. They also could not find the right candidate. However, one of their trading partners had the right right candidate. The result? Placement! When you present your clients with the right candidates—regardless of where they came from—they will reward you with more job orders. Not only that, but they will also reward you with their company’s most important, high-level openings.

So hiring managers will be happier . . . and so will you.

#4—Leverage against (inevitable) down times

You know what happens when a recession hits. Schlooooop! What was that? The sound of job orders disappearing, that’s what. When job orders are scarce, making 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, you know that the good times do NOT roll on forever. During a recession, “half a loaf” is definitely better than none.

And anybody who’s been following the news can tell you that some financial prognosticators are predicting a recession in the United States sometime between the end of this year and 2021. This is already the second-longest bull market in this nation’s history. The conclusion: the end draweth nigh. Are you and your agency prepared?

#5—Reduction of 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. Why hire more people when you can enjoy a working relationship like that? Not only are you making sure that things are taken care of, but you’re also maximizing both your resources and your profit.

There are other benefits of making split placements, as well. However, these are the primary ones from a strictly business standpoint. So let’s address these other benefits. Below are three bonus benefits of making split placements:

#6—An excellent recruiting experience

What’s better than making a placement? (Well, the correct answer to that question is making two placements. But that should be understood.) No, for the purposes of this blog post, what’s better than making a placement is making one that involves a great experience. If you’ve been a recruiter for any considerable length of time, chances are good that you’ve made placements that have been a miserable experience. And of course, you’ve worked searches that were miserable and you didn’t even get a placement fee.

However, when you work with a trusted trading partner in a recruiting network and the two of you collaborate and strive toward a common goal, the result can be exemplary on a number of levels. Starting with the fact that the both of you get paid!

#7—Professional satisfaction

Yes, recruiting is a difficult profession. It’s definitely NOT for the faint or weak of heart. However, despite everything that can and probably will go wrong, recruiting can be and often is a very rewarding profession. When things work well and happen the way they should happen, the rewards are apparent.

When you make a split placement with another recruiter and the process is a great experience, then you feel professional satisfaction. It serves to remind you why you became a recruiter in the first place. And every recruiter needs a reminder like that from time to time.

#8—Personal satisfaction

During Top Echelon Network’s over 30 years of existence, hundreds of recruiters have formed thousands of friendships. Not only have they build professional relationships, but they’ve also formed personal friendships. They’ve done so to the point that their families have spent time with one another.

When you work with other recruiters in a split fee recruiting network, you gravitate toward those who work the way that you do. That’s just natural. What’s also natural is that the more you work with other recruiters, the more likely you are to form friendships. In a way, it’s almost inevitable.

Did you fill every single one of your job orders last year? Did you place every single one of your candidates? How could your recruiting agency benefit from making split placements this year and every year after?

Join a network to make split placements

Earlier, we mentioned the rationale of joining a recruiter network to make split placements. That’s because when you join a network, they have a set of rules, protocols, and procedures. Everybody who joins must agree to terms of service and a code of conduct, among other things. In the case of Top Echelon Network, there is a four-step screening process for all applicants.

How much money can you make being part of a recruiting network and making split placements? The short answer is more than you might think!

Recruiters make tens of thousands of extra dollars each year by making splits. Some make hundreds of thousands of extra dollars. And some even make millions. However, you don’t have to make that much to receive a tremendous return on your membership investment. Let’s take Top Echelon Network, for example.

There is a $330 start-up fee for recruiting agencies that join Top Echelon, as well as a $130 monthly membership fee and a 6% brokerage fee on all placements made through the Network. The average placement fee in the Network is around $20,000. During a year’s time, an agency would pay $1,890 to Top Echelon for Network membership ($1,560 in membership dues plus the $330 start-up fee). However, if that agency made just one split placement in Top Echelon during that 12-month span, it would receive $9,400.

Pay $1,890 to get $9,400. That’s quite a return on your investment. And that’s if you made just one split placement. There are recruiters in Top Echelon Network who make far more than just one split placement per year.

Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources

Keith Cornelison

One of those recruiters is Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources in Tipp City, Ohio. Keith, who specializes in Healthcare and Social Assistance, has made 119 split placements in Top Echelon Network since becoming a member.

“I think this is one of the best things I’ve ever done as a business person,” said Keith. “I have met some really good people. [Membership] has freed me up to do what I enjoy and utilize my strength in creating more openings, as I don’t spend time recruiting candidates and don’t have to hire researchers. This has also allowed me to help my client facilities in a more timely manner, more than I could do by myself. This, in turn, has helped create repeat customers.”

But don’t take our word for it. Or Keith’s word, for that matter. See for yourself how Top Echelon Network and making split placements can help your recruiting desk and your agency.

We invite you to request a demo of Top Echelon Network membership. Then, if you like what you see during the demonstration, you can start the membership application process.

Sure, there’s a lot of euphoria associated with receiving full-fee placement checks. But think about the euphoria involved in making the same amount of full-fee placement checks and also receiving a handful of split placement checks, as well.

That is the very definition of a win-win scenario!

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