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Split Fee Recruiting Network: How to Maximize Your Membership

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Top Echelon Blog

It’s no secret that we at Top Echelon believe in the value of a split fee recruiting network. After all, we offer membership in one.

However, we can rant and rave about the benefits of splits all day long. (And trust us, there are many benefits.) Ultimately, though, the power resides within the person who belongs to the split fee recruiting network in question. Success is about more than just software and tools.

It’s also about the proper mentality. Unfortunately, there are some recruiters who are of the opinion that “Real recruiters don’t split.” It’s also true that real recruiters don’t fill of their job orders and search assignments each year. Wouldn’t it be nice to fill some of those assignments with another recruiter’s candidate and get at least half of a recruiting fee? After all, as the old saying goes, “Half a loaf is better than none.”

Split fee recruiting network top producer

Think about your average recruiting fee for a moment. Now think about losing it. (Oh, no!) Then think about getting half of the fee back simply by using another recruiter’s candidate. (Yes!) And, we might add, it’s a recruiter that you trust. Because why would you enter into a split fee recruiting situation with a recruiter who you don’t trust?

But don’t take it only from us. Also take it from one of the most successful recruiters in the history of Top Echelon Network. That would be Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search, Inc. in Hollywood, Florida. Steve has been a member of the Network since July of 1994. During that time, he’s made close to 500 split placements in Top Echelon. Those splits have generated more than $4 million in fees.

And keep in mind that Steve makes both split and non-split placements. He recognizes the value of split placements and how they help him to fill positions that he would not be able to fill otherwise.

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search, Inc.

Steve Kohn

“The best recruiters fill about 1/4 of their searches,” said Kohn. “This means you lose 3/4 of the time, but you don’t know for sure which 3/4 it’s going to be. Otherwise you’d have fewer searches, but would fill all of them.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if once in a while, when you lose, you lose to yourself and get half the fee? Every single TE split is a situation where the job order recruiter FAILED to produce the winning candidate, and got paid, anyway.

Steve Kohn is somebody who definitely knows how to maximize his membership in a split recruiting network. He has been a top producer in Top Echelon Network for decades, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Split fee recruiting network wisdom

Recruiters who have the same attitude toward splits that Steve Kohn has can excel in a split fee recruiting network. They can excel regardless of their business model or the tools they choose to use.

We know this because Top Echelon Network has been in business since 1988. That’s more than 30 years of helping recruiters like Kohn make split placements. That’s over 30 years of seeing what works and what doesn’t. When you’re talking about that much experience, it’s more than just experience. It’s bona fide wisdom.

With that wisdom in mind, below are five ways to approach membership in a split fee recruiting network so that you can maximize your membership:

#1—Have a desire to make split placements.

Don’t view split placements with a “if it happens, great, if it doesn’t, whatever” attitude. Instead, recognize the value that split recruiting efforts provide for your business. Have what’s called a “split frame of mind.” As mentioned above, half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. Half of something is better than nothing, and that definitely applies to recruiting fees. (Just ask your bank account.) That’s the philosophy that Top Echelon Network was built upon, and it’s the philosophy that guides it to this day.

In short, nothing happens without desire or without a person having the desire to make it happen. A split fee recruiting network is not a “magic money making machine” where you put in your monthly membership dues and it spits out placements. To make splits, you must have a desire to make splits. But once you make a couple, they can come in waves after that.

#2—Work the way your partners work.

Recognize that every relationship is different and every recruiter works differently. Move in tandem with your split partners during the recruiting process, bobbing and weaving when they bob and weave. They like to talk on the phone every day? Every other day? Then that’s what you do. The result? More split placements and more money.

Are you going to work well with every recruiter with whom you come into contact? Of course not. A split fee recruiting network does not work like that, and the world does not work like that. However, if you reach out to enough other members, you will “click” with a handful who work in your industry and niche. You can share hot job orders and candidates, pool your resources, and starting churning out the splits.

#3—Invest in your network membership relationships.

A split partner relationship is like any other relationship you have. You can’t neglect it and expect it to continue to “bear fruit,” so to speak. You must invest in it and cultivate it. That means staying in contact with your split partners, sharing job orders and candidates, and even sharing stories from your days in the recruiting trenches.

Members of our split fee recruiting network have told us that creating new relationships has been just as rewarding as making splits. Some recruiters have become friends with other Network members, even going as far as vacationing with each other’s families. Within the professional realm, they’ve trusted certain split recruiting partners so much that they’ve let them handle business with their clients when they’re out of town and/or unavailable. (Almost sounds crazy, doesn’t it?)

Recruiters who invest in their split partner relationships make more splits. It’s as simple as that.

#4—Continuously seek out new split partners.

You can’t have enough good, solid split partner relationships and you never know who you can split with. Placements often come from surprising places, and those placements can result in a relationship that eventually produces multiple deals. Active Participation is one of the Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network and is the best way to seek out new partners. That means sharing your jobs and sharing your candidates on a regular basis.

There have been countless instances in Top Echelon Network in which a longtime member made a split placement with a new member. Once you have a core group of trading partners, you don’t just say, “Okay, I’m done! I’m not letting anybody else in.” There’s no reason to do that. Every new relationship and partnership that you forge could result in more placements, no matter who they are and how long you’ve known them.

#5—Look for opportunities to make splits.

We’ve come full circle (see #1). There are recruiters who miss out on split placement opportunities simply because they’re not looking for them. Having the desire to make splits means actively looking for opportunities to make them. Words are meaningless without action to back them up.

Membership in a split fee recruiting network is like anything else. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. You’ll start to see the ebb and flow of the process. You’ll be able to anticipate when things happen, and you’ll start to see which information you should send to which partner. And eventually, it will become almost “second nature.” As a result, the split and non-split portions of your recruiting desk will merge to become a highly productive placement machine.

Recruiters who look for reasons NOT to split will not enjoy as much success. (Although that should go without saying, we’re going to say it, anyway.)

Is a split recruiting network right for you?

At Top Echelon, we’ve seen a lot of recruiters make a lot of money using our split recruiting network during the past 30 years. Those recruiters have used the five ways to approach their membership outlined above. These ways are the common denominators of top producers. They are the best practices, so to speak.

They’ve been used by recruiters to make split placements during the past 30 years, and they’ll be used to make splits during the next 30 years.

But Top Echelon offers more than just best practices! One of our most effective tools is a recruiting database called the Network Candidates Sourcing Tool. By using this tool, Network members who also use our recruiting software can share information quickly and easily. Don’t worry, though. Even if you don’t use our recruiting software, you can still access the sourcing tool as a Network member.

As of the publication of this blog post, there are more than six (6) million candidates in the Network Candidates Sourcing Tool. And in a hot hiring market where the best candidates are at a premium, recruiters need all the top talent they can get their hands on.

Do you have job orders that you’re having difficulty filling? Are the right candidates hard to find in the current employment marketplace? Then membership in Top Echelon’s split recruiting network could be right for you!

We invite you to request a demo of Network membership. If you like what you see during the demo, then you can start the formal split network membership application process.

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