If I had a magic wand - I would wave it and enable NPAworldwide to be everything to every member. The nature of our network serves the collective interests of our members. We are a not-for-profit organization with limited resources and our governance is provided by volunteers who are nominated and elected by our members.

Who We Are? A member owned cooperative network

Who We Are not? A privately-owned network or company

Why does it matter? Leadership serves the members. The members have the loudest voice in the direction of the organization. Private organizations can re-invent themselves, invest in diversification or expand whether it serves the interests of the members or not. Private organizations like Top Echelon have their own interests in charge of decisions.

Who We Are? We are a split or cooperative placement network

Who We Are Not? A trade association or marketing network

Why does it matter? The primary reason over 8 out of 10 members join NPAworldwide is to make split placements. This reality needs to drive our purpose.  I believe it is in our members’ best interests to also provide additional benefits, tools and resources within the bounds of our budget and, importantly, without losing sight of our split placement network identify. This limits our ability to be everything to everyone.

Who We Are? A network based on member relationships

Who We Are Not? A technology company

Why Does it Matter? Technology is important as a vehicle to connect and engage members, enable split placements and hopefully help improve efficiency. While we are committed to technology as a key aspect of any strategic plan…we serve our members, not our technology. Only about a quarter of our members use a technology platform as their primary way of doing business in NPA. We want our members to build relationships with other members. This is our advantage! I would also argue that it allows us to surf for new technologies and options that better serve our members rather than being tied to a large investment.

Who We Are? A network of independent recruiting firms

Who We Are Not? other recruiting-industry organizations

Why Does it Matter? Our network is built on trust. This trust is built and maintained through relationships. These relationships take the form of recruiter-to-recruiter, importer-to-exporter and firm owner-to-owner. We need to ensure all members are allowed secrecy of information and accountability between members. Corporations, franchised organizations, large RPO organizations, sourcing organizations, HR organizations, BPO etc. can be organizations and resources but they are not independent recruiters and recruiting firms. If we were to change the nature of our membership, then this would need to be a decision made by our members. 

Who We Are? Focused on quality members

Who We Are Not? Allowing “anyone” to join.

Why Does it Matter? We need to be discerning regarding who we allow to be members of our network. Hopefully the reasons are self-evident.

Who We Are? A global network

Who We Are Not? Unlimited in ability to expand

Why Does it Matter? Being part of a global platform is the second most important reason why firms join and stay with NPAworldwide. Being part of a global platform differentiates us from other networks and it provides us all with a powerful capability for our clients. Although many of us appreciate the global aspect of our organization, we have other member owners who are not interested in global placement. We are interested in improving member satisfaction and member numbers in Europe and Latin America. When we grow a region internationally it is typically on the back of some pioneering volunteers located in those markets.  

Closing Thoughts:

I believe you should be proud of your NPAworldwide network. We have a great staff leader in Dave Nerz and a talented supporting cast of staff members. We have a large dedicated group of volunteers and we have a membership that is growing – most networks are shrinking. While our diverse network challenges our organization’s ability to meet every need, our diversity gives us the ability to collectively serve any client need anywhere. Our member engagement level is increasing as an organization and this has resulted in exceeding our split placement goal for 2019.  We have a good mix of long- term members and a very active group of new members. We have over forty first-time attendees to our Global Conference in New Orleans which is just getting underway as the Vignette hits your inbox. I would suggest getting involved in the organization that you partially own. Finally, let’s not forget that we work in a great industry that offers the ability to have a lifestyle business or a growth business. You can work from an office tower in New York City or on your deck in Sonoma County, California. Technology, culture and generations will change how we work but a need will always exist for quality independent recruiters!

Happy Hunting 2020 and Beyond!!