It’s completely logical to think that casting a wider recruiting net will bring in more fish faster. But it’s crucial to know that if you’re working with multiple recruitment agencies, it could actually harm your hiring process.
It’s a common belief among employers that they’ll experience better results if they work with several contingent recruiters simultaneously because the competition will result in the best candidate being hired. However, in recruiting, quantity does not equal quality. Sure, a recruiter wants to exclude competition as well as earn a commission, but utilizing a shotgun recruitment process is going to come back to haunt the employer, and here’s why:
The focus will shift from quality to speed. Many recruiters will aim to get their candidates’ resumes submitted first, so they can lock them in regardless of whether their candidates are best suited for the role. This results in an abundance of resumes for the hiring manager to review and completely undermines the value of the recruitment process. The goal is to screen candidates down to a manageable number.
Recruiters will sacrifice quality for speed in order to beat their competitors. What often happens is the recruiter will have a less-than-basic understanding of the job and place a quick phone call. Not surprisingly, I’ve heard of some headhunters who won’t even speak to the candidate before submitting the resumes to the client. Cutting corners will likely cause the client more time and headache in the long run and shouldn’t be rewarded.
The client’s needs will not be a priority. Recruiters are paid commissions based on contingent assignments; if they do not make the placement, they’re paid nothing. If the recruiter has skills, he or she is typically very busy. When you factor in multiple recruiters trying to fill the same position, quality is once again sacrificed for speed. No recruiter wants to waste time and effort on something that results in zero compensation.
It’s bad for the client’s reputation. Using multiple recruiters often produces a negative employer/brand reputation. When a candidate has been called five-plus times in a week about the same role from multiple sources, the job becomes devalued. It reflects badly on the business, and the hiring company appears disorganized or desperate. In the current market, where bargaining power is shifting in favor of the good candidates, employers can shoot themselves in the foot and miss out on top talent.
Hiring managers will get bombarded. More activity, typically hasty activity, will eat up a lot more of the hiring manager’s administrative time. There’s a lot of double- handling involved when employers brief multiple recruiters for the same job vacancy. The employer invests its time better when one recruiter is brought on who fully understands the firm, the culture and what makes a successful candidate. One recruiter results in less paperwork, time and cost.
If the employer desires the expertise and reach of more than one recruiter, there’s a simple solution. Typically, recruiters are members of a larger network where they share their listings with other recruiters. In effect, this gives employers the same benefits of working with multiple recruiters without requiring any extra effort. And recruiters with these kinds of arrangements in place are prepared to share their fees to make sure the client gets the best match for the job.
A retained recruiter serves as an extension of the company and leverages his or her network of industry contacts to handpick professionals who may be looking for a change. The recruiter saves the hiring manager time by sifting through resumes and conducting initial screenings and interviews. The employer only has to engage in a shortlist of top pre-selected candidates, which justifies the staffing professional’s price tag.
Utilizing an exclusive recruiter who is well connected, understands local market intelligence and has quick access to local talent is the best bet. An exclusive recruiter will help create a hiring strategy with the client’s specific goals and budget in mind.