More agencies isn’t always better
If there is one piece of advice we wish all companies that use recruitment agencies would follow it is this.
What companies think is happening:
It is all too common for companies to sign two or even three recruitment agencies for the same executive search thinking this will increase the speediness and candidates they receive.
What actually is happening:
The first firm on the project has a definite advantage – they begin scouring their database and contacting candidates that have a strong potential to fit the position. A second firm enters the project as well and does the same thing. The second firm is at a disadvantage because they will likely experience overlap of candidates and be turned away as they will have already been contacted by firm one. Firm two will have to stretch their search to successfully create the short-list for the company and hopefully this will turn out to their favor. Both firms will submit their respective short lists to the company.
Our first problem shows it’s head when we look at the second firm. Because they are working in competition to the first firm, they lose valuable time re-contacting candidates. Time lost is money lost and it actually slows down the recruitment process.
The issue of lost time is not only problematic for the second firm. By using two or more firms the company is less likely to spend time building a working relationship with their recruiting firms which will result in a lower level of implicit trust and comprehension of needs between the two.
What we recommend:
We recommend companies focus on working with one recruitment firm per job opening. In this way a strong working relationship can be built over time, with time taken to create a clear image and candidate profile with the recruitment agencies. This will save time in the long run because the short list submitted will be more specifically tailored to the needs of the company. It also will ultimately save the company money – while the bulk of recruiting costs are incurred in the commission after the contract has been signed most recruitment agencies also charge a fee to open the search – small change in terms of recruiting costs, but important in today’s world where every dollar, pound, euro, or kroner counts!
Creating a strong working relationship with a recruiting agency is one of the best ways to streamline and syenergize the challenges of expansion and change management.