There are numerous times in life when ‘more’ is better; More space, bigger car, more money. So doesn’t it make sense to use multiple agencies to fill your roles? Surely more agencies would equal more candidates; and subsequently a better spread of talent to fill your role. The multi agency approach makes some sense from a client perspective, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes I see clients in the market make.
Let me explain…
During a multi agency search, consultants recognise that after considerable work, there’s a strong chance the selected candidate for the position could come from another agency or job advert on Indeed. As a result, this forces recruiters to invest less work into this type of search. Experienced consultants will skim for candidates who are on the market, send a shortlist and move on to retained and exclusive work; And trust me, this is the smart thing to do, having another candidate get the position after 10 hours of search work is dismal!
But why is this an issue for you? You’ve placed the role with a multi agency search; and besides, aren’t all recruiters fishing from the same candidate pool? Surely more ‘fishermen’ equals more fish!? But in reality, this is not how recruitment works…
In reality the candidate pool should be seen as more of an iceberg, with 80% of candidates lying ‘under the surface’; these candidates are not actively on the market, won’t reply to your job adverts and won’t have their CV on popular job hunting websites. They require labour intensive methods to properly source, from traditional headhunting to referrals. Most consultants won’t commit time to this form of search when competing against several agencies. So the chances are, if you’re using a multi agency approach, all agencies you’re currently using are only accessing the same 20% of visible candidates.
But let’s play devil’s advocate and say you happen to find the perfect fit. Who cares about the candidates you missed?
But think about it. You’re recruiting from a limited pool of active candidates, while your competitors are accessing the full breadth of talent available. Over a 5 to 10 year period, who is likely to have the stronger team?
My successful clients know that you can’t build an exceptional team with a limited view of available talent, especially in a niche market . They always opt for an exclusive or retained project with a specialist agency who understands their industry.