Why you should never work with multiple recruiters
Alan Furley, June 27th 2024

Safety in numbers works sometimes, but when it comes to recruiters, less is often more. For some reason, the industry has been built on a model that encourages companies to spread the responsibility for their key asset, their people. We know engaging multiple recruiters seems like a good idea, but trust us when we say it’s not helping you hire better. 

Here are some points to reflect on before you send your next role to multiple recruiters.  

Myth of triple coverage 

You might think engaging three recruiters simultaneously means you'll get triple the coverage. But the reality is quite different. Why? Because none of these recruiters can confidently expect a financial return from their efforts, leading to less dedication and a rushed process. 

Effort dilution 

The average contingency recruiter expects to fill just 1 in 5 roles they work on. For competitive roles, the ratio can be as high as 1 in 10 or worse. Think about it. How much effort would you put into delivering quality to your clients if your success rate was this low? Multiple recruiters dilute their effort, resulting in less thorough candidate searches. 

Speed over quality

With multiple recruiters, speed often trumps quality. They all dive into the same talent pool and rush to send CVs before their competitors, prioritising quantity over quality. This leads to superficial vetting processes and less suitable candidates being pushed forward – meaning you might just end up with the CVs they already had on their desk. No recruiter in a multi-agency model can afford to invest the time engaging with passive candidates. 

Lack of collaboration 

Ideally, you want your recruiter to provide insight and feedback so you can confidently hire and ensure your offer aligns with the talent market. But why would a recruiter invest the time in research, feedback, and planning when you're asking for CVs as soon as possible and are likely to go with the first ones that arrive? 

Collaboration with a recruiter can make or break your recruitment efforts. We’ve worked in partnership with clients and have invested time into everything from salary surveys and market mapping to building hiring plans and even sitting in on candidate interviews. You can read more about this in our work with HopeTech+ here.

Communication overload 

Managing several recruiters means handling multiple updates, feedback loops, and calls. This not only consumes your time but also increases the risk of miscommunication. Are you prepared to repeat the same details in three different briefings and juggle their varying interpretations of your needs? 

Brand inconsistency 

When several recruiters represent your company, each might present a different version of your brand. This inconsistency can confuse candidates and harm your reputation. Plus, to avoid tipping off competitors, recruiters often hide your brand behind anonymous adverts, greatly reducing candidate interest. 

When we work in partnership with businesses, we avoid any brand inconsistency by collaborating on co-branded marketing campaigns to help candidates get a clear idea of whether they’re a good fit for the role. For example, in our work with StudentCrowd, we created a bespoke campaign which resulted in 6 key hires. You can read more about our work here.

The partnership advantage 

Working exclusively with one recruiter fosters a partnership. They become deeply invested in your success, providing better insights, feedback, and collaboration. A committed recruiter will spend the necessary time to find the perfect fit, rather than racing to submit the first available CV. 

We’ve found that working on a retained model produces the best results for our clients. But for the moment, we hope you can see that working with multiple recruiters isn’t the best way to hire and often ends in chaos.

Commit to one recruiter and you’ll find that the harmony and quality of your hiring process improves significantly. 

Get in touch 

We’ve learned the hard way that commitment from both sides delivers the best results for our clients. If you’d like to talk more about our partnerships, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our team on 0117 428 0600.

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