Having worked as a professional recruiter for many years, it still amazes me that some clients insist on receiving a poor service from recruitment agencies – in fact, they request it!

Picture this…

A client (let’s call him John from ABC Limited) needs a new manager to join his team. The need is pretty urgent due to somebody resigning and now working their month’s notice.

So what does John do? If he is new to recruitment he may Google agencies within his sector. If not, then he may look up the recruiter contacts he has dealt with over the years. Either way, he will have an overwhelming urge to contact lots of recruiters and brief them on his requirement.

Why does he do this?

Simple: John believes that having several recruiters looking for candidates for him will give him access to more candidates and that the competition between the agents will result in a better service, reduced rate and a shortened time-to-hire.

John will be very open with all the recruiters that he has briefed several companies. He may even wear this as a badge of honour! He will see no value in meeting any recruiter face-to-face. (In fact, how could he, as he doesn’t have the time to meet them all?)

Instead, he will insist on sending them a job description that is full of buzzwords like “the candidate must have great communication skills” but lacking in any real substance.

How does a specialist recruitment agency work?

As a professional recruitment agency, we don’t have staff sat around waiting for the phone to ring from clients. On a daily basis they are busy filling jobs, searching for candidates, meeting people, market mapping, keeping abreast of industry trends and news, and undertaking further training and development. In short: they are busy and have a clear plan for the day ahead.

Finding the best talent takes time and we need to allocate the right amount of resource to make sure we find, engage and secure the right person for your business.

This involves fully understanding your brief, your company, your culture and what your ideal candidate looks like. It also includes advising you on how to attract and land the best talent for your business. For our retained recruitment clients we can offer the latest tools such as video interviewing and psychometric testing, as well as advising on salary benchmarking and writing job ads that sell your employer brand. (We can even set up mini recruitment sites for retained clients.)

What a multi-agency or contingent recruitment instruction looks like to a recruiter

What do you think a recruitment company thinks when a client calls up and asks for them to find them a new manager but refuses to meet the recruiter and tells them that they are one of many conducting this search?

Do you think they will allocate the best recruiters to conduct this search? Probably not.
Do you think they will allocate any serious amount of time to this search? Probably not.
Do you think they will give this search priority over other clients? Probably not.
Do you think they will offer these clients their best and most premium service? Probably not.

Do you think they will turn down the business? Probably not. (They may get lucky.)

What does it look like to candidates?

Employers are now vividly aware that they need to work on their employer branding. However, if you farm out the role to various agents then it can look a little desperate. Not to mention how frustrating it is to be called left, right and centre about the same role – or not being sure who has put their CV across. And each consultant will have a different way of selling in your role (as they won’t have had the chance to meet you.)

(In the world of selling houses, two ads for the same house can stink of desperation too.)

The key takeaway

Make sure you do your due diligence. Ask about a recruiter’s credibility and market reputation, get references and, above all, meet the people who will be representing your business.

Then, once you’ve decided who you’re happy with, stick with it. I guarantee a retained recruitment service will be far superior to farming it out to multiple recruiters.

If you’re weighing up which agency to go with, then you may want to check out our blog, 10 red flags to look for before hiring a specialist recruitment agency

At Cast UK, we believe that good (service) is not enough. Just okay is not okay. We go the extra mile.

Our Edge recruitment service delivers benefits such as a 57% reduction in time-to-hire and 75% reduction in time spent interviewing, alongside a  best-in-class candidate experience and assistance with employer branding.

Find out more about our Edge service below.