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Why working with multiple agencies is a bad idea

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Many employers work with multiple recruiters on each vacancy in the onerous belief that's the best way to recruit. 

That belief is often rooted in 1 or more of these reasons:

  1. It will keep recruiters on their toes and 100% committed

  2. You will receive a better spread of candidates and thoroughly cover the market

  3. Recruiters are all the same, they just fling CVs

  4. It is in your interest and the best way is to work with multiple recruiters

Well, as a lifelong recruiter and founder of a successful recruitment business I will explain why this is a total fallacy and it is simply not in your interest to give your crucial new vacancy to multiple agencies.

  1. 100% committed - Really?

If you typically give your vacancies to say 4 recruiters in the belief they will work harder for you, that's not going to work. This really is a big miscalculation on how decent and successful recruiters work and here’s why; 

If you give your vacancy to 4 recruiters, you are in effect giving each recruiter 25% of your commitment. Would you therefore expect each recruiter to give you more than 25% commitment in return?

I can tell you from inside the recruitment industry, no professional and experienced recruiter is likely to give you more than 25% of their commitment in return. Why would they?

You are likely to be working with a junior and in-experienced recruiter who has KPIs to hit and someone who knows little about your market or has a network to go to.

If I’m completely honest our success rate for a multiple agency vacancy is around 1:8. This is called contingent recruitment. 

That means for every 8 jobs we work on and every 8 job adverts we pay for, every 8 jobs we market out to candidates and spend time selling the benefits of that employer to we get paid for just 1:8. So put another way our business receives payment for its services on just 12.5% of the time and effort invested when working on contingent multiple agency jobs.

It’s a much different story when we look at clients we work on a retained basis with. This means they pay part of the fee up front, somewhere between £250 - ⅓ of the total fee. Now, when we compare that to our success rate on retained vacancies the ratio sores to just over 1:1. In this case, we are paid for around 97% of our time and effort. This difference in success rate benefits those customers exponentially. As these employers are 100% committed to us, we are able to commit 100% to them. This means we invest substantially more time into their exclusive vacancy AND we are able to offer a wide range of other services for absolutely no extra cost. 

Some examples of our standard services include: psychometric assessments, up to 12 months guarantee, video interviews, fee instalments and many more. Find out more HERE.

  1. Better spread of CV or just CVs FAST!

By giving your vacancy to multiple recruiters you are in fact inviting each one of them to treat your critical vacancy on the basis of SPEED. 

You are asking them NOT to spend time researching the market and finding out who is the best, tapping into networks and digging around, but instead to scrape the databases and job boards for readily available candidates. You have to ask yourself why these readily available candidates are so readily available!

  1. Recruiters are all the same

Well, lots of recruiters and recruitment firms offer the same CV sending (flinging) service - that’s true. And it’s also true that's what lots of employers want or rather that’s what many employers accept or infact encourage by not working closely with one agency. 

In my agency we offer what are typically classed as premium recruitment solutions for no extra cost. Services such as psychometric assessments, free replacement guarantee period up to 12 months, pre-recorded video interviews and much more. We do this by working on a retained basis, which as mentioned before simply means clients pay the first £250 up front. This way both of us are totally invested in getting it right. Check out more here 

  1. It is best to work with multiple recruiters

So, taking into consideration my points above, it certainly isn’t in your best interest to work with multiple agencies. Sure, for different roles it might be best to work specialist agencies, but don’t give every vacancy to multiple agencies. Work with 1 agency at a time, give them your 100% commitment, allow them to get to know you, your business and your expectations. They will then be in a position to give you a better service and represent your business in the best possible way to the talent you need to hire.


If you want to improve your hiring process to save money, improve retention rates and get value for money get in touch