Yes or no? Recruiters work harder when in competition on a job search?

  • Post published:22/03/2023
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Working harder?Are you kidding me? Recruitment firms working harder if competing with another recruitment company? Go back to dreaming or get the truth.

The irony of this mad circus is unfortunately not favouring hiring managers and their companies.

Rather than getting full commitment when they get recruitment agencies to compete, they really get a lot less attention and service.

The root cause is that clients only pay a fee if hiring a candidate who was presented by the recruitment agency. This is called success-based or contingency.

Recruiters know that client companies often multi-list their job openings because clients naively and wrongly believe that serve their best interests.

Because all the clients must do is sign an agreement with the recruitment firm that a fee must be paid if they hire. I repeat: if they hire.

Recruiters lose no sleep if they can’t help you

You get tiredThere is neither commitment nor risk for clients to agree to a fee if – and only if they employ a candidate introduced by the recruitment agency.

But what hiring companies forget is that their no commitment except to paying a fee if they hire, which also means that the recruitment firms they have “engaged” have no contractual or moral obligations.

A hiring company must understand that working with several recruiters is time consuming and frustrating. It is not cost-effective.

Recruitment firms will only be able to invoice their client if their candidate is hired. Only then will the recruitment firm receive an income and the recruitment consultant a commission.

  • Consequently, it now becomes a matter of speed.
  • Who comes first with a box of resumes?
  • Who gets a first shot at getting their candidates interviewed?

When poverty comes in the door, love flies out the window

This is an old proverb that conveniently explains why a recruitment consultant gives up easily on your job, in cases where a quick database and internet search shows up no relevant candidates.

A recruitment agency consultant could easily work on 10-20 jobs at the same time. I have even heard some recruiters proudly say they sometimes have 50-60 jobs all at the same time.

Ask yourself this.

With so many job orders on the desk every day, what will the recruiter do first?

  • Take the easiest jobs first, the low-hanging fruit, in order to meet the company KPIs and to earn their commission? Then move on to another perceived “easy” position.
  • Start with what seems to be a tough and challenging position in a difficult industry. A job that will demand days if not weeks of focused hard work. Knowing that the client may call any day to say they hired from another agency?

To beat the agency next door, it’s all about getting resumes under the client’s door before anyone else.

It forces the consultant to be a lot less worried about what exactly defines the client’s perfect candidate.

The recruitment consultant must move quickly to the next, hopefully, easier job to stand any chance of meeting company KPI targets and receiving their own commission.

Are you thinking the same as me? It’s like throwing spaghetti on the wall; meaning a trial and error method – try whatever to see what works.

How to get recruiter’s 100% attention

IMG-0582 (2)Good recruiters work hard and are committed if in a partnership with the hiring company.

Give the recruiters time to do a proper job, and they will put the effort into identifying unique candidates for you.

Solution 1 for clients: Make an arrangement with just one recruitment firm and give them 2-3 weeks to present candidates. Inform the recruiter that they have exclusively rights for the period you agree.

Solution 2 for clients: Agree to pay the recruiter a retainer (down payment) as a show of partnership and trust. With a retainer, you give exclusive rights to your chosen recruitment partner.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.