11/9/2019 by Duane Cormell
When a vacancy suddenly arises within your team, you’re likely to want to find a replacement as quickly as possible. You may be tempted to instruct multiple recruiters in an attempt to do so, thinking that the more recruiters you have on the case, the sooner you’ll find someone.
However, in most cases, this simply isn’t how recruitment works. This is particularly true within the legal sector where, in many practice areas, the market is candidate-thin, with suitable lawyers who are open to making a move, hard to come by. Often, enlisting the help of several recruiters at once can hinder rather than help your efforts to find the perfect candidate. In the two scenarios below, we explain why this is the case.
Scenario 1: working with multiple recruiters
Most of the time, recruiters work on a contingency basis and only get paid when they find their client a suitable candidate. In contingency recruitment, a client instructs several recruiters who race against one another to try and find a suitable candidate before their competitors.
This example is a bit crude but, let’s say you’re looking for a senior litigator to join your personal injury team and you instruct 10 recruiters. Each of these recruiters will be conscious of the fact that they are competing with 9 others and will usually fall into one of three groups:
Out of the ten you instruct, two or three might choose not to do anything with the vacancy, after deciding they are too busy working on other roles (probably ones that they feel they have a better chance of having success with).
Another two or three might give the role a go, but perhaps only do the absolute minimum. For instance, they might post an advert online and send out a mailshot to candidates on their database on the off-chance that someone suitable is registered with them and actively looking to move.
The few remaining recruiters will likely try to give the role a proper shot and earnestly take the steps they would take usually in an honest effort to fill the role. Quite often, one of these recruiters may stumble upon the right person at the right time.
However, because the market is relatively candidate-thin, there are not always plentiful suitable candidates, particularly if the role at hand is more senior or specialist, so this might not always be the case.
Even those recruiters who have invested some time and effort in the role, will not unduly keep going. They know that the more time that passes, the less likely it is that a recruiter will find someone. If recruiters find that interested candidates are difficult to come across, they will lose interest in the role.
Recruiters won’t be invested in the role
When a recruiter knows they are only 1 out of a group of 10 and that it’s first past the post, consciously (or unconsciously) they are unlikely to invest fully in the role. Instead, they will be rushing to cover off their candidates in an attempt to be the first out of the ten to present someone suitable to the client.
Because they will be hurrying against their competitors, this is likely to affect the manner in which the recruiter is presenting the position to the candidates they speak to.
You won’t have much control over the recruitment process
By enlisting the help of 10 different recruiters, not only will those you instruct not be fully invested in the assignment, but you also relinquish control over the process.
You are unlikely to have a meaningful relationship with all ten recruiters so you can’t be confident that they are properly representing you and your vacancy. This could mean that your role is not sold correctly to your potential employees and might also harm your employer brand.
Suitable candidates might be put off the role
As touched upon earlier, within today’s market, there are a finite number of people (and suitable candidates). If multiple recruiters are working on the same difficult-to-fill role, the prospective candidate pool will have been saturated. The right person for the role may have heard from multiple recruiters about the position (and perhaps been sold the role incorrectly), tainting the vacancy and your employer brand.
Equally, unsuitable candidates might be attracted to the position, which is a waste of your time when it comes to screening their CVs.
Scenario 2: working with a single recruiter
However, if you were to approach one specialist recruiter about the role, the recruitment process and ultimately the end result will be significantly different for a number of reasons.
The recruiter will be more invested in the role
Even if you don’t work on a retained basis with a recruiter, if they are given exclusivity, there will be more buy-in from them and they will want to fill the role. From the start, they’ll be more committed to the assignment and far more willing to invest their time, effort and expertise in finding you the perfect candidate.
You will have more control over your employer brand
When you seek the help of a single consultancy, you will usually be cherry-picking exactly which consultant represents you to candidates.
Your chosen consultant will visit you and your firm at your office to be fully briefed on what you are looking for and to get a grasp of your corporate culture and way of working. You can then be more confident that when they speak to candidates, they will be better equipped to sell the role and your firm.
A recruiter will have time to carefully consider their approach
Because they aren’t unduly rushing to pip their competitors to the post, your recruiter will be able to put more thought into who might be suitable and the best way of reaching out to these candidates. They’ll also be able to utilise the knowledge and insight they have gained from speaking with you or visiting your offices, so they can thoughtfully and in detail represent the role and your offering as an employer.
At the same time, they will also be able to address any push-back or concerns candidates might have about the vacancy in a considered manner and can relay this feedback to you.
You and your recruitment consultant will be able to establish a relationship
When you retain the services of a recruiter, you will work closely together as they look for someone suitable. You’ll get to know each other well and are more likely to develop a loyal and mutually beneficial relationship. Once you and your recruiter have developed rapport, they will feel comfortable offering you candid advice and you will feel comfortable heeding their advice. For instance, a consultant you trust might persuade you to reassess your candidate criteria or persuade you to meet an excellent candidate you might not have otherwise considered.
The help of a single, specialist recruiter who thoroughly understands the way you work, your company culture and your short to medium-term plans, can be an invaluable resource when it comes to recruiting. Not only will they help you find the people who are right for your business, but after the initial role is filled, they’ll continue to look out for you in the market, talk you up to their candidates and contacts, and ultimately enhance your employer brand.
Are you looking to partner up with a recruitment consultancy to help grow your business?
If you instruct Realm on an exclusive basis, we’ll work hard to thoroughly understand who you are, how you work and what you’re looking for so that we are best placed to help you find the lawyers you’re looking for. For a discreet conversation about your requirements, contact our director Duane Cormell today on 03300 245 606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org