We want it in our love lives, so why not in business. Many businesses feel the more agencies they use, the more qualified candidates they see. FALSE, there is a limited pool of qualified candidates for each job and through advertising, websites; job boards, referrals and pinpoint recruiting most agencies will have the same candidates. So what happens when you put out your open positions to 3, 4 and in some cases 8 agencies? You have agencies submitting the same candidate and rushing to get you the resume when they have not even spoken to the person. All because as we all know whoever gets it in first, wins.
Once an agency submits a candidate resume and they are told “we have them already” the agency usually will stop searching and move on to better opportunities to make money. Like one client I have, they started their search for a Paralegal in late November on their website and gave it to four agencies. By December 23, 2009, they gave it to me and another agency, by January 15 they were offering a bonus for an agency to help them find someone and by January 23 they lowered their requirements. Do you think it was because no one in the DC/Baltimore/Richmond area didn’t have the skills? Maybe, but more likely the agencies stopped working on it. When I submitted the names of 2 candidates and they already had them, or when I made recruiting calls and found that most people knew of the position from the firm’s website or had already been contacted by other agencies. Did I stop working on it? No. Did it move to the back of the priority list, yes and I moved onto positions that were exclusively working with me.
I believe in customer service, attention to detail and giving a client what they want the first time. My clients know in return for their exclusive business, that I only work on their position and find them exactly what they want. In one recent case, I did it in only 2 days. Why? Because I had the security of knowing that my advertising dollar was well spent and I could spend 6 hours a day cold calling for the right candidate.
Businesses need to realize that the agencies in Washington, DC have gone from 680 in 2008, to 153 in 2009. Many of us have been in the business for 20 plus years and we talk. The thing I hear the most is how firms are hurting themselves by over saturating their searches with too many agencies and putting things like NO AGENCIES NEED CALL on their websites. The economy is changing and in a few months firms are going to be hiring and their websites aren’t going to cut it or advertising which has gone through the roof as far as cost, isn’t going to find them the right person. Start building your relationships again with one or two agencies at the most. Allow them to do the job you need.