Typically when companies hire outside recruiting firms it’s because they require assistance with workforce recruitment, candidate sourcing, candidate screening, executive recruitment or their HR planning.  They are looking for their recruiting firm to add value to the process by lending their expertise, providing quick and accurate recruitment services and completing tasks that their staff may not be able or have adequate time to tackle.

So why do some many companies dismiss the value-add and render their recruiter redundant?

If you have hired recruiters in the past you have either participated in or considered the following scenario:

  • Firstly, quietly provide your requirements to multiple recruiting firms and offer to compensate them on a contingency basis.  First one to submit a candidate wins.
  • Secondly, have your own HR department post the job to numerous job boards and commence their own search.
  • Thirdly, have the HR department act as the “middle-man” and limit the recruiter’s ability to engage in meaningful involvement with the hiring managers at the executive levels.

What are the pitfalls of this recruitment approach?  It seems like a no-brainer doesn’t it?  I’ll have multiple recruiters working on my search, HR will manage the entire process and I’ll only pay the firm that successfully recruits and places their candidate.  If my HR department finds the candidate I won’t have pay any recruiters!

Here’s the downside to that recruitment approach:

  • By authorizing your HR department to act as the sole intermediary in the recruitment process, you may have just placed your recruiters in the hands of someone that considers them the competition.  Some in-house recruiters view this process as self-preservation instead of leveraging the value it could provide them.
  • Believe it or not this approach will diminish the quality of the candidates you receive.  Within minutes of a candidate posting their resume online, three recruiters and your own HR department will be downloading the same resume, submitting it and “staking their claim” on the candidate.  No one has talked to the candidate, let alone pre-screened him/her but now this unqualified resume will end up on the hiring manager’s desk.  Without pre-screening the candidate’s suitability and fit, the resumes of too many unsuitable candidates will land on the hiring manager’s desk, resulting in a loss of time and the hiring manager’s confidence.  Conversely, this approach leads to the best candidates being overlooked, since they typically aren’t looking for work and often won’t have their resumes readily available on job boards.
  • If/when the recruiters find out about each other they will inevitably lose interest in your search and focus on their retainer clients and those that have provided exclusivity (a bird in hand is worth two in the bush).  One of three things will happen at this point.  1) Your recruiters will either spend an hour or two here and there working on your search with little hope of success.  2) Your recruiter will assign your search to one of the junior recruiters and cross their fingers and hope they can fill the role.  3) Just stop working on your search.

This approach may save you a few dollars but did you actually accomplish your recruitment goal?  Was the candidate you recruited and hired the best candidate on the market?

If you are looking to gain value from the recruiting process demand more than resumes that were found online.   Work only with recruiters that provide the expertise necessary to deliver the top candidates necessary to ensure your business thrives.