Why multi-listing doesn’t work

When you go to a doctor, a dentist or a lawyer, how many do you go to? We know in reality that we only ever go to one practitioner for a particular service. However, for this exercise let’s say you go to 3 or 4.

contingency plan with recruitment agencies

Do you engage all of them, then pay only the successful one? You then tell all the others, “Oh I’m sorry but you’re not getting paid.” Or do you tell them the recruiter fee agreement upfront? That the first one to get the result will be the one that gets paid, like a fee on success? 

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If you do this with your Doctor, Dentist and Lawyer, chances are that you’ll get sick, lose a lot of teeth or get sued!

Contingency recruitment

This is called a multi-listing or contingency based recruitment. Don’t get me wrong. There will be situations where this may be the best course of action for very particular sets of circumstances. But that discussion is for another time.

I raise this issue to highlight the absurdity of the recruitment industry. Companies will multi-list a job vacancy with say 3-4  recruiters but only pay the one that successfully places a candidate (if they place anyone at all).

Sometimes no one gets paid. This is because the job may be stopped, or the client themselves have found their own candidate.

In general, it sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? While you get 3-4 agencies working for you, you get a spread of their expertise, yet only pay one of them! The absurdity here is that 3-4 or more recruiters will do the work, yet 2-3 won’t get paid.

The flaws to contingency recruitment

There are 2 things that are fundamentally flawed here:

  1. The first one is that you, the client, are actually paying for all of these recruiters. The 2-3 recruiters that don’t get paid – they don’t go broke and generally are still trading 6-12 months later. So, someone is paying for this.
  2. The 2nd thing that is fundamentally flawed here is the process. If you were the recruiter, how much time and effort would you put into the process if you knew you had less than a 25% chance of getting paid? (or possibly not paid at all if the client pulls the job or finds their own candidate?)

This process creates an environment where recruiters engage in a speed race to get as many candidate resumes submitted as fast as possible, before they move onto the next job.

It is bad for you, the client and your brand. It is bad for the candidates (who are often represented to the same job by multiple agents), and it is bad for the agencies. There are simply no winners.

Quality goes out the window. Then after submitting as many candidates as possible, agencies quickly lose interest and move onto the next multi-listed assignment or a job that has a guaranteed fee.

How do we solve this?

It is a false economy that creates inefficiencies, and businesses like you – are paying for it. So what is the solution?

The solution is to go for quality over speed. You can do this by:

  • using a single agency and engaging with them one on one.
  • To develop a proper brief, have a single point of brand representation and a single point of communication. This will allow your recruitment partner the time to undertake all the activities to guarantee getting you the best candidate. You get not the first, but ultimately the best possible result for you.For more information, contact Neil at 1300Hired.[/read]
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