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Is More, More?

The Pietrack Press

Is More, More?

I’m sure you’re familiar with the timeless adage that less is more. It certainly is true in some cases, and I wanted to apply it to a familiar situation faced when hiring. So, the scenario is that a company has a position to fill, and the staffing team says that they are going to reach out to three contingency recruiting agencies to canvass the market. This sounds like a great plan, right? Well, not necessarily. Let me explain.

Candidate’s Perspective
I would invite you to consider the candidate’s perspective. Imagine that you were a targeted candidate for a position, and you started receiving multiple calls by recruiters for the same position. What would you think about that company?

What I have found is that most candidates are actually turned off by getting multiple calls. Some feel like the company is having a hard time filling the role. Some feel the opposite way–that the more recruiters mean more candidates. Candidates want what is hard to get, what is scarce. By using multiple recruiters, companies are taking away the lure of scarcity from the best candidates. Other candidates have told me that getting multiple recruiters calls makes them feel like it is a cattle call versus a very targeted search. So, by dispatching multiple recruiters, all who are likely to call a large percentage of the same people, a company is often doing your search a disservice.

Recruiter Perspective
In my discussions about this topic with managers and staffing professionals over the years, I’ve been told that companies hire multiple recruiters to create competition. It is great to try to bring out the best in a search professional, but this tactic actually does the exact opposite. As soon as a recruiter who is working on many positions hears the famous line “you’re the fifth recruiter who’s called me about this job,” they stop investing quality time in the search. Here is the real problem… in the company’s mind, they have three agencies killing themselves in a fierce competition desperately trying to win. The reality is that they have three recruiters giving a very pedestrian effort, while searching on other projects that have a high percentage-to-fill. When there are multiple recruiters on the same project, everyone is going to present the low-hanging fruit because it would be a poor business decision to invest all their time in a search where the percentage-to-fill is low.

The solution is that less is more. If you know a recruiter is competent, proven in your space, and you enjoy working with them, give them your search on an exclusive basis for an agreeable amount of time. The recruiter will be incented to work the project start-to-finish because commitments have been exchanged and it’s a high percentage-to-fill. When you have multiple recruiters, there is no accountability on anyone’s part. Exchanging a commitment with one party grants you the right to hold him or her accountable for timely results.

Using one recruiter exclusively will produce better results, as candidates are more responsive when they know you have the only in-road to the hiring manager. You won’t see a fire hose of candidates in the beginning followed by the disappearing recruiter trick. In the end, your recruiter can advise you better because they have a full view of the whole candidate pool. Over time, the recruiter will get to know your taste and will become proficient at selling your company. All in all, you win by having one teammate that you count on to be your talent scout in the market.

Whether you chose the TMAC Direct or another firm, my professional recommendation is to exchange commitments and hold the recruiting firm accountable. You’ll enjoy the experience more, and you’ll come away from the experience seeing the real value a true professional recruiter can bring to your company. If you truly want the recruiting agencies you use to compete for your business, then interview them and check references before the search and choose ONE.


Michael Pietrack

About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).

What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.

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