Working with multiple recruiters as a hiring manager may seem like the fastest way to find qualified candidates. As a legal professional who’s seeking “greener pastures,” working with several recruiting agencies might appear to be the best strategy for landing that dream job you’ve always wanted.
you’re still not sure, read on to learn more about the positives and negatives of using a “shotgun” job placement approach when your reputation weighs in the balance.
Pros and Cons of Working with Multiple Recruiters
Starting with the pros, working with several recruiters as a candidate could improve your odds of getting an interview. If the recruiting agency you worked with in the past doesn’t have a solid relationship with the company or firm you want to work for, another agency might.
If you are an employer, partnering with multiple recruiting agencies will give you access to a deeper pool of candidates. Some legal recruiters specialize in industry niches that may align with your candidate-seeking objectives, for example, patent law. Working with a specialty agency should speed up the hiring process, allowing you to focus on other priorities.
What about the cons?
In the highly competitive world of legal recruiting, the more widely circulated your resume is, the greater your risk for becoming a less-than-hot commodity. Since recruiters typically get paid when they place candidates, most will strongly consider the ROI before investing their valuable time and talents helping you find a job.
With their reputation on the line, a recruiter’s primary goal is to offer someone unique that the employer doesn’t already have access to. If a recruiter discovers that you are shopping your services through multiple recruiters, they may decide to allocate their resources elsewhere to promote another equally qualified candidate who has placed their trust solely in them.
Working with several recruiters, including two recruiters from the same company, may result in your resume ending up in places you don’t want it to be. Even worse, it could land you smack dab in the middle of tense job negotiations that result in hard feelings for all parties involved.
As a candidate, it’s also critical to avoid any recruiter with the reputation of being a “paper mill.” These recruiters boil down your resume to a two- or three-line summary and then blast it out to numerous employers all at once. In most cases, this “shotgun approach” to legal recruiting will fail to pay off when your career—and reputation— are on the line.
ROI for Businesses Working with Multiple Recruiters
Since the goal of the average law firm or company is to make a profit, they are constantly seeking ways to streamline the hiring process. As a result, many don’t want to deal with the potential problems that may arise when multiple recruiters represent the same candidate.
Some employers have enacted policies that dictate that the recruiter who submits a candidate’s resume first is the only one they will work with. Other employers track candidate resumes based on when they receive the document, which may or may not coincide with the date you first submitted it.
As you can see, working with several recruitment agencies at once can often cause problems that increase an employer’s stress level and workload rather than simplifying the process.
Experienced hiring managers know that working with one or two reliable recruiters that understand the local market typically provides them with a higher ROI over the long haul.
Grappling with the Concept of Exclusivity
A more effective strategy for employers is to partner with an agency that knows your business well, one you can trust to represent your interests as they have in the past. While using the latest technology, a reputable recruiter can single-handedly scour the market on your behalf to ensure they are attracting the best candidates out there.
If you’ve never worked with a legal recruiter before, another option is to work exclusively with one recruitment agency for a predetermined length of time— for example, one month. If you’re not seeing results at the end of that trial period, move on to another agency.
When you have an exclusive relationship with a recruiter, they know that you rely on them to get the job done. As a result, they will prioritize your recruiting needs over their other, non-exclusive relationships.
Overmarketing Can Be a Bad Thing
It can be tempting to work with multiple recruiters when an employer is desperately trying to fill a role as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, marketing your brand’s story through multiple channels isn’t necessarily the best strategy.
Instead of speeding up the process, this approach often has the opposite effect. Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate. If you are contacted multiple times by different recruiters about the same job, wouldn’t you start to feel frustrated, exhausted, and maybe even a little disinterested?
More importantly, an exclusive recruiter can be confident that each time they approach a candidate it will be the first time they’ve heard about your opportunity.
Marketing your resume as a candidate through multiple recruiters can also backfire. Rather than viewing you as a rare commodity with the specific job skills and experience they need, employers could perceive you as a desperate candidate that may have something to hide.
Avoid Being Submitted Twice to the Same Position
When applying for any legal job, being submitted twice will usually not improve your odds. As was mentioned earlier, receiving the same candidate’s resume from multiple recruiters can be a turnoff for employers. With some companies, if the same candidate is submitted twice, the system will automatically kick them out of the process.
For those reasons, if you already applied directly for a job, for example, through the employer’s website, it may not be wise to reapply through a recruiting agency. Be sure to ask the recruiter first if you will still be considered for the opening after applying online.
In many cases, and because recruiters have direct access to hiring managers, applying for a direct-hire job through a recruiter is the best way to ensure that your resume ends up at the top of the stack. To avoid multiple submissions for the same job, always ask your recruiter to consult you first before submitting your resume.
If you find yourself having to contact several recruiters during your job search, be sure to leverage them strategically. It’s also essential to be transparent by letting each one know how many other agencies are working with you. Like anything else in life, honesty is the best policy when pursuing that next big legal role!
How The Legal Recruiter Directory Can Help
As an employer or candidate, finding a trustworthy legal recruiter or agency to work with can be challenging. The Legal Recruiter Directory simplifies the search process by placing the profiles of hundreds of reputable recruitment agencies across the US at your fingertips.
At Deep Footprint, the agency behind the Legal Recruiter Directory, we specialize in results-driven digital marketing solutions for legal headhunters, law firms, and legal placement firms.
Helping those we serve to realize higher client engagement and conversion rates is something we excel at. The Legal Recruiter Directory also provides online support that allows legal recruiters to place talented active or passive attorney candidates within law firms and corporations so that everyone wins.