Upon losing your job or deciding to leave the one you’re in, you’ll no doubt want a new one as quickly as possible! Registering with every job board and agency you can think of can seem like a good idea. Before you do, you may want to consider some of the pros and cons of using multiple recruitment agencies. Many job seekers don’t often realise that by doing so, they can be creating an enormous headache for themselves.
There are many articles written by recruiters which only tell you why this is a terrible idea. The central consensus among them is that you should never work with several agencies at once. Obviously, they only want you to work with them and don’t like the thought of losing to a competitor.
Of course, we are a recruitment agency too, but we’ve built our reputation on being honest and transparent. Therefore, as there are some benefits to working with multiple agencies, we think it’s important to cover both angles.
So, in this article, we will cover the pros and cons of working with several recruitment agencies at once. Finally, we will offer some etiquette advice for working with more than one recruitment agency at once.
Benefits of Submitting Your CV to Multiple Recruitment Agencies
As a candidate, you are free to register with as many recruiters as you like, and as their services to you are completely free, why wouldn’t you? Of course, there are some benefits in sending your CV to multiple recruitment agencies rather than just one.
However, they all come with a caveat. We, therefore, suggest that you don’t take these points at face value. Instead, continue reading the list of disadvantages below, followed by our etiquette guide to working with multiple recruitment agencies.
Candidates often believe that the main benefits of registering with multiple recruitment agencies are:
- To get your CV in front of as many employers as possible
- The more recruitment consultants you have working with you, the less effort you need to put into your CV
- Sending your CV to multiple recruiters increases the competition between them and makes them work harder for you
- Registering your CV with multiple agencies guarantees you get hired quicker
Disadvantages of Working with Multiple Recruitment Agencies
While there is some truth in all of the above remarks, each comes with a certain amount of caution. The following information aims to help you understand a little bit more about the recruitment industry. Understanding what recruitment consultants do can help you realise the implications of scattering your CV far and wide.
Overmarketing is Never a Good Thing
To illustrate the point about overmarketing, let’s imagine you’re buying a house. You already know where you want to live, so you take a walk around the area. As you stroll around the neighbourhood, you see several ideal homes. Most of the properties display signs from just one agent. But then you come across a place showing for sale signs from multiple brands.
Thoughts that would probably go through your mind might be:
- Why are the owners so desperate to sell?
- Are the neighbours an absolute nightmare to live next door to?
- Is the property riddled with expensive problems to fix?
Sending your CV to multiple recruitment agencies can have the same effect. Particularly if there is a crossover between the clients they represent. When in-house recruiters receive CVs from the same candidate multiple times, they often get rejected.
Reputation is Our Most Valuable Asset
A good recruiter takes time to understand the company they are working for and the job description of the vacancy. Only once they have this understanding can they set out to find qualified candidates. Recruiters use their expert knowledge of the industry sector and the company culture of their clients to match their best-vetted candidates to any open positions they have. Recruiters who do this job well have no problem establishing an excellent reputation.
Unfortunately, there are also fewer scrupulous recruiters out there. They rely on relentless cold calling without having any in-depth knowledge. This is referred to in the recruitment industry as the spaghetti method: if you throw enough at a wall, some will eventually stick.
Candidates must understand the difference so that they can make an informed decision about who they’re working with. Having several rogue recruiters representing you can do untold damage to your reputation. Just as recruiters sift through several applications to find a great candidate, it’s vital you spend time vetting them.
You Only Get What You Give
It’s not true that the more recruiters you have working for you, the less effort you need to put into your CV. If you don’t spend time perfecting your CV, you’re likely to end up with more spaghetti method recruiters representing you.
The more effort you put into perfecting your CV, the better quality recruiters will be willing to represent you. Likewise, the better your CV looks, the better your chances of getting a job.
Biggest isn’t Always Best
Don’t assume that registering with the biggest agencies will guarantee you the quickest results. This approach can result in a sooner start date if you’re looking for a low-level role. However, if you work in a more specialist area such as IT, Digital or Marketing, be sure to research the best in your niche. For example, ‘IT recruitment agencies’ rather than ‘recruitment agency’.
The reason we say this is that high-street agencies are well known because they deal with many large corporations that recruit high volumes of less technical workers. However, their services are often not cost-effective for smaller companies with less turnover. Therefore, technical professionals often have more success with smaller boutique recruitment agencies that specialise purely in one area, such as IT recruitment.
Etiquette Tips For Working with Multiple Recruitment Consultants
Do Your Research
It’s better to have one reputable recruitment agency representing you than it is to have several shoddy ones on your side. Researching the best in your niche is, therefore, paramount. For example, instead of searching for ‘recruitment consultant’ try searching ‘IT recruitment consultant Manchester’. You’ll find you get fewer results, but the ones you do get will be more relevant to you.
This may bring up names of recruitment agencies you’ve never heard of before. If so, try searching for them on social media or reading their blog posts to see if they understand their market sector. You can also check out reviews from previous candidates on Trustpilot to assess their reputation.
Polish Your CV
Make sure you are happy with your CV before testing it out with a recruitment consultant. If there is anything you are unsure about, make the most of their specialist knowledge. One recruitment agency sending out your polished CV will result in a faster hiring result than several agencies sending out a substandard one.
Honesty is the Best Policy
If you are working with multiple agencies, be honest with each one about any other agencies you are working with. More importantly, make sure you disclose which of their clients has seen your CV. It may be your ultimate ambition to work with company XYZ, but having your CV submitted to them multiple times by several agencies will not work in your favour.
Keep a Record of Events
When working with more than one recruiter, keeping track of CV submissions, telephone interviews, video calls, and in-person interviews can be challenging. Setting up a spreadsheet can help you keep track of progress and the outcome of each stage.
Challenge what you don’t Understand
Misunderstandings in recruitment can lead to your CV being submitted to irrelevant jobs. Not only that but there is a danger when working with multiple recruiters that not understanding where your CV is going can result in duplicate submissions. This can cause a nightmare for recruiters and damage your professional reputation.
If you don’t recognise the name of a company your CV is being sent to, don’t be afraid to quiz your consultant. It is their job to prepare you as well as possible for the interview process. They will likely ask some probing questions to establish whether or not you’re a good technical match and culture fit.
Likewise, it is only natural for you to want to learn as much about a prospective employer. Moreover, the more information you can glean from a recruitment consultant, the better you will likely perform in an interview.
Don’t be Afraid of Picking up the Phone
If you register with an agency and don’t hear from them for a few days, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and ask where they are up to with your application. Recruitment is an extremely fast-paced environment and candidates. Unfortunately, this means that recruiters only have time to speak to those who are a good match for their clients. This results in the most common complaint from candidates being that they send their CV to a recruitment consultant and never hear from them again.
If that happens to you, don’t be afraid to chase them. The worst they can say is that they don’t have any suitable positions for you. If that’s the case, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s nothing personal. Not all recruitment consultants recruit for all employers in the area. Therefore if one agency can’t find you a suitable opportunity, it’s worth registering with a few more.
Remember, we all Have a Reputation to Protect
Recruitment agencies rely on positive reviews to win new clients. So if you receive excellent service, share it. However, if you receive poor service, give the agency a chance to put things right before you risk damaging their online reputation.
A Few Final Thoughts on Using Multiple Recruitment Agencies
Working with a recruitment agency can result in faster career progression than applying for jobs directly. However, getting the most out of your relationship with a recruitment consultant requires a little work on your part.
Some recruitment agencies are better than others. More importantly, some recruitment consultants are more inquisitive, tenacious, and knowledgeable within their sector than others in the same agency. Finding ‘the one’ can take a great deal of time and research but can prove highly beneficial throughout your career. For that reason alone, it’s worth spending time researching the best to represent you rather than wasting time on those who may damage your reputation.
We hope you found this article useful and, after reading it, you have a better understanding of the pros and cons of using multiple recruitment agencies. If so, please feel free to share it on social media where it can help others.