This is a message that is equally useful for both employers seeking great candidates and candidates in search of great work. Leverage recruiters and leverage the numbers of recruiters you have working for you.
Perhaps you have found one recruiter that works well with you. They always have time for you, they understand your niche, they have good knowledge of the geography you are searching. That is superb! Do not mess with success. Stay the course.
If you are just finding the search too difficult to continue on your own, and are for the first time venturing out to select recruiters, I want you to consider the possibilities of what you might find. While I am 100% certain I will offend someone or generalize in a way that someone will think I am off base, I accept this risk to inform those who may want to be informed with a high-level perspective. Will it all be deadly accurate? I hope so, but it is blog not a wiki.
Sole Proprietors/Small Offices
These are solid citizens and maybe you have found a great fit recruiter. Stay the course. What you lose with this group is multiple minds and eyes working for your benefit. It is like the family doctor vs the practice…all is good until your family doc is on vacation and you are sick. You may find that other clients are consuming all of your great fit recruiter’s available time. As a candidate, you may find the recruiter you selected working on client jobs and not on finding you a job. Independents that are otherwise not connected can only do so much. Some will specialize in a specific niche, while others will attempt to remain generalist. Even the superstars can get bogged down in their own success. You are not leveraging numbers of recruiters, just a one-to-one relationship. Not a bad thing but consider your options.
Sole Proprietor Visualize: Jane’s Recruitment
Mega Recruiters/Large Offices
These vary greatly in size and the scope of what is possible. In any case they are likely to increase the exposure for your search. They may typically have many recruiters working within the office or within the conglomerate. This can mean you are a small fish in a big pond, but it just might give you access to the kind of leverage needed to deliver success to fill your open role or get you placed in the next great job. You are leveraging numbers of offices, locations, administrators, tools, resources and recruiters. These operations are typically well-funded, so they have access to tools and resources that sole proprietors may not. The experience and know-how of each recruiter will vary greatly, so you need to know who is working your search/opening. The personal touch may be missing but you have leverage working in your favor.
Mega Office Visualize: Korn/Ferry, Kelly, Hayes, Randstad, Adecco
Hybrids: Franchises and Networks
Consider a hybrid…some smaller operators are small, but connected. They may have realized that going it alone was less than ideal for themselves and their clients. So they have managed to stay small, focused, yet connected to something bigger. It allows them to leverage themselves as needed. They typically gain access to fellow recruiters to support difficult searches, get better prices on resources and perhaps pooled services. They can use community resources like a job board for advertising your job opening or a shared database to market you as a candidate. They may have community training services. These connections can happen via a franchise arrangement where they pay a fee to be a part of a branded chain of recruitment companies or they can join a membership organization to band together yet remain fiercely independent.
Hybrids/Franchises/Networks Visualize: NPAworldwide, SRA, or TEAM
If you found a recruiter that works for you, you can ignore my descriptions and suggestions. As I said, stay the course. If you are in search of a new recruiter relationship, I am suggesting you go where there are numbers and services that support you in a way that small unconnected independent firms will be unable to duplicate. I hope you find your great fit recruiter and a successful new recruiter relationship!