The Professional Recruiting Challenge. By Marcus Biskobing

When you’re ready to add key roles to your organization, where do you turn? Some organizations are fortunate to have dedicated internal talent acquisition resources with the expertise to execute successful searches; however, most do not and often opt for professional search firms instead.

The question often arises regarding whether to use a single search firm or to attempt to leverage multiple firms. It might appear logical that more lines in the water could lead to a greater number of qualified candidates, yet there are problems with this model that could quickly lead to a saturated market and disinterested candidates.

First, every search firm is unique with regard to the core competencies and niches they represent; however, search firms may attempt to stretch outside of their primary skill set to win the business. Additionally, firms may delegate the search work to junior-level resources that do not have the aptitude for the specific search.

Most search firms will leverage a similar tool set to execute a search. (This often includes an internal network, client referrals, job boards, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and others.) When using multiple search firms, the same potential candidates are often contacted numerous times about the same position. Unless the first outreach is successful in getting the candidate’s attention and making a compelling case as to why they should consider your organization, the candidate may become disinterested in the opportunity. The simultaneous outreach can often come across as clumsy, poorly thought, or even desperate.

So, what does the ideal structure look like?  Would one recruiting firm be ideal?  Yes, but that single firm should be properly vetted to ensure the best results. 

Some questions to ask of a potential partner include the following:

  • What niche do you specialize in?
  • What are some recent examples of successful searches you’ve completed?
  • What type of experience do the recruiters who would be working on the search have?
  • To what extent do your recruiters have the ability to successfully conduct the critical conversations necessary with active or passive candidates?

Overall, what’s most important is to understand which organizations focus on your specific needs.  Ask the challenging questions and lock in with a candidate who is truly ready to be a successful partner with your organization!