Is Your Recruiter Faithful?

If I told you your recruiter is routinely cheating on you, would you believe it?

Well, if you don’t, you should, because it’s true.

As a rookie recruiter, I was taught the rule of three: introduce your candidates to at least three different clients to increase the likelihood of a hire.

That means the recruiter who reached out to you out this morning gushing about an amazing candidate is gushing about the same candidate this afternoon to at least two of your competitors.

Realize this: The economics of contingency search is that the recruiter gets paid only if a placement is made. Therefore, a recruiter’s loyalty is not to you but to the placement, wherever that may occur. Essentially, you foot the bill for a partnership that aligns the recruiter with the candidate and does not regard your unique needs or organizational DNA.

This fact isn’t nefarious or hidden. It’s just a matter of the hiring entity waking up to the reality that contingency search is a business arrangement without loyalty written or implied in the relationship.

So let’s dream a little about what a committed relationship with a recruiter could look like in higher-level search:

  • Your recruiter represents your best interests, not their need to make a placement.
  • They enrich your Employer Value Proposition.
  • They vet candidates for competencies and DNA fit to your top performers.
  • They dive into the national passive candidate pool, not just the active candidate market.
  • They give you the right of first refusal on candidates before presenting them elsewhere.
  • They report market feedback and search results to you on a regular basis.
  • They conduct back-door and social media references, not just the references provided by the candidate.
  • They provide expertise on interviewing and hiring best practices.
  • They provide soft skills or emotional intelligence assessments.
  • They apply a one-year warranty on the placement and guide a one-year onboarding process.

Maybe it’s time to realize you’re on the short end of the talent acquisition stick in a contingency search arrangement. You may want to consider a higher-level search engagement with a trusted recruitment firm where your best interest drives the search, not the displaced economic interest intrinsic in contingency search.