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The first rule of bun fight club…You don’t talk about bun fight club.

As a recruiter, I will always have to adapt my approach for the clients that I work with. They all have different needs and it is our job to give them the service that they want. Some clients like working with one provider but quite often they will  put a role out to 3, 4 or even more providers in the hope of finding the best candidate going. This may sound like widening your net but I want to challenge if this really makes sense. I don’t think anyone really benefits from taking the multi-agency approach: client, candidate or consultant.

Consultants are often reluctant to walk away from business and rarely challenge clients on creating a bun fight between recruitment agencies. Within the recruitment profession, we have an innate desire to want to fill every role that we are offered the opportunity to work on. As a result many consultants do not step back and consider if they really stand a good chance of filling the requirement. The risk is you take too much on rather than being selective about the roles you work on and having the time to do an outstanding job.

If I have been briefed alongside 3 other recruiters about a role, it often does not matter how good I am at my job, the chances of me filling it are stacked against me. When you factor in the likelihood that the client will be trying to find some candidates themselves then the odds worsen further.

By briefing a number of agents, all I think the client is doing is creating a race between suppliers:  who can speak to the best candidate first and get their CVs across to the client before the competition.

They are essentially paying a premium for turnaround time which is fine if you need to fill a requirement a few days earlier but generally the need to do this is rare. Unless you are going on a unicorn hunt looking for a candidate that does not exist, then any recruitment consultant with good market knowledge will end up speaking to the same candidates as their competitors.

Our recruitment team focus primarily on HR recruitment. We have access to a database of around 60,000 HR professionals. To put that in context, there are 129,000 registered CIPD members in the UK so we immediately have access to a pretty big chunk of the HR community. We can call on this many people before we start to think about applications from the advertising that we place on the key HR job boards or those that we find through searches on LinkedIn. Any candidates that are not on our database can often be found by networking with the ones that are – if you are out there we will find you. That makes us sound like stalkers, but hopefully you get my point!

Every HR recruitment business of a certain size will be able to reel off similar figures in an effort to demonstrate how wonderful their routes to market are. The reality is that the UK HR candidate pool is so small we will all often end up speaking to pretty much the same candidates. So my question is why pay a premium for this increased level of competition between recruitment suppliers? You are not driving the price down by speaking to multiple agencies. The maths of our industry means we have to charge more because of all the work that we do that does not result in a fee. You may not realise it but you are paying for all the jobs that we don’t fill as well as the ones that we do.

At Chiumento we have decided to try not to get drawn into bun fights with other recruitment businesses as we don’t think the interests of our clients, our candidates or ourselves are served well by doing so. We offer very low rates for the opportunity to work exclusively on a job. We want to work on fewer jobs and devote more time and effort to each one. The result is that we fill more of them and can charge much lower fees than the competition because we aren’t doing all that wasted work…

The outcome of our approach… Our clients win – they get a better quality of service and much lower rates (we charge 10% of basic salary for permanent roles that we work on an exclusive basis). Candidates win – we are not rushing to get CVs across before the competition, and as a result we can spend more time making sure that they are right for the role and then helping them succeed. We win – we fill a big percentage of all the jobs we work on and get to spend more time finding the right candidate.

Clients will often avoid a discussion about exclusivity, probably because they feel that they are being sold to by an over-zealous recruitment consultant (Chiumento consultants are all charming by the way). Or because past experience has created a level of mis-trust in risking using just one agency. Here at Chiumento we pride ourselves on quality – and now offer great value too. We’d love the chance to convince even more businesses that rather than a risk our exclusivity deal offers a market leading cost:quality ratio. If you have a recruiter that you trust, exclusivity should be something that you are prepared to offer but make sure that you get something in return. You always will from Chiumento.

If you are looking for your next role in HR or you would like to see the type of jobs that we handle, why not take a look at our jobs page.

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