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The Unexpected Pitfalls of Working With Multiple Agencies

Dec 7, 2023 7:06:16 AM
By The TPD Team

in Expert Series, Hiring, Workforce Solutions

In the fast-paced world of recruitment, the pressure to fill roles quickly can tempt well-intended hiring managers and HR teams to engage with multiple recruiting agencies simultaneously. The theory is that by working with multiple recruiters, you’ll receive a greater quantity of viable candidates. However, this seemingly strategic approach can backfire, resulting in a chaotic and counterproductive recruitment process. In this blog post, we’ll share insights from TPD’s seasoned team of workforce managers, and explore some of the potential drawbacks you might not have considered when working with multiple agencies. 


A Race to the Bottom

The pressure to find a needle in the haystack, when you’re the 5th or 6th recruiter brought to the table can lead inexperienced recruiters to take shortcuts. With limited time to truly understand the search requirements, steps can get missed, resulting in poorly vetted candidates and a frustrating experience for hiring managers. “An approach that prioritizes speed over quality can lead to a free-for-all mentality, flooding the pipeline with unqualified talent” warns Mike Luke, Workforce Manager in our Mining Division.   


Damage to Employer Brand

When the same candidate is called by different agencies for the same job, it can leave them wondering why the company is having so much trouble hiring (why does no one want to work there?) This is especially true in cases where there is a small talent pool due to unique job requirements or remote locations. Even worse, when the same candidate is submitted by multiple agencies, it can result in awkward conversations and poor candidate experience. 

Keep in mind that each agency will post its own version of the job advertisement. We’ve seen cases where agencies may just copy and paste the original post, which may flag all of the ads to get taken down. Multiple ads for the same job on the same platform can flood the market, dilute the perceived uniqueness of the opportunity, and damage the employer's brand. “You’re better off partnering with one agency who understands how to elevate your employer brand and whom you trust to represent you in the marketplace” suggests Xander Choi, Workforce Manager in our Light Industrial Division. 


Inconsistent Process Yields Inconsistent Results

If you work with multiple agencies, chances are good that each of them will follow a different process (especially with the pressure to perform in a competitive environment). This makes it difficult to compare apples to apples and trust that the very best candidates really are rising to the top. “Our team follows The TPD Way (our rigorous tried and tested recruitment process) for every single search assignment. This ensures that the quality of candidates and quality of client communication remains top tier” explains Mike. 


Time Suck

“Managing multiple agencies is time-consuming and the feedback I’ve received from managers is that it’s overwhelming”, shares Summer Becker, Workforce Manager in our Business Professionals Division. Coordinating with various firms requires duplicate work, repetitive questions, multiple lines of communication, and duplicate candidate submissions. Arguably, you reached out to a professional search firm because you needed help, not to add to your workload. 


Slow your roll? No Thank You

Working with several agencies at once creates confusion, and ineffective communication and ultimately slows down your time to hire. Once an agency knows they are last to the party, it’s likely that the search assignment won’t be prioritized or assigned to the top recruiters. “Managing multiple relationships, fee agreements, and duplicate submissions wastes time and resources,” warns Bernadette Pughe, Workforce Manager in our Mining Division “Working with one recruitment firm allows you to clearly define your expectations; choose wisely and expect that your recruitment partner will rise to meet them”. 


Silver Lining

“From time to time, engaging with a second agency can be a way to compare the differences between your current vendor and what another leader has to offer, ” suggests Andrew Whitaker, Sales Executive in our Light Industrial Division, “this approach can highlight those firms who rely only on job advertisements vs a partner like TPD who leverages an active sourcing strategy to uncover hidden talent”. From there, it’s best to choose a preferred partner to ensure you receive full attention and resources. 



While the temptation to cast a wide net in the recruitment process is understandable, the consensus among workforce managers and recruitment specialists is clear: the drawbacks of working with multiple agencies far outweigh the perceived benefits. Streamlining the recruitment process with a single, reliable agency like TPD not only saves time and resources but also ensures a consistent and positive experience for both clients and candidates. With the intricacies related to recruitment, it's quality over quantity that ultimately leads to success.

Filed under Expert Series, Hiring, Workforce Solutions

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