One of the most common obstacles that arise with candidates is that they are using multiple recruiters and my efforts therefore have far stricter parameters than I’d like. As a former candidate myself, I know that I used multiple recruiters because I thought it maximized my chances of getting a job—after all, if I have multiple professionals searching for me, certainly I’ll have greater odds of securing a new position, right? Wrong.
I’m not here to tell you that one size fits all and you should being exclusive with just one recruiter and never stray. What I am here to tell you is that you should consider the pros and cons to working with one recruiter vs. multiple recruiters and pick the best strategy for you. Here are some of the pros and cons of working with just one recruiter, in my opinion:
- All your submissions are through one channel and there is never any confusion or crossed paths
- Your recruiter will reciprocate your loyalty and may lobby harder for you (whether it’s intentional or not) than for other candidates who are known to use multiple recruiters
- Your recruiter will know all the ins and outs of firms you like, don’t like and potential opportunities you’re being considered for and be able to provide higher quality matches and advice
- You may worry that you aren’t canvassing enough ground
- If you are looking in multiple markets, they may not know one as well as the other (note: at BCG, we work with our colleagues in other markets you may be interested in and have them run your search in those markets to maximize our knowledge and connections)
While I understand that it may seem self-serving to advocate for only using a single recruiter, it actually can work to my detriment to recommend that. I’ve had multiple candidates call me and reveal that they’ve previously worked with another recruiter and most times I ask them to explain what that recruiter did and what the results have been up to that point. If it sounds like their recruiter is doing everything that I would do and making a good case for them, I suggest they stick with that recruiter and not add me to the mix.
In sum, if you’ve been utilizing multiple recruiters or are just getting started on your job search and aren’t sure how many to use, I’d suggest sticking with one recruiter for a set amount of time (e.g. 30 days) and then reevaluating to see if it’d be beneficial to expand your circle.
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