I often meet prospective clients (startups of all shapes and sizes) who believe that in a world of social media, they should work with several agencies and headhunters at once.
After all, when looking for a needle in a haystack, the more people you have looking, the sooner you find that sharp, talented needle. Right?
Well, don't be so sure. Not only you probably won't end up hiring sooner, but you may also sabotage yourself in the process. Here's why:
First, all headhunters you work with receive the same job description and find themselves hunting the same candidates. The race to get to candidates first turns what should be a professional, empathic service into a "hunt" and inevitably results in treating candidates as commodities rather than as people about to make significant life changes. These same candidates end up being approached by several headhunters for the same position and are not impressed with the company.
Second, agencies are working on a success-based fee, so they have calculated exactly how much time they are willing to spend (or not spend) on your search in order to hedge their bets, along with all the other positions they are currently working on. They are also presenting your candidates to their other clients with relevant positions, so you end up with the same candidate interviewing with many companies, so if you're not fast or shiny enough, you're not going to be The One. The end result is often loss of quality, professionalism, and respect for the hiring companies.
However, there is certainly another way of hiring great candidates: working with one headhunter exclusively.
A headhunter who knows they are exclusive consider themself as a part of your company and is fully committed to providing quality service and succeeding in the search.
Remember - quality attracts quality. A well-targeted search and a professional approach message will attract quality candidates.
You should create a true partnership with your headhunter, in which you work closely together for a mutual purpose, are completely transparent with one another, and complement each other's strategies.
Creating a lasting partnership is the best strategy since that headhunter will be representing your brand. They have the ability to sell your company so effectively that candidates will tell you that they were not even considering making a move until your headhunter contacted them and told them a great story…
Once you find that headhunter, hold on to them and treat them well. They will be a huge asset to your business.
Work with someone you like.
Work with someone who loves what they do.
Pay them a down payment. They will do a better job.
No matter what the recruitment agency tells you - no one does a great job when there is a chance they will not get paid. I know, I've been there.
I believe you will also feel much more committed and engaged in your headhunter's success once you are paying them.
I hope I was able to convey the benefits of the exclusiveness of high-profile headhunting. You should give it a try. After all, your business deserves the best.