Celarity Blog • Updated Aug 24, 2018
Is Working With Multiple Staffing Agencies a Good Idea?
By Katherine Konrad, an experienced marketing professional and recent Celarity contractor
Putting your name in more hats increases your chances of being picked, right? I’m actually really asking because I was never that great at Statistics. I may have taken that class two times in college. Maybe more. But who’s counting? Not me.
Though I wasn’t as confident on Statistics test questions, I’m certain the answer to this one is: it depends. If you’re thinking about working with multiple agencies during your job search, it can both help or hurt you. The key is to do your homework. Again, something I rarely did in Statistics.
Sometimes – OK a lot of times – it’s flattering to be sought after. Like maybe by a recruiter whose LinkedIn message states they think you’d be “a great fit” for this “hot new job”. But just like you wouldn’t blindly enroll at a random university, you wouldn’t sign on the dotted line without some more information. Maybe you’d meet some professors or take some campus tours? Staffing agencies know that a candidate will have multiple resources helping them along their job search journey and it’s ok to “try before you buy”.
Tips while you try
Do they recruit for your industry?
Ok, duh, that’s an easy one. If you’re a marketer or a creative, you wouldn’t be talking to an exclusively IT recruiter. And if you are: cut that out right now.
Are they reputable?
A recruiter should be able to tell you details about the company, the position, and the hiring manager. They should also be looking out for your best interest. An unethical recruiter could potentially submit your resume for a job without your consent – which can disqualify you. More on that later.
Are they local?
A company with a presence in the area you’re looking to work is much more likely to have strong relationships with companies in the area. A recruiter should know the company well enough to describe its culture to you and their relationship with the hiring manager.
Do you feel a connection?
Can you be open and honest with your recruiter? Do they like lazy Sundays and long walks on the beach? It’s important to work with a recruiter who you match well with and can keep open lines of communication. Getting matched with a great job is a big deal, and you’ll want someone you trust, who “gets” you and has your best interest in mind.
Tips after you buy
Ask your recruiter to consult with you first before submitting you for a role. A good recruiter should do this anyway. But it never hurts to ask.
You have the right to remain represented.
If you’re given the opportunity to sign a Right to Represent (RTR) by a reputable recruiter for a role – you should. Signing this can prevent you from being disqualified if another recruiter blindly (i.e. without your permission) submits you. Also, typically companies will prefer candidate submissions accompanied by this document. This document represents a mark of quality and legitimacy, plus they’re more likely to have a preferred relationship with the recruiter who uses this.
Keep a record of jobs you’ve been submitted for, and double check with your recruiter before they submit you that you’re not already in the running. Being double-submitted by different recruiters – even if they both have the Right to Represent you – can result in blacklist from that position. Hiring companies don’t want to deal with the mess that comes with picking one recruiting company over another representing the same candidate, so unless only one of these companies has an RTR, there’s a good chance both your resumes might go into the special filing bin named “Recycling” and they’ll move on to the next candidate. In this case – two names in the hat is not better than one.
Typically, the job description you receive from the recruiter isn’t straight from the company; it may have been wordsmithed or written by the recruiting agency altogether. Just because the job descriptions don’t look identical, doesn’t mean the jobs aren’t. Check with your recruiter if you feel like you’ve already been submitted for a role that sounds similar.
Skip the double-dip.
Also, a way to get blacklisted: directly applying to a company and also through a staffing agency.
Katherine is a marketing professional by day, and a content creator by night. She enjoys summers in Minnesota, and anywhere else in the winter. When she’s not writing you can find her exploring new neighborhood hangouts; dressed up at a social event; jogging around Minneapolis lakes; or staring at her phone.
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