Just this week I got a call from a client I work with closely. An associate that I have been working with closely (coffee--> daily email contact --> evening and weekend phone calls --> a mock interview in the office) and had submitted to the firm had been submitted again by a different recruiter (from another company). I checked in with my candidate. He had no idea he had been submitted by this other recruiter, though he admitted he had been working with him.
Now I understand that you may think that working with multiple recruiters can increase your odds of getting placed quickly. Unfortunately, it can actually slow down your process in the private practice market. Here’s why:
- If you use one recruiter, all of your processes are centralized. My candidates can call me on any given day and ask about all of their applications, the feedback, the status, etc. I have it all in front of me.
- One (good) recruiter will work to make sure that all of your offers land at the same time, so you can compare them side by side. If you use multiple recruiters, everyone is managing their own patch and you may be waiting for an offer from Firm A but your offer from Firm B is about to expire. There actually is a method to the madness if one person manages it for you.
- Finding a job takes time! I talk to my candidates all the time and am in touch with them via email basically around the clock when they’re making a decision. (Last night, I was one-handed emailing a candidate about an increased signing bonus while bouncing my son to sleep.) If you’re trying to manage that kind of relationship with multiple recruiters while also doing your day job, something will have to give.
- Not every recruiter in the same. I get specific written consent before I send your resume anywhere. This should be industry standard but isn’t. Be careful! If your resume goes to the same firm twice, you look scattered and desperate.
- If you get multiple offers via one recruiter, that person can give you unbiased advice. I’ve said this before, but if you get one offer through Recruiter A and one through Recruiter B, both will argue for their own commercial interest. Recruiters only get paid if they place you. You aren’t serving your own interest in pitting several recruiters against each other.
- For the most part, roles are all out in the public and available. If you work with a top drawer recruiter (like someone at MLA), we have a variety of exclusives in addition to the roles that every recruiter has. Why would you want to coordinate with a handful of different people about a variety of public, easily-accessible roles? That’s like going on a bunch of wildly awkward first dates with a series of random people rather than investing in a relationship with someone with whom their might be a future. Everyone has the same inventory, but a good recruiter has that plus several unlisted roles.
Associates, your resume is gold. Do not give it to just anyone. When looking for a new job, it's about quality rather than quantity. Invest your time and energy in one recruiter, one solid relationship, and watch the return you get on that partnership.
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Kate Reder Sheikh is a Managing Director in our Associate Practice Group. She covers San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Her focus is on providing a concierge level of service to associates and clients alike. Leveraging her background as a litigator in San Francisco, Kate has unparalleled access to roles and firms in the Northern California market.