My recent work with a client has seen me working alongside their HR team to recruit a number of new staff for their business. This position inside the business required me to “switch sides” and become the client for a number of recruitment agencies.
A very interesting exercise it was too! While some of the agencies I dealt with were knowledgeable and provided a great service, the vast majority were predominately paper pushers, sending CVs downloaded from a CV library online without any interview or ID checking process in place. However, as a result when the inevitable duplicate CV arrived on my desk I took the opportunity to practice what I preach as a recruiter and use the agency who provided the best service and who had interviewed and matched the candidate to the role rather than whoever sent the CV first.
This was obviously met with resistance from agencies insisting their terms meant they’d made the introduction etc etc however having spent many years in the industry I know this isn’t the case and feel employers should be more confident to choose their service provider on merit rather than being intimidated by pages of legal terms and conditions.
Principally it revolves around offer and acceptance however I’m sure there are many better qualified people to explain and advise on this however in terms of the practicalities of recruiting, the best advice I can give to employers looking to recruit and use more than one agency is to be clear with all agencies about your expectations and when you receive a CV from an agency you wish to do business with you notify them that you are accepting their terms and notify the other agencies that you are not. Generally you will be deemed to have accepted their terms when you request an interview with the candidate. It would be sensible at this stage however to say you also should always read their terms before engaging them to send any CVs!