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Why the Hiring Process turns into a Clown Show (Part III)

Being a former sales medical leader, I personally made the mistake of hiring multiple recruiters but didn't know it was a mistake.

If you recall our last blog post, I talked about a couple of reasons why my hiring process was being hijacked by clowns. We learned that a communication breakdown can start at any part of the process, but the hardest one is that between the external recruiters and hiring managers. We also learned that some companies confuse the acquisition cost of hiring external recruiters and the huge ROI sales superstars bring to total revenue—when, in reality, they are lighting their own money on fire every fiscal year by hiring poor performers who don’t work out. Though you may think the clown show ends there, stay seated for the final act.

Reason 4: Hiring Multiple Recruiters

Being a former sales medical leader, I personally made this mistake but did not know it was a mistake until I became a recruiter. THE SINGLE BEST advice I can tell hiring managers is not hiring multiple recruiters to compete against each other for the same opening. In theory, it sounds like a solid plan, but I can 100 percent guarantee this is the number one reason for your clown show headaches. 

I’m not just saying this because I’m a recruiter. Of all the frantic calls we receive from hiring managers, this is the most common reason for their hiring disaster. Let me ask a question and then bridge the similarities between medical sales and recruiting. 

Have you ever thought about a recruiting firm’s business model? 

As medical sales leaders, we all know the easiest way to drive sales reps behavior is to pay them money. We also know that elite products and services are the most expensive. No apologies needed in having the most expensive products—price equals predictability. The more predictable your products are, the more downstream cost savings you can provide to your customer. Hence, the upfront cost is well worth the overall savings. 

If you have a business degree, I’m sure you remember the term “opportunity cost.” If a particular sales rep has a 25 percent chance to get paid on Product A but had an 80 percent chance in Product B for the same payout, which will drive their behavior? You got it, great sales reps maximize opportunity costs. They efficiently use their time and put themselves in situations to stack the deck in their favor—resulting in more sales. 

It’s no different in recruiting. If a hiring manager hires multiple recruiters, they’re stacking the deck against each recruiter and not establishing any sort of loyalty. I highly recommend allowing one recruiter to work the opening for two weeks before thinking about adding another recruiter. Your recruiter will become extremely loyal to you and will move heaven and earth to make sure you get the best candidates on the market. 

These thankful recruiters will also give you more critical and honest feedback regarding their candidates to help the hiring managers discover the candidates’ true abilities.  But, if you hire multiple recruiters, you’re just creating “yes people” who don’t want to say anything negative about their candidates because they know the other recruiters aren’t being critical either, and you’ve made it a competition.  

For example, a recruiters hears from a hiring manager that the candidate they hired is entitled with a poor attitude. How did this happen, and why would you submit such a terrible candidate? 

I guarantee the candidate displayed those characteristics behind the scenes to the recruiter; however, the candidate was qualified and a performer. The recruiter’s mindset had to become, “If I don’t submit the candidate, then one of the other recruiters will.” I’m here to tell you the hiring manager’s upfront decision to hire multiple recruiters set the stage for poor hiring.  

Bottom line, when a manager hires multiple recruiters, that’s another way of saying they don’t look at any of the recruiters as a “subject matter expert” who understands talent but rather more of an office admin who sends resumes. If a recruiter declines your invitation to be “one of several recruiters,” then you’ve just found a subject matter expert recruiter who knows their time is valuable and dedicates it to managers who value their expertise. No different than a medical sales manager who refuses to waste time and resources with a physician or hospital who always wants something for nothing. 

I hope you find some value from my insights, and I’m always happy to discuss in more detail. Also, if sales leaders ever want to do a recruiting preceptorship, we are more than happy to host you. It’ll take less than a week to get a deeper understanding on why any given sales force is made up of only 30 percent SuperStars Reps.