Using multiple recruitment agencies, whether you’re a Chartered Accountancy firm hiring a new accountant or you’re an accountant looking for a role in a new CA firm, might seem to make logical sense. 

Why wouldn’t it be okay to use more than one Recruitment Agency?

After all, doesn’t that mean you’ll see more qualified & experienced Accountants? And if you have access to more Accountants, doesn’t that increase your chances of finding the right one?

Chartered Accountants looking for a new firm to join apply the same logic. They believe that working with multiple recruitment agencies will mean access to more job opportunities. And if they have access to more opportunities, doesn’t that increase their chances of finding the right one?

Multiple recruitment agencies – the employer’s side:

2023 is still a candidate’s market; that means many things. Firstly, there are more available job opportunities in most industries than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Secondly, it means that qualified candidates have leverage in most hiring situations. In other words, employers need the candidates more than the candidates need the employers.

As mentioned above, this might seem like a situation where working with multiple recruiting agencies makes sense. Especially since qualified accountants are difficult to find, much less engage, recruit, and successfully hire.

However, just the opposite is the case. If you’re a decision maker attempting to fill a role in your firm, the best way is with one recruitment agency

Working with multiple recruitment agencies will complicate the process and hamper the results, for five reasons:

  1. Time-consuming coordination

Working with multiple recruitment agencies can create a logistical challenge for a Chartered Accounting Firm. It requires coordinating schedules and communication between multiple agencies and their recruiters. This can be time consuming and detract from other important tasks. You will find yourself repeating the same information over and over again. You will need to manage interview slots carefully, so there is no clash. And you will need to explain any changes to the process and your availability to each recruiter.

  1. Reduced consistency

Working with multiple agencies is likely to result in inconsistencies in job postings, screening criteria, and candidate evaluation methods. This can make it difficult for an accounting firm to compare candidates from different agencies, impacting the quality of hires. You are also reliant on a number of recruiters promoting your firm and explaining the details of your opportunity, having only spent limited time building an understanding of what you offer and who you’re looking for.

  1. Overlapping candidate submissions

There is a risk that multiple agencies may submit the same accountant for the same position. This can create confusion and result in the accountant being contacted by numerous recruiters, which can be frustrating for the accountant and reflect poorly on the employer. In addition, when two agencies claim that they have introduced the same accountant, it is common for both agencies to pursue the client for the full introduction fee. We have already seen many times this year the time wasted by all parties trying to negotiate solutions that work well for all. 

  1. Difficulty in building relationships 

Building strong relationships with recruitment agencies can benefit Public Practice Firms in the long term. Particularly in this candidate short market, if a recruiter can speak personally to a candidate about the firm’s culture, the scope of work, and the benefits of working in  firm, it will give the business a leading edge when it comes to their competition. Agencies may be more likely to prioritise their searches and present their best candidates to firms they have good relationships with. Working with multiple agencies may make it difficult for firms to build that rapport.

  1. Potential for confidentiality breaches

Sharing sensitive information about job openings or candidates with multiple recruitment agencies can increase the risk of a confidentiality breach. This can be especially problematic if a competitor gains access to this information, which can harm the firm’s reputation or cause other complications.

Multiple recruitment agencies: the candidate’s side

The same logic that tempts Chartered Accounting Firms to use multiple recruiting agencies also draws accountants to do likewise. They believe that using numerous agencies will increase their chances of success. However, like with accounting firms, precisely the opposite is the case.

Five reasons why this is the case:

  1. Lack of exclusivity

When you use multiple recruiters, you risk having your resume submitted to the same firm by different recruiters. Suppose an accountant works with too many agencies. In that case, they may be seen as desperate or even challenging to work with, which can harm their chances of securing a job in the future. Either you’re the right fit for a firm or you’re not. Hiring managers don’t base their selection of candidates upon how many times or different ways those candidates have applied. A recruiter is not incentivised to work passionately on someone’s behalf if they have not bought into what that recruiter can do for them.

  1. Conflicting advice

Recruiters may have different opinions on presenting you or what accounting firms to apply to. They may also have other ideas about what salary or benefits you should ask for. This can be confusing and makes it difficult to know which advice to follow.

  1. Difficulty in building trust 

It can be challenging to build trust and rapport with recruiters when working with multiple recruitment agencies. This can hinder the recruiter’s ability to get to know you, your skills, and your career goals, ultimately affecting their ability to place you in the right firm.

  1. Uncoordinated Job Search 

You may not have a coordinated job search strategy if you work with multiple recruitment agencies. This can result in missing job opportunities or even being unprepared for job interviews. You can lose track of the firms you’ve applied to and why you’ve applied to those firms. Additionally, you may not receive consistent feedback from different recruiters, making improving your job search approach difficult.

  1. Potential for unethical behaviour.

Unfortunately, not all recruiters operate ethically. Using multiple recruiters increases the risk that one or more of them may engage in unethical behaviour, such as submitting your resume to jobs without your permission, misrepresenting your qualifications, or failing to disclose important information about the job or the employer.

Ultimately, a long-term partnership with one recruitment agency leads to better collaboration and cooperation during the recruitment process. Consider working with Tyler Wren exclusively. As your recruitment partners, we build a relationship based on mutual trust, open communication, and a shared commitment to results. We will work closely with you to understand your needs and provide feedback and advice, saving you time and giving you a competitive advantage. 

Want to know more:

I’m a Specialist Recruiter within the CA space, which means I help Chartered Accountants / Certified Public Accountants and those studying toward their CA or CPA qualifications. My clients are Public Practice firms and Accounting firms, and the roles are within Business Advisory Services (BAS), External Audit, Tax, Corporate Finance, Risk Advisory and Insolvency. Our Accounting & Finance specialist team works across New Zealand and Australia in both Professional Services and Commercial/Industry.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you find your next ideal employee or dream accounting role!

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