Why Can’t the Recruiting & Staffing Industry Operate More Like the Real Estate Industry?

In the real estate industry both buyer and seller can have a representative. A listing agent represents the seller after securing an exclusive right to market a property. A buyer's agent works to find the right property that meets their client’s requirements. A listing agent will almost always post their listing with a multiple listing service (MLS) to achieve the maximum exposure for the listed property. A buyer's agent knows to go to a MLS to see what properties are available that meet the buyer's needs. Together buying and selling agents cooperate to bring buyer and seller together, and in the process achieve success both the buyer and seller while collecting a fee as compensation for their joint effort.

Generally there is far less cooperation and an increased level of competition within the Staffing & Recruiting Industry. In the recruiting/staffing industry it is rare for a recruiter to have an exclusive job listing, and it is uncommon to actually having anyone solely dedicated to representing the job seeker. The jobseeker may have sent their resume to dozens of recruiters, who each work independently and most likely won’t have an immediate opportunity for the jobseeker which may lead to their resume being filed away and most likely forgotten. At this point the only recruiting solution which is still ineffective would be intra-agency connections. Intra-agency connections still offer minimal cooperation between recruiters due to their highly competitive and “cut-throat” environments, continuing to leave many open positions vacant and thousands of eligible and fully qualified job seekers completely unaware of such openings. While recruiters may be working hard to make a placement it is clear that in the chaos of the recruiting & staffing industry there are many opportunities that are still going unmet.

With a pre-established mentality and common structure amongst the entire recruiting and staffing industry, can there and will there every be a day when job seekers and employers will see an increased level of cooperation between staffing firms?

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Comment by pam claughton on July 20, 2008 at 1:17pm
I disagree a little with this. I think it really depends on where you've worked. I was at an agency for a long time, about 10 years and often used the analogy of real estate to explain how we work. At the agency I was at, while it was competitive, in that noone wanted to be the lowest biller and people would be motivated by their co-workers billings....it was never cut-throat. There was no need for it to be. The more we co-operated and leveraged resources, the more money we made. I'd say on average 4 our of 5 placements were splits in the office with one person having the candidate and the other the job order. Every now and then you'd have what we called a 'double bubble' when you filled your job order with your own candidate.

Now that I have my own firm, I also have a small circle of recruiters, some who were former colleagues at that agency, and we operate as our own trusted network, we talk daily, and work on each others openings, with the end result being that we have more opportunities to present to our candidates and are able to produce high quality candidates more quickly on our searches. The key to something like this working is trust and collaboration. Technology has helped tremendously, with email and smart phones, we're able to share data instantly.

To see this kind of cooperation between recruiters or staffing firms, you just have to make it happen, lead by example and invite others to follow you.



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