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How Recruiting Agencies Prioritize Open Searches - and How to Make Yours First


Recruiting Agencies Prioritize ABC

Most companies have a formula for prioritizing new business. It's no different for recruiting agencies. The obvious question for you is, do you want a recruiting agency to fill your open position first or would you rather be last? It's a silly question, of course, because every hiring manager knows that an unfilled job costs their company thousands of dollars. So exactly how does a recruiting agency determine the amount of time and resources towards filling your position, and are there things you can do to getting first in line? You bet there are. First, let's learn how the actual prioritizing works.

Recruiting agencies prioritize using a defined set of criteria. This criteria ranks searches based on the highest potential to close all the way down to the least potential to close.

In the recruiting world, this is called “working closest to the dollar.”

Every search is placed into one of three priority lists, A, B, or C. Can you guess which one is probably the one you want your search to be in?

A, B, C - Prioritization 

Recruiters Prioritize ABC

"A" is the highest priority while "C" is the lowest. If your search has been ranked a Priority "A", congrats! You're getting a new employee very very soon. If you're a Priority "C", expect a longer search and a high volume of unqualified candidates.

It's important to understand how this works, and if you are a Priority "C", how to get your search to a Priority "A". 


Here's the Criteria We Use to Determine Your Search Priority

Searches that receive the most time, attention and resources are "A" searches. If you want your position to be in this category, you must be willing to work exclusively with only one recruiting agency for the search. In other words, no other recruiting agency or source is helping to fill the position. 

B: Searches that fall into the "B" category get will always come second to any search that is open and rated an "A". The main criteria that makes a search a "B" is  when there is recruiter-exclusivity but the company is posts the position and conducts their own search while the recruiting agency also conducts a search to fill the same position. In the recruiting world, we call this, "competing with the client." 

Optionally, a "B" could be an "A" in disguise; complete exclusivity to qualify as an "A" priority search but interviews aren't starting for 60+ days (internal delays, waiting on a termination, etc.) In this case, the search is still a high priority, but since interviews won't start for 60 days, it's not urgent enough to be considered an "A" search yet.

C: Searches that are considered a "C" receive the least amount of time and attention from the recruiting agency. The most common reason for a search to be a "C" priority is when there are multiple recruiting agencies working on the same search (this is known as a "bandwagon search"), and the client may also be conducting their own search to fill the same position. Because there is a high likelihood a recruiting agency won't fill the role, they often assign their most Jr recruiter to work on it and will spend the least amount of time fill it. 


Here at RAEGAN HILL GROUP, we prioritize searches just like the rest of them, except we let our client know up front exactly where the priority of the search will be before we commit to working together. Trust and transparency are fundamental in any business relationship and are unfortunately often ignored.

Many recruiting agencies simply don't tell you that your search is a Priority "C" and when you reach out to them to find out what's taking so long, they'll just tell you "it's a hard search" or something other than the truth. 

What Does It All Mean?

If you're a hiring manager with an open position, do the things that get you the best results the fastest - and there's no faster way to get your open position into the Priority "A" list than to work exclusively with one recruiting agency to fill it. Do this, and your open position will rise to the top as an "all hands on deck" search. 


Want to learn more about this topic? Download, "Should I Hire Multiple Recruiting Agencies To Fill My Open Position?" - A Comparison Guide that breaks down exactly what you get (and don't get) when you go with multiple recruiting agencies instead of just one. 

Download Our Comparison Guide Now!

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