Do you ever wonder why it feels like your recruiter is working for the candidate, when it’s YOU who’s footing the bill?
“The only way to get ahead is to find errors in conventional wisdom.” – Larry Ellison
As any Blockchain professional knows, incentives matter.
The traditional contingency recruitment model is structurally unsound because the incentive structure is flawed.
Even the very best contingency recruiters fill only one out of every five jobs they work on. This means they are working for free 80% of the time – at best. As a result, they can’t afford to conduct a thorough search, let alone engage in genuine quality control.
Nor is there incentive for you to invest more time and energy into a relationship with yet another recruiter who’s probably not going to fill your job. Which lowers their ability and incentive to help you even further, driving you deeper and deeper into a vicious failure spiral.
Like fiat currency or the industrial working model, contingency recruitment is a 20th century legacy system that’s way overdue for retirement. People accept it simply because it’s the status quo.
The platinum-tier talent who really move the needle – they're typically happy where they are. Even in a bear market, they're just as hard to move. They’re very rarely identified with a marginal effort, nor are they influenced by recruiters with a limited understanding of your company and your opportunity.
They don’t respond to job adverts. And they seldom pick up the phone on the first, second, or even third call.
You might think working with a spread of recruiters gives you more coverage and therefore a better chance of accessing the right candidates. That by working with just one, you’ll be “missing out”.
Here’s what really happens:
Each recruiter will contact maybe 10 candidates. The low-hanging fruit – the ones on their database, that reply to job adverts, and who they spoke to recently. They’ll typically make one or two, maybe three attempts to get in touch with each one. And then they’re on to the next of many open jobs which may provide a quick fix.
If you give the job to five recruiters, that’s – taking an average of two attempts – 100 attempts to reach only 50 candidates. And that’s assuming the five recruiters are each targeting a unique pool of candidates, which is rarely the case.
And whenever a truly great candidate is unearthed by this process? Other Blockchain leaders desperately want to hire them too. Your contingency recruiters will set them up with other interviews in competition with you!
And why wouldn’t they? Under this incentive structure, it couldn’t possibly be any other way. While this framework may sometimes produce results that align with your interests, it’s not designed to serve your interests.
Hiring a top performer 90% of the time instead of 19% of the time isn't just an esoteric talking point bandied around by some vacuous sales guy. It's the difference between building the next Polygon or the next Chainlink, or, alternatively, withering in obscurity. The importance of it simply cannot be overstated.
Yet within this broken paradigm, doing so is impossible.
It’s time for something new.