Subadhra Sriram's Blog

Double submittals: who owns the candidate?

Double submittals. As a manager in charge of your CW program, you might ask what that question has to do with me. But if your goal is to get the best temporary help at a competitive price, double submittals could negatively influence it, especially if you have a VMS. Here's why. Take the real-life example of a candidate A posting his or her resume on varied job boards. A recruiter from staffing agency X contacts them, pitches the job, figures out the applicant's skills, interest, rates and so on. The name of the client, however, is not mentioned. The recruiter has spent a minimum of 20 minutes on this call. Then another recruiter from agency Y pitches the same job to the same aspirant. Sometimes at this juncture the candidate may not be aware that it's the identical position. Besides, the recruiter from agency Y went ahead since the other firm did not mention the client's name. Both recruiters presented the resume: it was a double submittal. But a VMS can only submit one copy of a resume. Once the resume is accessible, the applicant is interviewed, tested and background checked. Meanwhile, the hiring manager wants to go ahead and recruit the applicant. So who owns the candidate? Is it agency X or Y? In this real life example, agency Y walked away from the deal because agency X did submit first. But the best way to avoid situations like these is to either get a signed consent form (via email or fax) that names the staffing firm that the candidate is going to work with for that particular position. The onus does lie on the candidate to be upfront and mention that he or she is working with X staffing firm on a specific job. It is an unwritten rule that you do not work with more than one supplier on the same job requisition. However, it is also the staffing firm's responsibility to make sure that it's clear on details when pitching the job. The war for talent and the advent of the VMS have removed any exclusivity clauses for suppliers; if you are a preferred vendor for a large corporation, you are likely to be one of many. Double submittals are not about getting there first. They have real consequences to the staffing firm's bottom line and the ability to get the right contingent for your project, at a competitive price. Thanks to a double submittal, a staffing firm could lose a candidate which could mean a revenue loss of anywhere from $20,000 and more. You, on the other hand, may have to contend with aggrieved staffing firms, disruption to your CW programs and in some cases even lawsuits. So insist on your suppliers providing signed consent forms. This way, your VMS will not have to act as traffic cop and you will not be caught in an awkward situation.

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