Be Recruitment

How to fill vacant roles faster: A surprisingly simple tactic.

With Australia’s unemployment rate so low, we’re seeing a lot of organisations struggle to fill their vacant positions.

It’s a common assumption that the more recruitment agencies working on your vacancies, the faster they’re filled. But the opposite is usually true!

Read on to find out why, and discover the simple alternative to find the right people for your vacancies sooner.

Competition distorts priorities

Research shows that organisations that invite multiple recruiters to compete to fill a role have an average fill rate of below 25%.

In contrast, organisations that partner with a trusted recruitment agency via a retainer enjoy MUCH higher success – their average fill rate is up around 95–100%!


By only paying a commission to the agency that fills a vacancy first, organisations are effectively forcing recruiters to prioritise the quick and easy wins (e.g. temp admin, reception, etc.) – while harder-to-fill roles fall to the bottom of the pile.

After all, would you want to spend time advertising, searching, interviewing, vetting, calling referees and helping candidates prepare for interviews if there’s a significant chance another agency could beat you to the punch?

It doesn’t take rocket science to see why engaging multiple agencies find their positions requiring more specific qualifications and experience take a lot longer to fill.

Not ideal when you really need to fill those vacancies quickly!

Competition reduces quality

When recruiters are competing against each other to get paid, there’s little-to-no time to screen candidates.

If it’s a mad dash to the finish line, many agencies will throw as many candidates your way as possible in the hope they’ll send the one that sticks.

But that means you, the employer, end up having to do the work of sifting through a larger pool of usually lower-quality candidates.

As one recruiter wrote on LinkedIn,

“How many times have you spent hours working on a vacancy only to find it’s been ‘filled internally’ or the company have ‘put a hold on it’?!

You can’t get that time back, so companies who do this to recruiters eventually get ignored – no one wants to work on their vacancies at all.

Contingency [i.e. without any guarantee of pay] is too risky for the recruiter and often leads to a poorer pool of candidates being offered.”

So if you’re hitting any of these walls – consider revisiting your approach to engaging recruitment agencies to fill your roles – there’s a better way.

Give your vacancies the attention they deserve

Partnering with a single agency exclusively (whether job-by-job or on a retainer) allows your vacancies to receive the attention they deserve.

By removing the risk of being ‘pipped to the post’ your recruitment partner can give it all they’ve got for each of your roles – not just the easy ones to fill!

That means investing adequate time and screening to present the highest quality candidates for the job, resulting in less work at your end.

If you’re going to pay recruiters to source candidates, you may as well give them the best chance to do it well for you!

A strong partnership = better results

Engaging a single recruitment agency allows you to form a partnership – not just an arm’s-length working relationship.

By giving your recruiters the time and space to get to know your organisation’s needs and values, they’re much more likely to find the right people to fill your vacant roles.

Partnering with a single agency also means they’re not compelled to move on to other organisations’ vacancies for a more ‘straightforward win’.

This is especially vital when it comes to filling senior, specialist and/or technical positions including clinical roles that require more screening of candidates.

An exclusive approach is also particularly suited to roles with limited talent available, such as case work, social work, project and outreach roles.

The verdict

If you’re struggling to fill your vacant roles and/or aren’t happy with the quality of candidates recruitment agencies are sending your way, it could be time to reassess your approach.

Consider building a relationship with a single agency, and working with them on an exclusive and even retained basis to find the right people for the job, faster.

In summary: how to fill vacant roles faster? Build an exclusive partnership with a single agency for best results.

Be. Recruitment is a specialist recruitment partner in the social care sector. Get in touch with our expert consultants today to discover how your organisation can fill its vacant roles faster.

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