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The Risky Business of Dual Representation

The way independent contractors do business through staffing agencies has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. There are, however, still some very basic best-practices that both parties need to continue to respect.  One issue that seems to be ‘rearing its ugly head’ as of late is the problem of “Dual Representation”.

What is Dual Representation?

Essentially, dual representation is when a contractor gives permission to more than one Staffing Agency to submit their resume to a single job opening with a specific Client. 

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Dual representation is unfortunately seen by all clients, but is more prevalent for large organizations who deal with a lot of agencies and specifically those who have MSP (Managed Services Provider) Programs in place.  There are a number of approved-Agencies within any large MSP Program, and the feedback from vendors is that dual representations are increasing significantly.  As a result, these MSP Programs are leading the way in implementing new policies to eliminate dual-representation.

Why should candidates care about this? 

Any Client, whether working with an MSP or not, does not want to deal with potential ‘squabbling’ between agencies as to who submitted the candidate first. Instead, they will simply disregard the candidate’s profile and move on to the next suitable candidate.

How can you avoid missing out on an opportunity because of dual representation?

Always be vigilant about where and when you submitted your resume to any given opportunity, and when you do, ensure only 1 agency is submitting your profile. Although it may seem tempting to allow multiple Agencies to submit your resume to an opportunity with hopes that it will ‘better your odds’, the reality of it is it may drastically reduce your chances. You may only be hurting yourself!

Of course, the onus isn’t completely on contractors.  A good and ethical Agency will not only take the time to explain the importance of only submitting your resume once, but will also always get your explicit permission and give you all details before sending your resume to the client.

If you need clarification or have questions about dual representation, you can always get in touch with your recruiter who will provide more information.  Better yet, though, ask us in the comments below so we can share the answer with other independent contractors as well!