What are the pros and cons of working with only one recruiter during my job search?

This recruiter, "Bob", has a great track record for placing talented people at some of the best finance shops.

I worked with Bob in the past and he was really great; he mentored me through the job search process and taught me a lot of useful things and gave me insight that other recruiters didn't care to do. However, I landed up taking a better job offer than the one that Bob was able to get me, and this really upset him.

I recently reconnected with Bob on LinkedIn, and he seems happy to hear from me, and I think we're going to work together again, now that I'm starting a new job search. Is it foolish to work solely with him and to ignore other recruiters that might be messaging / calling me? I haven't had to job search in many years now, but I recall that the last time I did so, it was very stressful working with several, pushy recruiters, all of whom were giving me guilt trips, e.g. "you're going to regret it if you don't take this great opportunity with a group that is growing". So I'm considering only working with Bob this time around - he was uniquely not pushy, mentored me, had great connections to the best finance shops, and got me a job offer that was unfortunately exceeded by another, from another recruiter.

I'm wondering whether I'm just being emotionally attached or having misplaced loyalty to one recruiter and that that could hurt my salary negotiations later on, if and when I get a job offer.

  • This is completely up to you and down to whether you want to work with just one person or spread your net wide. Upsides and downsides to both options.
    – user44108
    Apr 23, 2018 at 15:12
  • @Snow I've edited to ask specifically about the pros and cons of working with one recruiter - thanks Apr 23, 2018 at 15:14
  • 1
    You've already listed the pros and cons in your question here.
    – user44108
    Apr 23, 2018 at 15:14
  • 2
    If I had a recruiter I knew and trusted, then I would at least start with just the one. Lots of recruiters waste tons of time.
    – dbeer
    Apr 23, 2018 at 15:19
  • We dont do pro and con lists, that is for other sites. We answer questions here on how to do something. You want to know how to do some task, we can help. How to make your choice... maybe. What all of your choices are and what good are they, not for us. Apr 23, 2018 at 17:16

3 Answers 3


The biggest 'con' is 'Can Bob guarantee your income stream?', which is a function of 'Are you living paycheck to paycheck?' If not, and I've never known a single recruiter that can guarantee income, then you're running a huge risk of having unpaid bench time between contracts.

Occasionally I have recruiters ask me if I would consider working exclusively with them, and I always answer with 'Will you guarantee my income stream?', and nobody has said yes.

  • hilarious ... but good point ... Apr 23, 2018 at 16:02
  • I did have a recruiter offer me a consultancy gig once, where they'd pay me and bill the client. So I guess some of them can guarantee an income stream. :)
    – Slothario
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:15

Just like in virtually every field, there are good and bad recruiters. The good ones will actually try and get you placed somewhere where you will stick and be happy, and will understand you working with multiple recruiters in order to increase your odds.

Based on my experience, you should put the odds more in your favor and work with several recruiters. ( two or three depending on the size of the market ) The odds of a single recruiter having an in at every company that might be a good fit for you is pretty slim.


Having multiple recruiters help you to fill the gap of their weakness.

Recruiters are unique by:

  • Honesty: Does he try to influence you for his goals your yours? Did he really introduce you to a client or you are his plan B if plan A fails?
  • His customers base: some company firms has exclusive contracts with recruiters firms, so even if Bob is great, he cannot introduce you to some companies that you may covet. In your case, Bob seems to know well finance shops.
  • Knowledge: know the market, he can evaluate if your profile, skills, personality and salary/perks fit with his customer environment to avoid wasting time and be misrepresented
  • Wiliness to share information: He can give you some hints like this customer already lost three employees because of management struggle. Also, he can prepare you before the customer interview.
  • Timing: is it a low month for Bob? So fewer chance to get an opportunity and reduced choice selection for you

PRO So have multiple recruiters can give you more information about the market and companies, reduce the recruiter timing factor and you can get a larger customer base.

CONS But watch out to never consent to be introduced by two different recruiters for the same position. This will lead you black listed. If you start to be introduced by multiple recruiters, tracking who represented you to who become a manageable overhead.

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