Clinical Staffing Reviews

A site which compares Clinical Recruitment Firms so you are able to select the best Recruiting Company to fit your staffing needs.

Recruiting for Multiple CROs is Risky

Of course most recruiting agencies serve both sponsors and CROs. However, have you considered the risk to you if your recruiting agency supports multiple CROs?

Let’s think about motivation for a minute.

What does a CRO care about when considering Contract CRAs? Contract CRAs who understand how important billable hours are.  Contract CRAs who can handle the pace, the technology, and can hit their metrics while doing a quality job.

So what motivates a Contract CRA?  In the simplest of terms:  being secure in a reasonable contract with a reasonable company at a reasonable rate.  I know you will agree that all Contract CRAs are not created equally and it takes a special breed to be successful in a CRO environment.  By the way, I also believe there is a limited pool of CRAs who want to work with a CRO.

And finally, what motivates a recruiter?  Third party recruiters typically are only paid when they make placements.  But besides placements, don’t underestimate the value of the hourly bill rate as a dollar an hour can make a huge difference in the commissions paid to that recruiter.

So the real question is how to align the CRO’s, Contract CRA’s and Recruiter’s motivations so the end result makes everyone happy?

I believe the wildcard here is the recruiter’s motivation.

  • If the recruiter is supporting multiple CROs and one CRO allows a higher rate, where do you think that recruiter is going to submit that great quality candidate first?
  • What if one CRO has more lax requirements than the other?  Which CRO will the recruiter favor?
  • What if one CRO provides quicker feedback on submits or has a faster hiring process?  If the placement can be made quicker, which CRO will the recruiter favor?
  • What if management in one CRO is easier to work with than the other?
  • What if one CRO opens positions which pay more per hour or offers higher utilization? Do you trust your recruiter to not pull a candidate from your CRO to then place that same candidate in another CRO that is offering a higher rate or more hours?

Good recruiting agencies are able to give their candidates options, so you should know you are competing with that recruiting agency’s client list.  I have seen recruiters shuffle Contract CRAs from one CRO to another for many different reasons, so to me, it seems to be a conflict of interest for any recruiter to support multiple CROs.  I would advise selecting a recruiting agency that is willing to support only yours – this is true partnership!

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]