A Contingency Search is probably what most people are familiar with when working with a recruitment firm. You don’t pay a fee until the recruitment firm sources a top candidate and you hire them. The fee is typically a percent of the first year salary.
While this type of arrangement feels most low-risk for the employer, this is not the most favorable arrangement for the recruitment firm and if the employer uses multiple recruitment firms, this becomes even less favorable for the recruitment firm. Imagine working for days and not getting paid. This is what it comes down to for recruiters. A recruitment firm isn’t likely going to clear their desk and devote all of their time and resources to a search where there are multiple recruitment firms working on the search, it just doesn’t make good business sense.