I recently applied on-line for a Director level role and followed up by contacting the company directly.  I was given the name of the hiring manager but have not spoken with him.  Then, the same day, I was called by a retained search firm about the same role.

My thinking is this:  If I can get the company to consider me directly, then they would not have to pay the search firm in the event that I'm hired.  My resume exists in their database already.  By the same token, perhaps that is not my place and I should let the search firm do their job.

I'd welcome any thoughts.