Leadership Blog

Posted By: Eva Grabner | on November 24 2017

Keep calm and go ‘Exclusive’!

A valued client recently asked me if I would ‘share’ a job with another recruiter.  At first, I was slightly offended until I realised that this client really didn’t understand the value they gained from working with only one recruiter.  It’s not unusual for a client to believe that ‘sharing the love’ or working with a number of recruiters can give you a competitive edge when it comes to sourcing a new member of your team.  Even though working exclusively with one recruiter may seem risky because you’re putting all your eggs in one basket but in fact, with the right recruitment agency, it will save you time, money and hassle.


Recruitment isn’t just about finding a good-enough candidate that’s available when you need them, it’s about finding a high performer who will be an ideal match for you, your team, your goals, culture and future plans.  The kind of information required to make that judgement cannot be obtained during a five-minute phone conversation.  Finding the right talent takes time and focus to ensure that both you and the candidate are strongly aligned to make the required impact in your business together.


Despite thinking that engaging several recruiting companies may provide you with access to more qualified candidates, this is rarely the case.  And this is why:


  • When you assign a recruiter to a specific role on an exclusive basis, you get the recruiter’s FULL commitment to filling that role.  The misunderstanding with some companies is that ‘competition’ is better, however, what really happens is a short burst of activity when you will receive resumes in a rush and not always seriously vetted in detail.
  • Once a recruiter is exclusively retained they are responsible for finding you the right person.  They will work tirelessly until they source someone that is ideally matched, not ‘good enough’ for the position!
  • Quality is imperative when recruiting a senior role and going non-exclusive puts the focus on speed.  Why would you want your crucial hiring decision based on who can get candidates to you first?  You would never choose between brain surgeons based on who can do the required work quicker, would you?
  • Exclusivity allows the recruiter to bring all of their resources to bear in the talent search.  Not just a quick data-base search, but a thorough, detailed talent search including networks, communities and social media.
  • Time allows a thorough talent interview, including full assessment of skills, experience and attitude.
  • They will fully qualify the talent in terms of start date, salary and clear expectations.
  • You are dealing with one competent recruiter, no multiple agency briefings and multiple contacts to deal with, saving you valuable time (which is why you hire a recruiter in the first place!).
  • Your confidentiality is preserved as the role is not being touted around town by several recruiters, each speaking with up to 10 candidates about the role.
  • Your brand and image is improved by using one recruiter, because your job is not devalued in the eyes of talent, who in our experience (especially at the senior level) become wary of a job’s quality when it is represented by multiple recruiters. It sends an unintended message of desperation about a company who would have to use such tactics to fill a senior role.
  • Finally, exclusivity means you will not have the issue of recruiters referring the same talent to you which can put you in an awkward position of having to adjudicate which recruiter referred them first.


A few years ago, we received a call from a client who had asked several recruiters to assist them in filling an Operations Manager’s role for them.  They were quite distressed as they had been bombarded by resumes, both from the recruitment agencies, but also from their own advertising.  They had spent hours upon hours reviewing all applicants, many of whom were doubled up.  They ended up being unable to place their preferred candidate as this person applied via two different recruitment agencies.  Since they were unable to verify when the resume was originally received, they could not make a placement or would be up for two sets of fees.  A hard lesson learnt which cost them more in time and money than it would have if they had used an agency exclusively in the first place!


At Elite Executive we only work exclusively with our clients because we provide them with the best possible service and believe that using a recruiter exclusively will ultimately save you money and time.  We consider ourselves to be an extension of your business and will treat it with the respect and attention that it deserves.


If you would like any advice on how to go about choosing the right recruitment partner for your business, please don’t hesitate to call.

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