Exclusivity: A WIN-WIN for Clients and Recruiting Firms

By Megan McQuade On August 24, 2018

As you hunt for a staffing agency to help you with your hiring needs, consider an exclusive relationship. Exclusive relationships are what make excellent partnerships. Learn why below!

Exclusivity: A WIN-WIN for Clients and Recruiting Firms

Exclusivity: A WIN-WIN for Clients and Recruiting Firms

What is exclusivity?

In the staffing world, it's choosing one staffing partner to fulfill your staffing needs. Now, it may be for one role or several. However, it's about creating a partnership with one agency who is recruiting on your behalf and committed to filling your open role(s). Partners become an extension of your hiring team and this creates motivation, accountability, and ultimately ends with results (new team members).

Why are organizations hesitant to give exclusivity to one staffing partner? 

Some organizations have had a bad staffing experience somewhere in the past. Their partner(s) didn't come through and fill a role(s) or sent mediocre/unqualified candidates. Regardless of the reason, the partnership was unsuccessful. We all know that bad experiences tend to overshadow the good ones! Another reason for the hesitancy may be that trust simply hasn't been built between the company and recruiting firm. Leaders vet to the best of their ability, then choose to believe hoping their assessment and intuition are correct. Firms that have used the same agency for years have solid belief because they have seen success with their partner many times.

What are the benefits of exclusivity?

From a recruiting firm's perspective, exclusivity grants a company's open role(s) priority. Some recruiting firms will accept non-exclusive agreements and others simply won't. Staffing agencies operate under different models. When a company has priority, it receives more recruiting power resulting in faster fills. Recruiters are incentivized to fill roles. They jump on exclusive roles fast as their expectation of making a fill is high. When multiple firms are working on the same role, the expectation of making a fill decreases as accountability is spread to multiple agencies and many recruiters.

What are the pitfalls of non-exclusivity?

Often, organizations have the mindset that they do not want to put "all their eggs in one basket." And, it makes sense! Many of us value diversifying. However, in the staffing world, it may have a negative effect. Because recruiters give priority to exclusive partnerships, they spend less time on non-exclusive ones. They don't ignore them by any means. But, they realize that recruiters from other firms are also working on the same role(s). So, their likelihood of making a fill decreases. Recruiters are juggling several roles and priority always gets the majority of their time. So, a company can have priority from one agency or partner with many and receive some support.

Why do recruiters prefer exclusive roles?

Contingent recruiters make money when they fill a role. Their time and effort is exhausted up-front with no guarantee that it will pay off. If you ask a good recruiter, he/she will have confidence in filling the role, but there is still no guarantee. In the business of "people" anything can happen! Many recruiters receive a bonus or commission upon fill - in addition to their salary. In a contingent model, recruiters are less excited about non-exclusive searches because they know other recruiters from other agencies are hunting for the same talent. This means, they're expending time and resources that may not pay off. They prefer to reallocate this time and energy to roles that have a higher rate of return. Recruiters know that finding the right candidate results in monetary reward.

What about retained search?

Recruiters give priority to exclusive over non-exclusive searches. However, a retained search takes priority over both. A retained search model is almost always exclusive because an organization is investing money to begin a search. Companies are not fond of investing money to begin a search with multiple agencies as they will not get those funds back from the agencies that do not make the fill. These searches are usually higher-level (leadership, executive, C-suite) and require more time and effort. These candidates are usually working and not always ready to make an organizational switch. However, it is probably somewhere in the back of their mind! Recruiters give first priority to these searches because they have already been paid a portion up-front and the accountability for filling the role is high.

If you have a hiring need and would like to discuss an exclusive or retained search, a member of the TruPath team would love to chat with you. We are very proud of our hiring process (TruProcess) and believe it will help you find your next great hire.

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As a trusted recruitment source for more than 15 years, recruiters at TruPath have a customizable process that helps our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.