Multiple agency or exclusive partnership - what side of the fence do you sit?

This is an ongoing conversation we have almost daily. A few questions we would ask you to consider in contemplating this:

  • Does promoting a race truly get you the results that you're looking for?
  • Is the quickest necessarily always the best?
  • Does more agencies really mean access to a better network or does it just create more risk and therefore dilute the effort/quality of work they are prepared to put in for you?
  • How do you manage the collateral that can come with multiple agency representation?


Let's face it, if you have multiple recruiters tasked with working the same assignment, it is promoting speed as a key differentiator. And don't get us wrong, speed is key! We just believe it's just not the only factor to promote, as it can be to the detriment of the success of the project, the candidate experience and ultimately the service level received.


Top 10 reasons to select one partner of choice:

1. Responsibility and ownership
Working on a role exclusively means that it is completely the recruiter's responsibility to deliver. There is no excuse. If you are partnering exclusively with us, we have made a commitment and need to ensure our resources are managed in a way that meets (and exceeds) your expectations.

2. Quality vs quantity
Working exclusively gives the recruiter time to do the job properly. It allows the recruiter the time to properly qualify, interview and shortlist the best candidates for the company and the role not just the ones they can get hold of the fastest.  It absolutely ensures you will find the best candidate, not the most readily available.

3. Creates value for your business
If you hire any specialist, you make the decision to trust their capability and expertise as the saying goes you don't get a dog and bark yourself, do you? You shouldn't need multiple specialists undertaking the same function otherwise what value are you getting from hiring that expertise? Getting this decision right should take the pressure off you and will enable you to concentrate on your many other strategic objectives.

4. Candidates get the best experience possible
From a candidate view, they will know that they are dealing with a partner and effectively an extension of your business. This builds trust from the first conversation and in turn increases engagement, which benefits all parties and shows that you take your recruitment seriously.

5. Positions your employer brand
You want the best candidates of course. However, trust us when we say the impression is never too positive for candidates when they have been approached by various different recruiters about the same opportunity. Imagine seeing multiple “for sale” boards outside of a house – what would your immediate thoughts be? It’s not necessarily the best way to build a successful and attractive employer brand.

6. Eliminates poor practice
We will always brief a candidate in full about an opportunity and an employer before making submitting a profile for consideration. However, it is unfortunately poor yet common practice for some recruiters to only disclose this information if a candidate is selected for interview. This loses a critical period of engagement and increases fallouts and ultimately wastes your time. If working exclusively, a recruiter has no reason not to provide this information and do their job properly.

7. Saves you time
200 emails in your inbox? Several missed calls with voicemails? Multiple recruiters chasing you for information, feedback, updates etc. only increases your workload. Engaging a recruiting specialist is supposed to save you time remember!?

8. Simple to define and measure ROI, KPI's or SLA
Whatever you three letter acronym, with one recruitment partner, expectations and success can be defined and measured from day one. Doing this with multiple recruiters is harder to manage, more time consuming and ultimately however hard you try, it still solely promotes speed of response over quality.

9. Saves you more time!
Are you sitting on multiple briefing calls? If so, this is costing you time. If not, it's costing the recruiter key, valuable information that will help them make the right introduction. Having one, specialised and trusted partner that understands your strategic goals and can build knowledge and grow with the organisation will ultimately reduce your workload and adds the most value.

10. You will give us sleepless nights!

Although this point is cheating a bit and referring back to point number one, the fact is, with one recruitment partner there is nowhere for them to hide. They have to deliver. On time. As expected. Otherwise would you work with them exclusively again?

Now with all of the above, if you do partner exclusively with the right recruiter, speed will come as a part of the service. Why? Because they will have the knowledge, commitment and confidence to be able to, without risk, deliver a best in class, on-time service. Go on give a try on your next vacancy - you won't regret it!

To find out more about some of the retained and exclusive projects we have successfully delivered at Harris Lord, get in touch.


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Mark Bux-Ryan

8th December

Client Advice

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