Why contingency recruitment might not make sense for your business

Why contingency recruitment might not make sense for your business

The benefits of working on an exclusive basis with a recruitment partner 

When you buy a house you instruct a solicitor to carry out searches for you. Imagine though if instead of that you emailed twenty solicitor firms saying “I need my searches doing. The first one to get back to me with them will get paid”. You wouldn’t expect much would you? You would be worried about how thorough any firm had been. Whether they’d asked all the right questions. Whether the service you received would be slapdash.

But when it comes to recruitment this is the model that most businesses follow. They email a basic outline of a position to a batch of recruiters and wait for the results, only paying the firm that found them their candidate. And it wouldn’t matter whether that firm was good or not. Whether they pitched your company in the right way. Whether they were ethical or not. Ultimately, the ends justify the means.

Although you feel that you are doing the right thing in spreading the net, and contingency search does have its place, such an approach can have negative outcomes:

  • Candidates like to feel special. Hearing from 5 different recruiters about the same job suggests you are using a scatter-gun approach. It makes them think (usually quite rightly) that there will be dozens of others under consideration. What’s so special about any of that?
  • It encourages speed over thoroughness. If it is about getting to the market before anyone else then a comprehensive job order goes out of the window. And you can forget about visiting the offices. And if a recruitment company does not ‘get you’, or the business, or the role; how can they promote it?
  • It makes recruiters give up. If there are lots of other recruiters on the case your typical recruiter will do a cursory search and see if anyone obvious comes up. And if it doesn’t they will shrug their shoulders and move on. Why map the market? Why go deep on the search? Why use LinkedIn if the chances of filling the role are so remote? And when that recruiter is only paid on results, can you really blame them?  

Whilst working on a retainer may be a bit much of a leap of faith for some, working exclusively with a recruiter has a number of major benefits:

  • It gives you time to assess the recruitment firm that will represent your business, making sure you hire the right people to market you and not just anyone (think of the damage a terrible recruiter could do to your brand)
  • You can be confident that the recruiter will commit the hours to finding someone. They will be desperate to fill the role so that they can work with you on an exclusive basis in the future
  • The recruiter will be able to focus on undertaking a proper job order. They will get the time to visit the offices and understand your culture thoroughly. They will know you inside out and can therefore sell you to the market in the right way
  • It will give them time to map the market, speak to candidates and put together a shortlist of their best options, rather than just sending you people as they arise
  • It will save you time. And time is money. And other such clichés. Giving the job to one agency over ten cuts down significantly on the time needed to brief each one and deal with incoming CVs.

And it need not be forever. Most recruiters would be happy to have a week or two head start on the competition. But if as a business you assess and pick the right recruitment company to work with from the outset you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

For information on how Exchange Street successfully works with a variety of clients on an exclusive basis please give us a call on 0161 9736900 or email recruit@www.exchange-street.co.uk

By Exchange Street Director, Andy Taylor – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-taylor-11403915/