At Speller International, we work with a mixture of exclusive and non-exclusive roles. It will come as no surprise that we would always prefer an exclusive arrangement to non-exclusivity because, well, it means we actually get paid for the work that we do!
What we’re finding, in fact, is that a lot of our customers also prefer to work exclusively with one organisation – and we’re winning a whole lot more work of that nature. We thought we’d share with you why we think that’s the case, and why it’s happening more and more.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to win a piece of work that required Speller International to provide the first stage of permanent hires – the Leadership Team – for a Global Greenfield SAP Implementation.
In this instance, we only bid for the work under the provision that it was exclusive, as we knew from experience that this would enable the best outcome for the customer’s given timeframes, time zones, and time restrictions for hiring managers. They needed quality, experienced resources quickly, and felt that locations and travel requirements might hinder their preferred outcome.
What does exclusivity mean?
Exclusivity means that you partner solely with one agency for a specific role or group of roles. In the above example, Speller International was the only agency that could represent the candidates for a specific timeframe.
All candidates were required to come through us – even if they knew someone internally – so that we could take the time to search, select, interview and perform background checks in a manner that was consistent, fair, and that we were confident would produce the best ‘short list’ to the customer – with the emphasis on the word short.
Within that short list, all candidates were qualified and were not only a great skill match for the roles, but were a great cultural match also, and incredibly committed to the opportunity. We were only expected to submit two candidates to each role.
What are the benefits of exclusivity?
With exclusivity, there are many benefits to the Agency, the Customer and the Candidates. Let’s see what those benefits are.
With exclusivity you’re entering a true partnership – we’re in this together! In the example above, the client had Speller International’s FULL commitment to all roles, wit prioritisation over non-exclusive roles. We put a good percentage of our resources towards this and allocated each of the roles to a separate consultant so that every role had someone dedicated to finding the talent.
In this case, that meant give of Australia’s most experienced SAP recruiters working solely on this one organisation’s requirements. Not to shatter any illusions you may have, but if these roles were non-exclusive then we would have had maybe one or two people working them and splitting their time against the requirements of other customers – a standard recruitment model.
Instead, exclusivity created a dedicated commitment, with guarantees that not only would the Customer secure the outcome they were seeking, but that we would be appropriately paid for the time and resources directed towards that outcome. After all, recruitment is a two way street!
From the candidate’s perspective meanwhile, they get a better experience. We can put greater time into assessing the candidate, and they can really understand the role and the company prior to them being submitted while taking the time to really think the opportunity through to ensure that it is the right role for them, their family and their career.
In exclusive partnerships, the stress, the worry and the responsibility to fill these roles are entirely on our shoulders!
After all, we won exclusivity based on our confidence in our ability to deliver quality resources… and now we HAVE TO deliver! This allows the customer to focus on all their other responsibilities. They’ve handed their problem to us, which is what you would expect when you’re paying someone to deliver a service.
The responsibility is ours to deliver on what we promised. The success or otherwise of the outcome therefore is 100% on us. As you’d expect, it’s a responsibility we take very seriously.
As soon as agencies work a role exclusively, the focus is shifted off the speed (i.e., send the first person we can find who can probably do the role). This is in no way a dig at recruiters – this is simply how the market has pushed recruiters to work.
The result often resembles a clumsy race whereby the fastest company to represent someone gets paid, and while quality remains a factor it can at times be somewhat diluted by the process.
Working exclusively shifts the focus back onto quality: recruiters are again able to uncover the right candidate with the right skills and the right attitude for the organisation’s culture, with adequate time for other important elements of the recruitment process including negotiations.
Although speed is a key driver as well, going exclusive doesn’t mean going slower. On the contrary, it often works out faster due to the efficiencies in place. With the extra time allowed us, we can go beyond ‘scratching the surface’, sitting down and planning how to find the right people from the talent pool everyone has access to.
This lets us explore the best organisations to head hunt from, utilise our network established over 19 years, use our social media reach, newsletter, and word of mouth. What’s more, it allows us to approach the candidate in a truly professional manner, actually work with them to ensure they’re in a position to move, and assess that they will make decisions in line with their overall motivations.
We can also control the message released to the market and speak only to the candidates we know can do the role, creating a sense of something special happening. In the example above, our internal team were passionate about the company and the roles, and this absolutely rubbed off on the candidates. We were able to maintain the brand of the company, communicating in their preferred manner, and without the noise of other agencies rushing to try and fill the same role.
The result? That feeling of desperation was removed from the process. The candidate wasn’t bombarded by five different companies for the same role, and thus wasn’t made to feel like maybe there was something wrong with the position or organisation.
The upshot of this way of doing things is that candidates are made to feel more engaged, and if they’re selected to go forward they know it’s not going to be a waste of their time: they know they’re one of only two candidates, and this creates a very different dynamic and feeling for the better.
I’ve touched on this above, but it bears repeating. Exclusivity removes the scramble to any active candidate, whereby the first recruiters to mention the name of the company and get the candidate’s permission to proceed then ‘owns’ that candidate.
When such happens, it often results in many people who have no intention of leaving their current position being tipped off about the activities and intentions of the organisation actively recruiting, or people who were never right for the role in the first place learning such information.
Not only can this frustrate the candidate, it can damage the brand of the company, ultimately making it harder to attract top talent in the future.
Moving forward with Speller
Obviously, we here at Speller International are aware that each recruitment scenario is somewhat unique, and that recruitment processes sometimes may not allow an exclusive partnership to occur.
However, the next time you have a particular set of requirements and the message you release to the market is important to you, we suggest taking the opportunity to see what an exclusive partnership can enable for you organisation.
As ever, we’re here for our candidates, and our customers. If you ever have any questions about the best people or way to fill a vacancy, get in touch. We’ve spent years perfecting our processes and can’t wait to share them with you in whatever capacity they’re required.