Exclusive Recruitment – Why would you do it any other way?

In Auckland’s over crowded Information Technology recruitment market, the overriding recruitment method requested is a contingency model. This is where an agency is just one of a number of suppliers to the client and we work on sourcing and sending the people we consider to be best suited for the role.

There are flaws to this approach, so why is it so popular? Well, quite simply, it works. The client gets candidates, there is no cost up front and there is a constant stream of recruitment agencies willing to participate.

If it ain’t broke why fix it? A good question, the answer is that there is a better way.

We have to start with our clients – the company that is making the hiring decision – before we talk about the candidates’ point of view.

For a client to give the responsibility to one supplier there has to be a high level of trust. Building trust can sometimes be done in one meeting; sometimes it takes years of excellent service. However, a client will not move from the tried and tested unless they are convinced that you will deliver results.

On a recent recruit I set out to find a Senior IT Manager for a start-up company. It’s a role that comes with big risks and rewards. The job brief was the very first time meeting with the client. They had found me through a Google search, so we had no prior knowledge or track record of working with each other. The client had spoken to one other agency already and had one more on the list to speak to. Always get three quotes right?

As we discussed this role I realised that the only way I could do it justice was with exclusivity. It was a tough role, very exciting and with huge potential, but paying well below market value.

This is how I explained I would manage the role.

Firstly, an enticing advert to appeal to the entrepreneurial, stating the very low salary as a positive. The low salary accentuated the long term earning potential as one of the upsides of the opportunity.

Secondly, utilising my LinkedIn network where my strong group of connections in this space would either be interested or know of someone who could be.

I would leverage off others at Madison – my colleagues in senior level recruitment would know (and indeed did know) great candidates in this area.

So after explaining why I was confident in securing the right candidates, I established that sourcing would not be the issue. It was the selection of the very best from there.

The company is a start up with valuable IP and as such I would work to protect the client during the interview process. I would release information on a need to know basis. I would speak to all the applicants first, to ascertain their motivations before discussing the role. It is the only way I can ensure that I am not being told what I want to hear.

I then discussed the testing suite and psychometric assessments and lastly, I said that I would compile a report to give the client an eagle’s eye view of all activity and provide assurance that the search process was comprehensive. I’ve done this many times and rather than a scary proposition it is such a powerful way to demonstrate the amount of work that goes into delivering a short list.

He was impressed. “How long will all this take you?” he asked.

“It’s quick I said, two weeks, umm, a max of three”?

“I can do all this if I work on it exclusively” I added.

The client’s face dropped – he liked the sound of it but the horse had already bolted. He’d already released the role to another recruiter.

“Well” I said, “in that situation, this is how the process breaks down”.

I explained that under a contingent recruitment arrangement I’d have to let the candidate know about his company very early in the piece. As I would have no control over the candidates submitted by the other supplier, it would leave me no choice but to submit qualified candidates and let him make the all-important selection decisions. By working in this manner the client would end up taking 50% of the workload on.

He was time and resource poor so after my explanation, he made the decision on the spot; exclusive until the following Friday, a period of 10 days. He would call off the other agency.

Actions speak louder than words. I presented a shortlist of four in his office the following Wednesday. All four were interviewed with three going through to third and final stage interviews. Choice number one was offered the role, and accepted it. A short turn around with a great deal of work behind it. Although the client was the owner operator he still had people to justify his decisions to and he needed assurance that it was indeed the top three in the market that he was seeing. I was able to provide him this evidence – my longlist of 75, the telephone screening I had conducted and the interviews I’d done.

It’s ended up that even the second and third choice candidates have other valuable skills that the client wants to bring into the business at a later stage. Discussions over beer this Saturday with candidate number two have already been arranged. I was pretty happy with that result.

From the candidate perspective my aim was to provide a good experience and though 74 of the 75 would ultimately be disappointed, it was swift, fair and respectful. Having the confidence in the process to truly manage candidates’ expectations leaves them with a high regard for our professionalism and, I believe, a much greater opportunity for a continued business relationship.

There will be times when more than one supplier is required but if it’s a specialist role then it should be exclusive every time.

Why Work With Us?

Our vision

Logical Consulting has strong beliefs and our approach to recruitment reflect these. Be passionate, be fair and generous, appreciate others, be ambitious, be happy and treat others how you would like to be treated yourself.

Our focus is on solid partnerships. We take the time to understand the customer requirements and then adapt a proven recruitment framework. This is essential for a great client and candidate experience and a successful outcome.

Contracting in an economic downturn
Logical Consulting NZ logo

We’re Waiting To Help You

Get in touch with Logical Consulting today to book a consultaion.