The Benefits of Exclusive Search



Posted May 10, 2021 by: Jon Barr

The Benefits of Exclusive Search

The Benefits of Exclusive Search

The key to understanding the benefits of Exclusive search are to focus on the 4 types of cost:

  • The Fee that you pay the recruitment company.
  • The cost of running the process in terms of the hiring company s time (what could they be doing instead of recruiting that is valuable to them) and the financial cost of their time.
  • The opportunity cost of missing out on the perfect employee just because they may not be actively looking.
  • The cost of a bad hire. If the hire goes wrong what will it cost you in terms of missed or lost business, team moral or lost time against the competition.


The average success rate of an Exclusive search is 95% against a 20% average for contingency.

The hiring company has access to 100% of the passive and active candidates in the marketplace instead of the 15% who are currently looking and have their cv on the job boards

Candidates are a limited resource available to all, why have multiple agencies partially committed when you can have one agency fully committed.


The hiring company is basically hedging their bets in the hope that more recruiters on the job will deliver more candidates. The reality is that the recruiter working non-exclusive roles will only fill a small number of the jobs they work on, so work is prioritised to spread the recruiter’s risk and chances of hitting their targets.

Low level of commitment from the hiring company= Low level of commitment from the recruiter.

However, if the role is being worked exclusively by the one recruitment company there are significant benefits to the hiring company. The recruiter has the time and confidence to deliver the hiring company a high level of service without the threat of not receiving any income for this.

High level of commitment from the hiring company = High level of commitment from the recruiter.

Both partiesare completely committed to a successful outcome of the process and have clearly defined deliverables to achieve.

The recruitment company has the confidence to allocate their most senior recruiter to the role and build a team best suited to deliver the best result to the hiring company.

Industry averages suggest that the recruiter will spend 5 times the amount of man hours on an Exclusive vacancy as a standard search where they are competing with several recruitment companies.

Feedback is king, the recruiter has the time to work and rework the role as many times as is necessary, based on the feedback from the Hiring Manager.


By using multiple recruitment companies and the hiring company is imposing a rule where the first recruitment company to submit someone for the role will be the one rewarded if they are hired. The direct implication of this is that the recruiters will send in lots more cv’s in the fear that they may miss out if they don’t (‘first across the line’). This inevitably creates a lot more work for the hiring company team as they are doing all of the shortlisting and giving far more feedback.

If only one recruitment is working the role exclusivelythe recruitment team take over the majority of the recruitment process, leaving the hiring company to focus on their own business, saving them time and money, limiting opportunity lose due to the inevitable distraction of the standard recruitment process.


There are a number of factors that will determine the quality of the hiring outcome. Working exclusively with one recruitment company with increase the quality of the service through:

  • Both hiring company and recruiter have the same objective, to secure the best available talent and keep them engaged with this one project through to its conclusion.
  • By not rewarding the ‘first across the line’ the recruiter has more time to interview candidates more thoroughly and take more time to understand the role, the company, and the culture.
  • The hiring company has access to 100% of the passive and active candidates in the marketplace instead of the 15% who are currently looking.
  • The hiring company has a full understanding of the candidate marketplace and is left in no doubt that they are employing the best candidate for their business.
  • The hiring company will be clear as to how their remuneration package compares to market norms and has a full understanding of the market allowing them to attract the right level of candidate for them.
  • The recruiter becomes a much stronger salesperson for the hiring company ensuring maximum buy in from both passive and active candidates and ultimately a higher success rate in attracting the best talent.
  • The hiring company is a business priority for the recruitment company and is therefore given VIP status with their needs prioritised above all others. The job is high profile and won’t get lost in the sheer number of roles most recruiter handle.
  • It is in the recruiter’s interest to keep the candidate engaged with this assignment to ensure that they have a strong shortlist, rather than seeing them as an asset to tout around other company’s hoping to get a fee.


By increasing the quality of the hiring process two forms of opportunity cost are minimised:

  • The cost of poor performance, performance management and the impact on the team created by a bad appointment will be minimised. The new hire will be able to make a positive contribution to the business as quickly as possible
  • Even if the hire is adequate, by reducing the quality of the hiring process the outcome is at risk of not finding the absolute best talent, especially if they are not actively looking for a role right now.

If you would like to know more about how ACS Exclusive Recruitment can work for you call us today on 01273 463854


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