Posted on 2nd February 2021 by Jon Terry

Why you should ask for exclusivity

Why you should ask for exclusivity

Picture the scene…. You’re recruiting for a particular role in your business and have decided (for a variety of good reasons) to use an agency to do so. You’ve sensibly invested time briefing your agency of choice on the role and its nuances and are just agreeing dates for potential 1st and 2nd stage interviews. The consultant then politely asks, “Will you leave this with me exclusively?”

Your immediate thought might be “why?” or “no… I need to spread the net wide on this one” but there is actually good reason for you to say yes. There are many benefits in you deciding to work in a proper partnership with one trusted advisor.

Rate reduction

It’s a simple one but no less important one. You will be able to negotiate a better fee agreement if you do decide to work with one agency.

Quality of service

When I know as a recruiter that I am the only person working on a vacancy then I am pleased but I also know that the pressure is on. There is no hiding place and I know that I really need to deliver.

Spreading the net wider

Working with one well briefed consultant allows them to truly spread the net wide. They will still be able to consider the immediately available applicants who respond to an online advert but they also have time to schedule a series of virtual interviews (outside of normal working hours where necessary), they have time to proactively approach passive candidates and they have time to sell your role to individuals who might have some concerns or want some time to consider the role properly.

You know yourself that good recruitment takes a little time and focus. One consultant working a thorough process will allow you to select interviews from a well considered and diverse shortlist of options which is preferrable to multiple agencies squabbling over 1 or 2 immediately available candidates and who “sent them first”.


Choosing to work with one consultancy means that you have a better chance to control the message you want to deliver to the marketplace about your business and the role you are recruiting. It gives you a better chance of controlling the interview schedule and decision making process. And crucially it gives you a better chance of delivering an excellent Candidate Experience and protecting your employer brand.

A better chance to get the best candidate

The economic climate is tough for both businesses and candidates alike at the moment and it might be that your budget (how much salary that you can offer) isn’t quite right. The irony is though that many job seekers will say to a recruiter “I am not money motivated” and will talk instead excitedly about what it is that does motivate them.

The control that I mention above, the control that comes from a clear and concise message about the role, the future of your business and the exciting future of the role gives you a better chance of selling the role to your perfect match. A calm and professional recruitment gives you a better chance to highlight all the merits of your opportunity. All of which counts for something when competing with others for the best talent in the marketplace.

Case study: Exclusivity works

Back in early 2020 Wright Solutions was briefed on a role for a HR Business Partner. It was a good opportunity with a successful business that has a good track record of developing and nurturing talent. It was paying the right sort of salary, however the business brand is less well known and they operate in an unglamourous marketplace.

Unfortunately the role came to us a little later and by the time we were briefed on it so were at least 2 other agencies. Once we started talking to prospective candidates we also found out that plenty of other agencies knew about the role and given the market conditions of 2020 it was clear that plenty of agencies were speculatively submitting candidates to the role.

It was no coincidence that time and again we had prospective candidates say “Oh I know about that role…  They’ve got a problem with that role haven’t they…. I spoke to someone about a role but they didn’t mention that…. They’re not paying that much are they…..” And often their conclusion was “I don’t think it is for me”.

After our client had spent a number of months of failing to recruit (wasting hours reviewing and interviewing unsuitable candidates, disappointing candidates and letting down key internal stakeholders) we were asked the question “Why can’t we fill this role?”.

We set out the problem, explained the confused message that was in the marketplace and respectfully suggested the following approach.

  • Put the role on hold and let the marketplace settle down
  • Brief 1 agency on the role really thoroughly. Explaining decisively the challenge and opportunity of the role, the salary and package and what potential there was in the role and at the business.
  • Confirming a clear recruitment process (dates for interview, who involved)
  • Agreeing what service levels that agency would work to and what was expected of them.

Unsurprisingly we also suggested that we would be the right recruitment consultancy for them to work with as a sole supplier.

And it worked! Working in a trustful partnership meant that we had

  • The time to talk a wider range of candidates, engaging with them properly and selling the role to the right people.
  • The time to put together a rounded shortlist of suitable applicants with the right sort of culture fit as well as the right sort of technical experience.
  • The ability to coordinate a calm, professional and organised interview process that gave a great candidate experience

We were able to add value to a previously confused recruitment campaign and within 2 weeks we had seen our client have their offer accepted by an ideal candidate at the original salary and package.


Our advice is that next time you brief your preferred recruitment consultancy about a role don’t wait for them to ask for exclusivity demand it from them as it will be in your best interests.

Wright Solutions

We are a proper recruitment consultancy!  

Diana and Jon have both been working in their field for 20+ years. They know their stuff and they are keen to share both their experience and networks to make sure they are helping both you the employer and the candidate to find the right role.  

Call us now on 0121 222 5599 to discuss your recruitment needs and let us prove to you the value we can add. 

Jon Terry

By Jon Terry

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