Getting to at least “Exclusivity” on every Search

  By Jon Bartos  |    Monday July 30, 2019

Category: Expert Advice, Homepage Showcase, Recruiting


As many of you already realize, the better-quality search you work on the more money you will make.  The facts are ugly in the Perm Placement recruiting business if you are not working on high quality searches, which means at a minimum you need to get exclusive searches.  The fastest way to skyrocket your billings is to get high quality searches today – with a minimum of exclusivity.    

Here are the facts in today’s Market:  


· Non-Exclusive Searches:  Recruiters on average fill 1 out of 8 they work on

· Exclusive Searches (and you take a good search):  Recruiters on Average Fill 1 out of 2 they work on

· Money Down Searches (and you take a good search):  Recruiters Fill and Average of 1 out of 1.25 they work on.


** a GOOD SEARCH means that all parties are motivated to bring on board a top performer and there are no issues with YOU filling it, the hiring process, the compensation, the sense of client urgency and you are not chasing a purple squirrel. 


Why Exclusivity Matters


Being exclusive is imperative if you want to guarantee that if the candidates you bring the table match, you will make a placement. Achieving exclusivity can be a challenge, however, as there are many myths that hiring managers have about recruiting. Some hiring managers think that recruiters just have access to those limited people in their databases and that’s it. They think the more recruiters they have working on a search, the more candidates they will receive. The theory is correct... they will receive more resumes initially; however, they will find themselves with very few after the first week or so. The reason being that when contingency recruiters find out they are not exclusive; the search turns in to a race and every participant tries to throw stuff against the wall just to see if it will stick. The client will get a lot of volume (quantity) but very little quality. The perception of getting many candidates initially can be attractive, but most contingent recruiters will not place a priority on a non-exclusive search and will spend minimal time on it.  Typically, this results in only the low hanging fruit, which are individuals out of a job or desperately looking for a job. To combat this belief held by many hiring managers, and to get exclusive searches – try this approach:


Explaining the Real Deal 

“Mr. Prospect, how many recruiters do you have currently working on your search(es)?…Three recruiting firms???…Interesting…Can I share with you what happens in the mind of recruiters when they find out that they’re not working exclusive on a particular search? Recruiters are typically commission-based and tend to spend their time on the searches that will yield results the fastest. Once a recruiter finds out that they are not the only firm working on a search, it becomes a race. All firms involved rush through a search to find as many candidates that are as close fits as possible and send them over as quickly as possible. These candidates are from internal databases as well as job board candidates.  They get ahold of the “active candidates” looking for a job which are only about 15% of the total candidate pool.  They are the easy button of recruiting.  You’ll get an initial run of resumes, but then you will receive none. That’s because all the recruiters are not mutually committed on performing the search on your positions to go after the “A” players who are gainfully employed and working for a competitor, they simply don’t have the time. It’s a race, remember. Unfortunately, in this situation, there is no quality control and simple key word matching happens due to time constraints. The result is that you have to choose the best player out of the poor-to-average talent you were given―choosing the best of the worst, so to speak.”

Sell the Alternate Solution 

“My strong suggestion is to let our firm take this search exclusively for 45 days. This will allow us to have time to directly call in to the marketplace and go after the other 85% of inactive candidates – the gainfully employed “A” players, who are current high achievers with your competitors.  In the end, you will get 3-5 of the very best players in the marketplace within the 45 days.  The big advantage to you is that you get a chance to select the best individual out of the best players in your industry, instead of choosing the best of what the contingent search firms could come up with – which is not the top performers typically.  Make sense?”


Jon has been coaching Recruiting Teams all over the world to achieve their potential since 2004.  He has taken over 400 firms from contingent to retained and can do the same for you.  To get a hold of Jon for coaching, Alpine Double Black Lead Generation, Recruiting Analytics or a TalentRx franchise, please email him at  

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