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Recruitment basket

I wanted to talk about something that’s often hailed as the holy grail in recruitment, particularly from an agency perspective: exclusivity.

From a client perspective, exclusivity may instigate feelings of apprehension and discomfort among company heads. The allure of engaging multiple agencies is understandable, especially in the yachting and maritime sectors where the talent pool is limited and highly specialised.

Additionally, this multi-agency approach, intended to minimise risk and maximise success, often backfires. Instead of amplifying efforts, it disperses them, resulting in a race for quantity over quality (ever heard of ‘spray & pray?!)

But although there are certainly many perks to cozying up with just one agency, it’s not always the knight in shining armour you hoped for. And that comes down to your selection criteria and your approach.

Picture this: you’ve found a recruitment agency that seems to tick all the boxes. They promise you the world, assure you they’ve got the best talent pipeline, and even throw in a few extra perks to seal the deal. It’s easy to get swept up in the allure of exclusivity, believing that by putting all your recruitment needs in one basket, you’ll save time, money, and headaches. But let’s pump the brakes for a second.

Limiting your options

First off, when you’ve got all your eggs in the wrong basket, you’re essentially limiting your options. Think of it like going to a buffet and only picking one dish. Sure, it might be tasty, but what about all the other delicious options you’re missing out on? By exclusively working with one recruitment agency, you’re potentially cutting yourself off from a whole pool of talent that other agencies could be tapping into.

Communication chaos

Then there’s the issue of communication—or lack thereof. Ever been in a one-sided conversation where you’re doing all the talking and getting nowhere? That’s what it can feel like when you don’t engage in a two-way dialogue with your recruitment agency. If it’s all about them sending you candidates and receiving no feedback then you could end up in a situation where they are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work.

Breeding complacency

In some circumstances, you could in theory slow down the recruitment process. Depending on the role, and as mentioned above, your communication style, recruiters could become complacent, sitting on their hands (or more appropriately, a pile or great CVs), knowing they’ve got this in the bag (or basket) at some point because they have the role exclusively.


Having said all that, exclusivity is not a total bust, if you find the right agency and more importantly, are ready to work in that way.

You know, the one that’s not just in it for the quick win but genuinely cares about your business and its success? When you’ve got that kind of partnership, exclusivity suddenly starts looking a whole lot more appealing.

With the right agency in your corner, exclusivity CAN actually be a game-changer. They understand your company culture, your hiring needs, and present your business brand consistently while going the extra mile to find you the perfect fit. Plus, by building a solid relationship with one agency, you’re streamlining the recruitment process, saving time and resources along the way.

And if you’re still apprehensive about it, you can negotiate short-term exclusivity, giving recruitment agencies the chance to prove their worth before you open the job up.

Regardless of how you do it, you must be ready for it.

So, yes, putting all your eggs in one recruitment basket a risky move, but with the right attitude and the right agency by your side, it can also be a strategic one. Just remember, it’s all about finding that perfect balance between exclusivity and flexibility—and when you do, the rewards can be egg-ceptional.

Recruitment exclusivity: Why putting all your eggs in one basket is no golden strategy

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Phil Clark

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