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exclusiveExclusivity or…..

We’ve been noticing a very disturbing trend lately, where some recruitment companies are demanding applicants and employers sign ‘exclusivity agreements’, forcing them to use that company, and that company alone, to find their next job or staff member. Unfortunately, many job-seekers and employers are agreeing to these demands, committing to dealing with one recruitment firm exclusively, and in doing so they are drastically lowering their chances of achieving the best result possible.

The reason these exclusivity agreements are detrimental is pretty obvious – by throwing all your eggs in one basket you’re leaving your fate in the hands of a company who may, or may not, deliver. At Real Estate Job Search we’ve never pushed exclusivity agreements (in fact, we’ve never even drawn one up), and have tried to focus on the concept that if we do our job properly, people will want to use us to find them new job opportunities or new staff members. If we don’t deliver on our promises or get the desired results then they won’t use us. As simple as that.

You also need to ask yourself how much you know about a particular recruitment company before you even consider signing an exclusivity agreement. There are two approaches in our industry, both which are equally applicable when finding a new job for an individual or sourcing a new staff member for a company.

First there are the companies that place ads on generic websites and aim, purely and simply, to canvas as many people as they possibly can. Think of these people like fisherman, albeit pretty lazy fishermen. They know they need to catch some fish, so they pick the broadest stretch of water they can find, cast a huge net, and then cross their fingers and hope they catch something worthwhile.

We’re quite proud of that fact that we subscribe to the alternate way of doing things. To continue the fishing analogy, we opt to emulate the passionate, professional fisherman. Sure, he’s got his favourite places to visit, and secret co-ordinates to the very best spots which have been passed on to him over the years. But he also knows that to really succeed he needs to move with the times, so he’s got the latest equipment and technology, he’s constantly reading, researching and learning new trends, and he’s prepared to adapt and evolve as the months  go by.

Using his research, and his database of the most productive fishing grounds, he chooses the right spot to catch each unique fish. At the end of the day he might only come home with two or three fish. But they’re the right fish. They’re the most nutritious fish. And they’re the specific fish his family asked him to go out and get.

Our first example, on the other hand, is busy wasting time (and if we’re looking at this from a business point of view then read time and money) searching through the hundreds of fish that wound up in his net. Most are too small, some are completely inedible, and of course there are plenty of old Coke cans and discarded gumboots in the mix!

Just like the fisherman who combines his experience, his research and his instincts to target specific fish, we choose to source specific talent for each unique position and each unique client. Rather than closing our eyes and throwing a generic ad in to cyberspace we use proven techniques, a database that we’ve painstakingly created through years of industry experience, and a willingness to open new doors and try different avenues.

And we’re confident that our approach really does work, and really does achieve better results. We’re so confident that we don’t need to pressure people in to signing exclusivity agreements. There is a world of opportunities to be discovered, and people should be faced with the widest variety of options and choice possible. That puts the onus back on us to do our job more efficiently than our competitors – as long as we’re finding the best jobs, and the best candidates, in the fastest possible time, we’ll get paid.

And if we can’t? then what right do we have to force someone in to signing an exclusivity contract with us?


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