How to Get Candidate Exclusivity

Your candidate search has brought you to a rockstar candidate. You can’t let that candidate slip away to their own job search or to another recruiter. You decide you need to find a way to keep that candidate on your list so you can place them with one of your clients and reap your recruiting fee.

You can try asking for exclusivity. You probably have heard of a recruiter exclusivity agreement. This is when the client agrees to only give the search assignment to you, so you’re not competing with other recruiters to find a candidate first. Candidate exclusivity is similar. Candidates agree to let only you handle their job search. They promise not to work with other recruiters or send out applications on their own.

Why should you get candidate exclusivity?

Candidate exclusivity is beneficial when you have your hands on an in-demand candidate. A hot candidate is almost a guaranteed fee, so you want to keep them in your system.

If you don’t want a candidate to look at other jobs so you can keep them available for a particular one, you can ask them exclusivity. Or, you might ask for exclusivity if you want to be the sole person to represent a candidate because you know they will be an easy placement for you.

Because you are the sole person representing the candidate in their job search, you know exactly who is interested in them and what offers they have. You can use this to your and the candidate’s advantage. You can negotiate a better deal for the candidate. And as the candidate’s deal gets better, so does your recruiter fee.

Candidate exclusivity can also help you prevent disputes with other recruiters. If you don’t have an exclusivity agreement with a client, the client might tell multiple recruiters about an open job. If you and another recruiter submit the same candidate, there might be a dispute about who gets the payout if the candidate is selected. But if you have candidate exclusivity, you’re sure to get the money.

How to ask for exclusivity

If you’re ready to ask a candidate for exclusivity, use the following tips.

Grow rapport

Before you ask a candidate for exclusivity, you need to build rapport with them. You shouldn’t ask a new candidate for exclusivity out of the blue. Ideally, you will have had multiple conversations and know a bit about each other.

If you don’t build trust and a relationship in advance, you might not choose a good candidate for exclusivity. And the candidate might reject you because they don’t trust you and understand what you can do for them.

Sell yourself

When you’re a recruiter, you’re always trying to sell something to someone. In this case, you need to sell yourself to the candidate. You need to convince the candidate that it’s worthwhile to work exclusively with you.

Tell the candidate why exclusivity will benefit them. You should not talk about how candidate exclusivity will benefit you. Also, you should never guarantee that you can place them.

If you specialize in recruiting for a specific field or industry, tell the candidate. Let them know that you understand their career path and can help them continue their professional journey.

Show your results from working with other candidates. You might present numbers about how quickly you placed candidates. You can pull stats from your recruiting software.

If you have testimonials from previous candidates, let the candidate read them.

Explain the process

Walk the candidate through what your process looks like. Mention everything you plan to do for them.

Tell the candidate how often you’ll be in touch. They should know when to expect updates and how they’ll receive them.

Also, tell the candidate how long you expect them to remain exclusive for. Explain why you chose that period of time. Tell the candidate what they can and cannot do during the exclusivity period. And, mention what happens when the exclusivity agreement has ended.

Set a time limit

Ask for a reasonable period of candidate exclusivity. You can’t ask for unending exclusivity. Instead, it might be more reasonable to ask for a few days or a few weeks of exclusivity.

Think about how long is reasonable to place the candidate. And, consider how many open job orders and leads you have.

Address hesitations

Ask the candidate about their hesitations of being exclusive. They are bound to have hesitations. Don’t settle for, “I don’t have hesitations, but I’m going to decline.” If a candidate doesn’t want to be exclusive, there must be a reason why.

Use the candidate’s hesitations to sell them on exclusivity. You know what’s holding them back, so fight against their resistance.

Contact dream employers

When you have an exclusive, stand-out candidate, you might try a different tactic to place the candidate. Ask the candidate who they want to work for. Then, contact those companies to pitch your rockstar candidate. One of the businesses might jump at the chance to scoop up the candidate. The company will get a great employee, the candidate gets to work with a dream company, and you get paid.

This method might also help you gain new clients. The candidate’s desires can help you get in front of more companies. As companies gain exposure to you, they might be willing to hire your recruiting services, even if they pass on this particular candidate.

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