Exclusive or Multiple Agency Engagement?

Choosing the right agency to recruit for your role and your company is key. Considerations to take into account can be agency specialism, geographic coverage, fees and the individual consultant who will handle your role.

When working with agencies, have you ever wondered why they look to secure the vacancy on an exclusive basis?

Fee arrangements will be greatly reduced if they are engaged exclusively because the risk of not filling is greatly reduced. You are happy that the fee has been discounted and the agency is happy because in theory they should successfully fill the role. Beyond the reduction in fee, what are the pros and cons of engaging an agency on an exclusive basis?


  • Your chosen agency can truly act as a recruitment partner because they will not feel the pressure of competition, making the process more consultative.
  • There are agreed timescales, clear planning and quantifiable objectives.
  • Because you have committed to the agency, the agency will be committed to you.
  • Avoid candidate duplication – if multiple agencies are approaching the same candidates this can devalue your company with the possibility of losing suitable applicants.
  • Time saved with regards to fielding the multiple questions (many of which are normally the same) for multiple agencies.


  • If there is an emphasis on speed and you need a vast amount of CVs to consider very quickly, this may be beyond the capacity of even the hardest working agency.
  • Candidate journey is detrimentally affected because agencies will fear the activity of competitors and look to log CVs first and quickly.
  • If one of the agencies knows of one candidate who has already applied to your role through a competitor, they will look to proactively place them elsewhere.
  • Methodology changes with contact being done via email and telephone rather than face to face. This is both for candidates and employers meaning agencies will not gain a deep understanding of candidate profile and of your role and company culture.

We feel most satisfied when partnering with an employer on an exclusive basis where we can meet in person, gain an in-depth knowledge of the company and role which therefore informs our decision making when short listing candidates.

There is trust on both sides which hopefully means we can build a long lasting and mutually beneficial working relationship.

Bowen Eldridge Recruitment is based in Cardiff and specialises in Accountancy Practice, Finance and Marketing recruitment.