Contingency vs Exclusivity - Creating a WIN WIN WIN  Situation in the Healthcare Industry.

Contingency vs Exclusivity - Creating a WIN WIN WIN Situation in the Healthcare Industry.

Posted on 27 November 2019

Many of us are not aware that there are two different types of recruitment which recruiters can work on; Contingency and Exclusivity. Why is contingency recruitment known to be a fool’s game and a lose-lose situation for all parties (clients, candidates, agencies).

What is the difference between contingency and exclusive recruitment and how does it affect the client recruiter and jobseeker? Why should client shift their focus to exclusive and retainer model to achieve better desired recruitment outcome.

Contingency recruitment is based on non-exclusive search and hiring organizations can engage with many agencies to fill in their vacancies. This means, direct competition from other agencies in placing their candidates for your company. There is a simple stand of commitment and responsibility from both agencies and recruiters at this arrangement. Clients who chooses the contingency recruitment model focuses only on quantity and speed over quality, there is no doubt you would receive a high volume of CVs but what about quality profiles that actually make a difference for your company?

During contingency, global studies have shown that recruiters are only filling 20% of the roles given by the clients due to the lack of commitment and involvement from clients. As such, recruiters will resort in engaging with other clients to increase their chances of success. However, in this matter, candidates may suffer the most as they are not given proper attention by the recruiters who are too busy chasing the job order in competition. Likewise, clients are not provided with the 100% commitment of an agency as in a niche market like the healthcare sector where a single excellent candidate is hunted by many other hospitals. This creates a price war and naturally clients who have signed the best payment agreements with the agency and have the highest involvement get the best quality candidates.

In comparison to contingency recruitment, a retained search is more exclusive as the hiring client only engages with a single recruitment agency which allows them to work hand in hand to fill in the vacancies. This is a successful hiring process and there will be involvement between agencies and clients to attract the best talent for your organization. Partnership and collaboration are highly crucial in any recruitment assignment whether it is internally between HRs, hiring managers and agency.

Why is exclusivity in the client’s interest?

With exclusive and retained search, clients are getting the recruiters' full commitment to fill in their vacant role. In this case, a client may think they get more effort from a recruiter when the role is in the competition, but what really happens is a short burst of activity from the recruiter, and then interest wanes as we realize the client is not committed. Instead, we go and place our energy into clients who will work with us as partners.

Secondly, the responsibility of success is now shifted to the recruiter, for example, if the job is given to one recruiter, retained or exclusive, we own the problem while the client does not have to worry and  focus on their other tasks. Exclusivity also means the recruiter has time to do quality and thorough detailed talent searches including networks, communities, and social media. Working exclusively means, the recruiter has time to take the detailed job order. The better and more detailed the order, the better the match.

As for the client, there will only be dealing with one recruiter rather than multiple agents and numerous contacts and feedback on unsuitable CVs. This also allows the client’s confidentiality to be preserved where the role is not being touted around by 5 or 6 recruiters, each speaking to nine or ten candidates about the position and hopefully not selling your company wrongly.

Finally, the client’s brand and image is improved by using one recruiter because their job is not devalued in the eyes of the talent, who will be suspicious if multiple recruiters represent the job.

Let us create a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for you! Do reach out to us to find out how you can get better quality hires for your organization through exclusivity and retainers. Let’s improve the quality of hires for your organization.

For more information on how People360 can help you in finding the best quality talent for your organization, email us now at

Share this article