The latest DWR Newsletter is now available.

Aimed primarily at #HiringManagers#HR Executives #Employers and #Companies who understand #recruitment and appreciate the values of outsourcing to professional service provider.

Why Exclusivity beats Contingency: The difference between Executive Search and Agency Recruitment

For those of you who have read the previous 4 DWR Newsletters and understand and appreciate the true value of #ExecutiveSearch, you will know that part of being able to provide a professional, specialised and dedicated service requires time to plan, instigate and manage a campaign if it is to be done properly and effectively.

A contingency agency will send you CVs within a day or two (or even a couple of hours), but the service they offer differs in a major way to that offered by Executive Search providers, like DWR.

The contingency agent’s motivation and business model focuses on a fast turn-around service based on “volume.” I.e., They depend on having multiple clients that use them in combination with other agencies in a race to submit CVs in the expectation that some clients, some of the time, will take some of their candidates (interestingly, contingency agencies globally achieve a placement success rate of only 30%). Their service therefore is rushed because they are competing against each other with exactly the same candidate CVs found on exactly the same online CV banks and are interested only in getting those CV’s to you first. They have no time to be thorough or precise, or offer any kind of meaningful commitment to your company’s needs. Their service is, by definition, unavoidably of a lower quality, and not at all appropriate for clients who require a specific type and calibre of candidate. They operate on Quantity over Quality.

The contingency style of recruitment might be adequate for companies that have a high turnover of employees, only need lower level or less-qualified workers, or have multiple entry level positions, but with charges that only equate to approximately one month’s salary or perhaps 8% to 10% of the annual salary, as one would expect of a mediocre service, it is never going to be a fully comprehensive service or able to satisfy a professional employer’s requirement if they are serious about developing an effective workforce and increased long term productivity.  

When you really analyse the efficiency (cost, time and end-result) of operating a policy of managing your recruitment (or any outsourced service) on a contingency basis, a company will soon realise how futile and unproductive it is. This link to an article that highlights the pointlessness of using a contingency approach to outsourcing offers a valuable explanation…

The more experienced #HiringManagers and #HR leaders in Ghana and West Africa and now beginning to understand that, when seeking more senior roles or positions that carry responsibility (and therefore a higher standard and calibre of employee who possess not merely the requisite qualifications and experience, but also the appropriate attitude, character and mindset), Executive Search is the more sensible, effective and ultimately more cost effective approach. Slowly, they are realising what a false economy a contingency option really is.

It is important to bear in mind that I don’t just download CVs matched to a few key words or provide my clients with a vague selection of candidates to consider and analyse. On the contrary, I approach the market directly. I don’t even use job boards (especially since all they tend to contain are out-of-date CVs or candidates who have long since become unavailable!). I have my own up-to-date candidate databases and due to my extensive global network can access a huge catchment area of appropriate personnel who are not necessarily actively seeking a role, promoting their availability, or registered on public job boards, Facebook, or other ineffective repositories of CVs. 

There is more to Executive Search than just giving a client some CVs!

With 30+ years of specific experience behind me and possessing finely honed knowledge of the senior recruitment process, being able (and capable) of reaching so many people means I can search for, find and supply a quality of candidate that contingency agencies are simply not engineered to do. These two types of recruitment methods work very differently to each other, and theoretically can still serve a certain purpose together if, for example, a small to medium-sized sized company, or one that is just starting up, engages the contingency option for their initial basic operational employees and an Executive Search provider for the mid to high level managerial and senior roles, HoD’s and Directors, etc. But relying on the contingency recruitment model is an outdated approach albeit until the 1990’s was the only option available. Yes, it’s cheap (in the short-term though, not the long-term), and to the uninitiated and inexperienced hiring manager it might appear to represent a great source of potential employees, but it fails now in this competitive age of technology and efficiencies to actually provide what modern progressive employers really need – carefully sourced, highly qualified, skilled talent. Only an Executive Search process can provide this kind of candidate. 

So, to manage a successful campaign, an Executive Search provider requires a certain amount of time: It cannot be done overnight, and neither can it be achieved by using job boards. In general terms, I require 3 or 4 weeks to put together a shortlist of candidates for interview – this involves the promotion of the vacancy via appropriate channels; a deep search of my existing databases; direct personalised and confidential approaches; extensive filtering and research; the issuing of candidate questionnaires and reviewing the responses; a great deal of communication with a high number of applicants; further filtering; personal interviewing; and final shortlisting. Such a process takes considerable time.

In addition to the time that an Executive Search provider invests into a campaign, there is also the matter of their experience, expertise, and resources. All these elements make up and justify the professional fees for supplying a professional service. Further, in agreeing to take on a client, I can refer to a database of candidates, developed over decades, that neither they nor a contingency agency has access to.

In summation, when engaging the services of an Executive Search provider like DWR, you are activating a process that will require between 150 to 250+ hours of dedicated, specialised work. At the end of which, you will will be presented with a shortlist of qualified candidates all capable of undertaking the duties of the vacancy that needs to be filled. You will free up time that would otherwise be wasted on trying to achieve such a campaign yourself and can instead be diverted to your core activities. You will minimise your recruitment costs, and you will benefit from higher staff retention rates, increased productivity and ultimately a more established management team and/or workforce. (The DWR Terms of Service and Search Agreement provides further detail of the service you will receive and how it is administered).

Such a service obviously requires that the client grant to the Executive Search provider the exclusive time needed to conduct a professional search and put into motion the processes needed to generate a shortlist of candidates. Doing so in competition with another or multiple providers of the same service is self-defeating and pointless. And as with any provider of a professional service, there is always a minimum contract fee. Therefore, engaging with, say, three professional providers for the same vacancy, although will probably result in finding a candidate will also require that you sign three contracts instead of one, will generate three times the amount of work for yourself by virtue of all the extra (and wholly unnecessary) additional candidates to process (some of which inevitably will be duplicated – yet further complicating the relationship with the recruiters when it comes to deciding who submitted the CV first!), and, just as bad, will expose yourself if not to paying three fees then at least the frustration and admin caused in having to cancel or backout of two of the three Agreements you committed to. It’s a messy, inefficient use of your time and resources, and achieves only in convoluting and impeding what essentially is a straightforward exercise if outsourced in the first place to a single professional capable of doing it all smoothly and expertly on your behalf.

The established outsourcing of Executive Search (and many other internal operational functions) exists as a major global tool to businesses for a reason: It is more effective, time efficient, easier, quicker and cheaper than doing it yourself!

Exclusivity demonstrates commitment on both sides. To me, it protects my service and offers me security. No professional provider of any kind of service (whether outsourced, contracted, or retained) anywhere in the world is going to invest their time, resources and experience into a dedicated assignment if there is the slightest risk that at the end of, or at any point during it, they might not get paid. And on the client’s side, they have the security of knowing that the provider they have appointed is guaranteeing them the maximum attention and service they demand and for which they will ultimately be invoiced. The client justifiably should expect their Executive Search provider to be working on their vacancy exclusively. 

Exclusivity therefore is a two-way street and is a requirement by necessity. It serves both parties’ interests and helps achieve the best possible outcome in as swift and cost-efficient manner as possible. Without exclusivity, an Executive Search provider simply becomes a contingency agent and as such their service and talents are undermined, diluted, and diminished in value and effectiveness. Their motivation is eroded because they will inevitably suspect their client of not being serious in their intentions and will be permanently conscious of the risk they are taking by having no assurance of payment. Exclusivity removes this risk and cements the relationship between client and provider. It formalises that relationship and adds mutual strength, value and trust. Exactly as any contract needs to be for a successful outcome.

Like all other providers of Executive Search, my services automatically include exclusivity as a security, an incentive and a motivation as well as the internationally supported way of providing the highest standards of service to my clients.

Unlike most however, I do not ask for an open-ended period of exclusivity. Instead, I ask for a reasonable period in which to present a shortlist. Therefore, if after an agreed timeframe, you are either dissatisfied or I decide that I am unable to find the person you need, the contract can become void or extended minus the exclusivity condition thus allowing the client to open up the vacancy to another provider (a highly unlikely scenario, incidentally). This is a fair and equitable solution that benefits both sides, is the standard operating norm globally, and is proven to be the best way of engaging in a professional relationship.

DWR Executive and Expatriate Search – Ghana, Nigeria & West Africa offers a bespoke, confidential and personalised service aimed at companies who take their workforce solutions seriously and understand the value of an outsourced provider of professional senior level recruitment services.

As well as visiting the DWR website, you might also want to connect with Dominic Ryan on LinkedIn and review his background and business experience. 

Join the LinkedIn DWR Executive Page and follow for updates, news and vacancy posts. You can also find DWR on Facebook and X (Twitter).

You are invited to subscribe to and then forward this Newsletter to your professional business network and colleagues on and off LinkedIn. #HR executives, #HiringManagers and #employers will particular appreciate receiving it. Please just click and share this link:

Thank you for your support and I invite contact from company’s to arrange a meeting to discuss your business’s unique recruitment requirements.

Ghana Tel: +233 (0) 202 800 466 WhatsApp: +44 (0) 7835 396 349 Email: [email protected]

Previous DWR Newsletters – An Introduction to Dominic Ryan and DWR · 

The Dynamic Relationship between Recruiter & Client · 

How Serious are Employers about Recruitment ·   

The 7 Benefits of Outsourcing

Action Now for 2024

#Recruitment #WestAfrica #Executives #Expatriate #Talent #TalentSourcing #Headhunter #ExecutiveSearchConsultant #Ghana #Nigeria #hiringmanager #personnel #employer #HR #humanresources #talentacquisition #talentsearch #personnel #hrdirector #findexecutives #DWR #DWRExecutiveSearch #staffingsolutions #staffingandrecruiting #WestAfrica #headhunting #recruiter #professionalexecutivesearch #bespokerecruitment #executivesearch #seniorexecutivesearch #expatriate #expatriaterecruitment #expat #expatriateexecutive