eggs in basket

Sole Searching: Block Management Recruitment Decisions

Whether you are an employer looking for a new block manager or you are a block manager looking for a new employer, you have a potentially important decision to make.

You’ll ask yourself: Do I put my eggs in one carefully chosen basket or do I spread my risk? In other words, do I instruct one recruitment agent or more than one?

We look through the eyes of the candidate and the employer, at the advantages and disadvantages of ‘sole agency’.


For you as a block manager, client accountant or administrator, your unique circumstances should drive your decision to select just one recruiter to find you a new role or to use multiple.

Say that you are relatively happy in your role but there is no realistic prospect of progression. You decide to take your time to find the ideal new role that does give you the career prospects you desire.

In this case, you would do well to seek the best recruiter out there and give him/her the time and space to find that perfect role. Sole agency would be a sound choice here.

We can tell you point blank that this is the type of scenario we love. You trust in our ability; you give us time to find the right match; and you’re not desperate to jump too quickly and make a hasty decision.

However, if you have reached the end of your tether and would like to move jobs fast, then our suggestion would be first and foremost to have a conversation with a recruiter you trust and see what they have available NOW. If suitable jobs are not currently available, that’s when you may look further afield and sign up with more than one recruiter.

In both scenarios and anything in between, your starting point is turning to the recruiter you trust. They want the best for you and the best for the employer. This recruiter wants you to find the ideal position, to see you grow in the role and use their services when you are recruiting for your own team!

Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages to using a sole agent, from the candidate’s perspective:

Sole agency advantages for candidates:

  1. A sole agent is more likely to find the right job for you, faster.
  2. It’s the best option if you have time to spare
  3. The recruiter will naturally be more incentivised to find you a position, knowing he/she has no competition.
  4. Sole agency means more discretion. There is no chance of your CV landing on the same desk from multiple agencies.


Sole agency disadvantages for candidates:

  1. If time is tight and you need to move fast, opening up the field to more than one recruiter may be the way to go, after making sure the recruiter you trust doesn’t already have the ideal job for you.
  2. With one recruiter looking for you, are you relying on that recruiter’s database of clients (employers), advertising budget, and networking abilities. Again, your choice of sole agent is critical.


As an employer, you are looking for the best candidate within budget, placed for a discounted recruitment fee, and typically you need that person ASAP. The key words here: BEST CANDIDATE. VALUE FOR MONEY. ASAP.

So as an employer, you could cast a net wide by using multiple agencies. There is a finite pool of property managers and client accountants, and an even smaller pool of first-class candidates. Getting to these candidates could be achieved through the use of multiple agencies. Yes, it might mean sifting through dozens of CVs and having several conversations with recruiters but it could work.

For employers, here is a list of pros and cons of sole agency:

Sole agency advantages for employers:

  1. Chose the right sole agent, and you will have access to quality candidates that other recruiters cannot access. These candidates will be better vetted and briefed, and will present well at interview.
  2. A sole agent will inevitably have more incentive to spend some of their marketing budget directly on efforts to find you the best candidate.
  3. With a trusted, sole recruiter, you can ensure you only receive quality over quantity. That means every CV you receive ought to fit the brief and lead to an interview. One source of CVs means easier-to-organise interviews without diary conflict.
  4. With a trusted sole recruiter, you will develop a mutual understanding and in turn, they will be more likely to get what you need sooner. This also means you don’t need to repeat yourself to multiple recruiters!
  5. With a trusted, sole recruiter, you are far more likely to benefit from a discounted fee.
  6. With sole agency, there are no squabbles over candidate ownership. The hiring employer can focus on core business and not worry about managing multiple recruiters.
  7. A sole agent is far less likely to encourage a candidate they have placed to move on again, which frankly isn’t cricket in any case.


Sole agency disadvantages for employers:

  1. It’s possible that a sole recruiter may source candidates from a certain pool/source, which could mean a lack of diversity as your team grows.
  2. If the recruiter you choose is simply not attracting the quantity or quality of candidates and is demonstrating a lack of motivation, you might be losing valuable time you can’t get back! And worse still, the employer is unable to widen the net and approach others due to the exclusivity arrangement.
  3. You’ll not earn the discounted fees that you could if you used only one agent.
  4. Using multiple agents may encourage a sense of competition, with each aiming to be the sole agent next time around.
  5. If quality candidates are registered just with one recruiter and that is a recruiter you have not chosen, you may not get to see them at all.
  6. If the appointed sole recruiter has a poor reputation in our sector, then the employer could be tarred with the same brush, thereby removing an entire pool of available and talented candidates.
  7. In the event of a candidate found to be unsuitable once in the role and therefore needing replacing, sole terms may exclude the use of other recruiters thereby restricting the employer’s ability to re-hire quickly.


In conclusion…

Whether you chose to use a sole recruiter or multiple will depend on your circumstances. Writing this blog demonstrated to us that it’s not a clear-cut issue at all. What IS clear that choosing the RIGHT recruiter is vital.



Rhys Townsend
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