Retained vs Contingent Search

The two main hiring vehicles that companies use for outsource hiring of management, industry specific sales and other professional staff are contingent recruiters or a retained executive search consultant.

If a company does not want to outsource this work, but would rather achieve their search internally, they may find it a more difficult than they anticipated in achieving their hiring objectives. Anyone can make a hire, but not necessarily the right or best hire. Often, many qualified candidates do not respond to ads, and are overlooked. In addition to search and identification, other time consuming, essential components exist. This may include evaluation, assessment, negotiation, and reference checking to name but a few. The right firm will help assure the best hire for both company and candidate.

Retained vs. Contingency - Is the central difference an issue of how the recruiter gets paid?
Contrary to popular myth, the central difference between retained and contingent recruiting is not based on how the recruiter conducting the search is compensated, but the process. Ultimately, compensation structure is the main factor in determining the way the search is conducted. It has to by its very nature. A contingent recruiter is paid only when a hire is made. On the flip side of the coin, a retained search consultant is paid a portion of the fee up front to conduct a search that almost always results in a hire. If you are considering a retained executive search firm, but hesitate, due to the fact that your company has to pay before seeing results, you are wise in your thinking. The way to resolve that worry is to contact the search firm's references. If they have worked with multiple firms over an extended period of time, this is an indication that they are legitimate. In addition, if they have successfully completed most if not all of the projects with the client, it becomes evident that the firm is capable of doing what they say they can do. If they do not have a sustaining, successful track record, their reputation will precede them. The key is to look at whether they have a long-term vision, or a short goal when dealing with clients.

The way the fee is paid has everything to do with how the entire process is carried out and the results that can be expected. When a firm retains the services of a contingent recruiting firm, they are allowing that firm to present qualified candidates they may consider hiring. When a firm obtains the services of a retained executive search firm, they are paying for the process of conducting the search. Expectations for the right hire should be expected.

    Retained vs Contingent Search Models