Contingency versus Retained

Contingency versus Retained in Meeting the needs, Process versus Placement and Guaranteed results

Contingency versus Retained
…Meeting the needs


Retained Search Firms
• Conducts assignments on exclusive basis only and in a consultative manner.

• Must know client organization and position responsibility/ requirements thoroughly before beginning the search.

• Relieves the employer of the burden of qualifying candidates, saving valuable company time.


Contingency Search Firms

• Are usually in competition with the client and other similar firms or agencies for the placement.

• Tends to spend less time on initial research and specification; may not even meet with client and deals solely on the telephone.

• Contingency firms generally forward raw resumes to an employer, burdening both the employer and candidate to screen each other.




Contingency versus Retained
…Process versus Placement


Retained Search Firms

• Candidates in database as well as hard-to-find candidates are uncovered.

• Focuses recruiting and evaluation efforts on a broad range of potential candidates, most of whom are not in the active job market. Process and result oriented.

• The search firm is paid to manage the hiring process throughout, and is not in the business of selling candidates to a client, thus maintaining the integrity of the process by carefully screening candidates.

• Exhaustive interviews of candidates, in-person. The better the recruiter understands your “compelling story” the more successful the end result.


Contingency Search Firms

• Contingency recruiters will provide resumes in database as quickly as possible. Candidates outside of database are rarely contacted.

• Time is of the essence without regard to quality because of structured incentives. Focus primarily on applicants/candidates seeking new employment. Placement oriented.

• The contingency firm is paid incentives to be in the business of selling resumes or “bodies” as fast as possible.

• Screening process is brief and generally done by telephone only.



Contingency versus Retained 
…Guaranteed results


Retained Search Firms

• Provides client with thorough documentation, including a written summary of candidate’s strengths, and weaknesses, position and salary history, written references, motivations, and compensation requirements.

• Thoroughly prepares candidates before client interviews with details on the position’s requirements and the client’s environment and history.

• Reputable firms offer a professional guarantee and commitment to detail and ethical practices and results.

• Fees based on salary, time or flat quote plus expenses, average 20-30% of placement’s first year’s compensation.

• More cost and time effective for clients since only the most viable candidates are presented.


Contingency Search Firms

• Provides client with a resume and salary request.

• Sends candidates on interviews without an understanding of the specific job or the company’s requirements or expectations.

• Reputable firms under no obligation to guarantee or produce results due to contingency fee arrangement (paid on placement only).

• Similar fees in the 10-20% range.