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Retainer vs. Contingency

WHY Retainer vs. Partial Retainer

Harwood Allen has conducted many retained searches. Questions that are often asked by the hiring company are usually, “Why would we retain a firm when we can hire 2 or 3 contingency firms without dedicating up-front funds to any of them. Their reasoning is that we get all the coverage we need without paying any one firm until they deliver.

The following are some Client Benefits and justification for a Retained search:

  • Focused, Full Coverage Search – Contingency search is much like a race. The recruiting firm hurries to get as much coverage quickly. The rule of thumb is with Contingency firms is if we don’t find solid candidates with in 10 work days – “we put this one on the back burner!”. This happens because there are no guarantees for the recruiter. Because he/she has no guarantees, the tendency is to work on as many searches as they can find to improve their odds. The lack of commitment from the employer allows the recruiter to drop one assignment in order to work on searches they are more confident in filling.

  • Candidate Exclusivity – Retained Search is given much more priority by all involved. More prospective candidates will be recruited, interviewed, screened and qualified in less time. With exclusivity, the Search Firm leave’s no stone unturned in finding the most qualified candidates. They do not have to work as many searches and dedicate more time and energy to your search exclusively.

  • Higher Quality Candidates – Working with a bunch of recruiters/recruiting firms encourages shoddy work and takes 2 to 3 to 4 times the amount of time; the hiring manager or HR professional has to explain the search to each firm and then deal with 2 to 3 different firms in the hiring process – it takes a lot of time. Yes, you can have an internal staffing Manager manage the recruiters but then the recruiters do not get the nuances and needs for the best hire, directly from the hiring manager(s). They get watered down feedback from an over worked internal recruiter and never truly “get” what makes the best candidate directly from “THE” hiring Manager.

  • Confident Candidates/Search Status – Two or more recruiters working on the same search within the same candidate pool can result in a key candidate resisting an opportunity. Why can this happen? It says loudly to the candidates that the client does not have confidence in one recruiter and the candidate receiving multiple calls may question the confidentiality of the relationship and subsequently believe the position is not a high priority to the hiring company. In this case many of the best candidates will NOT put themselves in an interviewing position. In this case, the hiring company does not get the chance to talk with and potentially attract the best passive candidates; the candidates they will attract are the jobs shoppers and hoppers posted on their favorite job sites....

  • The Cost Is The Same – The service fee for our retained search assignments is exactly the same as our contingency services but the benefits are superior.

  • The Client Is Informed Through The Entire Search Process – Retained search is an exclusive arrangement. For this we guarantee to present qualified candidates within a reasonable amount of time. Our/Your dedication creates a situation where we can confidently spend all of our time on your search!

  • Mutual Benefit/WIN-WIN – The best approach to hiring top talent for your company comes from a retained search where both the recruiter and you, as the client are committed to each other during the search process. In both cases the retained recruiter and client will benefit by finding and hiring the best, qualified candidate for your specific career opportunity.

Phone: 703-895-8851 • Email: Mark@HarwoodAllen.com


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