­Contingency or Retained?
These are the two major types of recruiting processes.  On the surface, it appears to be simply an issue of how the recruiter gets paid. A contingency recruiter earns a fee only when the organization hires someone. A retained search consultant, on the other hand, is paid in advance to conduct a search that usually results in a hiring—but not always.

But that difference, when you think about it, dictates two completely different methods of searching for the person you need — and usually ends in two quite different result scenarios

The retained search firm is being paid to conduct the search.  They therefore undertake a much more exhaustive process.  The contingency search firm is paid only when someone gets hired.  Their search process is skewed to producing results rapidly since the more time spent the less profitable the mandate.

Contingency recruiters typically work with a large number of job openings, and, using a database of known candidates, look for matches on paper and send those candidates’ resumes—as many as possible—to clients for possible interviews.

The retained search recruiter on the other hand maintains exhaustive databases of candidates, cultivates contact in sectors in which they work frequently so they know who might be restless, and pre-selects the candidates carefully using advanced assessments for suitability and job fit.  You only see the finalists.



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