A contingency firm may, and often does, represent individuals seeking placement and is generally paid by a client only after a placement has been made. A retained firm only represents employer clients and is “retained” or paid up-front on an installment basis.

A contingency firm is usually in competition with other similar firms for a placement, which can result in a rush to “blanket” the client with less than targeted resumes. A retained firm only conducts search assignments on an exclusive basis resulting in a partnership between client and recruiter, which drives a highly targeted and effective process.

A contingency firm usually works on lower-level positions in an organization, and a retained firm usually works at higher organizational levels where more thorough and detailed searches are required.

A contingency firm will spend less time on initial research and the job specification. They may not even meet the client management and may deal with the client only via telephone. The retained firm gains a thorough understanding of the client’s organization, their corporate culture and the responsibilities of the position to be filled before initiating the research and search process. In conjunction with the client, they create a job profile that helps attract the best candidate to meet your present and future needs.

The contingency firm is placement-oriented, and they may focus primarily on candidates who are active job seekers. The retained firm, on the other hand, focuses their efforts on a broad range of potential candidates who are the best in their field; most of whom are not in “job search mode”. These candidates are drawn from targeted companies, databases and networking sources.

A contingency recruiter will be working with a host of job orders which results in less than individual service, whereas the retained recruiter will typically handle a limited number of assignments at any given time resulting in an aggressive, focused approach to your search.

Since contingency firms are known to “shop” candidate’s resumes, they tend to attract the least discriminating job seekers. The confidential and discreet nature of Retained Search interests the highest quality candidates who are very particular about confidentiality and the firms they work with.

Contingency firms may only provide a cursory phone screen of candidates with no in-person interviews. Retained search firms conduct extensive phone interviews followed by in-person interview(s) to determine the candidate’s fit for the position.

Contingency firms generally do not provide detailed candidate profiles to supplement the candidate’s resume. Retained firms provide detailed candidate profiles drawn from extensive interviews. These profiles provide a thorough analysis of the candidate for your review so you can make an informed determination as to whether you wish to devote your and your associates’ time to interviewing him/her.

The results are different:
While a retained recruiter will submit 2 – 4 highly qualified candidates to the client, the contingency recruiter will submit substantially more candidates (and resultant paperwork) to the client to increase the probability of a placement.

The retained route will require less time on the part of the client’s HR/Staffing managers and hiring managers due to the intensive screening and interviewing done by the recruiter. The contingency path will require significantly more HR and hiring manager time for interviewing and evaluating candidates.

The end result with retained search is a more streamlined and less time-consuming search for the client and a higher caliber new hire.

As stated earlier, both contingency and retained have their place. As a rule, contingency search is preferred for lower level assignments where such in-depth interviewing is not required. For positions at a level that are significantly important to the organization, the thoroughness of retained search is preferred.

What to expect with Heritage Recruiting Group:
With Heritage Recruiting Group, a retained search firm, you can expect all that is outlined above as characteristic of retained firms — and more.

We do not limit our efforts on our clients’ behalf to only the highest level (and highest fee!) searches. We believe that “retained search” means entering into a partnership with our clients.

That partnership includes completing searches by finding the right candidate for the job in a timely manner. Because we know that nothing is more important to your company’s success than high-caliber people who will help grow your company and will grow with your company.

The “Corporate Culture”:
“Corporate culture” is one of the most widely used “buzz” words these days. It is also one of the most important “matchups” to be made in selecting new hires. Yet, for all its importance, it remains almost ethereal — difficult to “get your arms around”.

Companies are very aware of it. Candidates ask questions about it when they are being considered by a company. The problem is defining it.

At Heritage Recruiting Group, we recognize that a perfect match of candidate and client includes not only the technical skills to excel in the job but also, very importantly, a cultural match between the two.

Once you have selected us to do your important search, we make every effort to fully understand your particular corporate culture. We do this through in-depth discussions with your Human Resources people and with the particular hiring managers involved with this search.

You can rest assured that when we begin our search, we truly understand what you are looking for in a candidate — from all facets.

In addition, our partnership also includes working with you to fill all of your recruiting needs — from high-level to less-senior positions. Just because we are a “retained” firm doesn’t mean that we won’t accommodate you in filling a lower level position. You may very well need the more targeted services of a retained firm. At Heritage, we’re nothing if not flexible.

Additionally, in today’s marketplace, many companies have multiple positions that need to be filled. Whether it’s two or three, or several hundred, Heritage Recruiting Group will discuss with you the many innovative ways that we can structure multiple searches. Due to economies of scale, substantial savings can result.

Let our Search Professionals meet with you to discuss your requirements. Allow us the opportunity to demonstrate how we can address the full spectrum of your recruiting needs. You’ll agree that Heritage Recruiting Group redefines the meaning of “retained search”!