After gaining a deeper understanding of retained vs. contingency search fees, how do you determine which one fits your unique needs?

From my point of view, it depends on the level of service and attention you seek from your executive recruiter.

When contingency is better

If you only have one job opening to fill, and having that position remain open does not drastically impact your operation, then you’re probably better off selecting the contingency route.  You incur no initial financial outlay, you bear no risk and best of all, you only pay their fee if you want to (when they find you a candidate you want to hire).

When to think about a retained search

Conversely, if your needs are more urgent and/or critical, or if you need more personalized attention and accountability by your recruiter, you may want to take a closer look at a retainer-based relationship.

Remember, the contingency recruiter is taking care of his needs by focusing his efforts where he has the greatest chance of getting paid.  However, the retained recruiter is already getting paid (by you) so your assignment goes to the top of his list, giving you their utmost attention. And because of the nature of the relationship, this comes with a built-in form of accountability placed onto the recruiter.  In essence, they’re yours.

Debunking the myth

While on this topic, there is one last myth I’d like to debunk. All too often I hear clients tell us retained searches are reserved for the executive level positions in their organization.

If that sounds familiar, I ask you to re-look at that statement with what you now know to be true about executive recruitment fees. Ask yourself this question: ‘what bearing does the level of search have on the type of contract you enter into with your recruiter’? Doesn’t it really depend upon the urgency factor of the opening?

Ultimately, the choice to enter into a retained or contingency contract is yours, and you’re free to choose based on your need rather than placement level.

Hopefully, this series has given you all the information you need in order to make an informed choice in your next job search. Now, we want to hear from you. In your most recent contract, did you use a retained or contingency search? Were you happy with the outcome? If you have more questions or want to discuss your search strategy, we’re at 888.NNP.JOBS.