The Gorge Group

Employer Services - [Retained vs. Contigency]

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Search firms will conduct your search to fill that open position on either a Retained or Contingency basis, but what is the difference and which method is right for your specific project? The following information will help you decide how you want your search conducted.

A Contingency search is defined as a search in which you pay the recruiter ONLY after a candidate has been recruited and has accepted your offer of employment.

In a Retained search, you pay a retainer to the recruiter when you give them authorization to search on your behalf for candidates to fill a position.

Why would you want to pay to engage the services of a recruiter and pay them prior to hiring someone? Why not simply pay them AFTER the search is completed and you actually hire a new member of your staff? Does it make sense to pay for a service in advance when you can pay after the service has been provided? The answer to this question is a definite - Maybe.

The primary deciding factor between Retained and Contingency searches is URGENCY. You need to ask yourself how important it is that your search be completed within a certain time frame and more importantly how important it is that the search be completed. To explain why this is important, you need to know how a recruiter determines what project to work on.

The most important factor that a recruiter looks at is time. A recruiter does not have an inventory to move. The recruiter only has his or her time and must decide where to most effectively use that time. In essence, where that investment of time will have the greatest probability of generating income is where they must spend it.

A recruiter will have multiple Contingency Job Orders that need to be filled. These Job Orders are prioritized based on how quickly and efficiently the recruiter can fill them. The question each recruiter will ask himself or herself is "Which position is closest to the money?"

Your position may be #1 on the list or #15. On a daily basis, this can change. The recruiter actively recruits on only their top 2 or 3 positions. As it may take contacting up to 100 people in your industry to find 1 viable candidate, they simply do not have the time to make the calls to fill all 15. If in the process of searching on that #1 Job Order, the recruiter locates a candidate to fill the #15 position (yours), the recruiter will call and present the candidate to you. The question that you need to ask yourself is "Do I need to fill this position NOW and am I willing to work exclusively with this recruiter?" If the answer to either question is "No", then you should use a Contingency search. If you plan to search to fill the position yourself, use other recruiters, place ads on the Internet and various publications, etc., you should use recruiters on a Contingency basis. However, if it is vital that the position be filled in a specified time frame or is a confidential replacement or you want to turn the project over to a recruiter, a Retained search is the method that you will want to use.

Recruiters' place Retained searches at the top of the stack. They know that you as the employer are serious about filling the position and serious about having the recruiter fill that position for you. Retained searches are always "closest to the money" because you as an employer have paid the recruiter a portion of the agreed upon fee prior to the start of the search to fill your position. If your project is URGENT, then have The GORGE GROUP conduct that search on a Retained basis.

There are other reasons to utilize a Retained search. One of the best is that if we let the possible candidates know that you have asked us to conduct this search on a Retained basis, this lets them know how serious you are about filling the position.

If you need to have multiple positions filled either immediately or over time, there are other arrangements that The GORGE GROUP can work out with you. These include, but are note limited to Engagement Fees, Rolling Retainers, etc. Call us and let us know what your project is and we will be happy to make suggestions.

In all cases, it is important that you communicate with us. If we call you and leave a message, contact us as soon as possible. We don't call to pass the time of day. Tell us what the person who you need has to have as far as background, what part of the background is important and what part of it you would like to have. More importantly, let us know what the person who you hire needs to accomplish for you immediately and in the future. You can help us fill your key position by telling us what it is about your company that would make someone leave a perfectly good job and join your firm.

We at The GORGE GROUP look forward to assisting you in filling your critical positions.