Many businesses feel that having multiple recruitment agencies working on a role (also known as contingent recruitment) is the best way to recruit. 

There are a few reasons why they might feel this way including access to a wider scope of candidates, no obligation to pay a fee unless you employ their selected candidate and to create a sense of urgency and competition amongst agencies.

However, this sense of urgency can often lead to a CV race, which inevitably means that you as the client will receive a high volume of CVs which don’t actually meet up to standards required and have been selected in a rush. If your consultant knows there are multiple recruiters working on a vacancy, would you expect them to invest considerable time and resources on an uncertain assignment?

Contingent recruitment also carries a higher likelihood of candidates backing out during the process, turning down offers or being more easily bought back by their current employer. In some cases, contingent assignments can lead to candidate ownership disputes, which creates uncertainty for the candidate, client and recruiters.

So, what’s the alternative?

Retained recruitment is a method of recruiting where one recruiter works exclusively on the assignment and payment for this service will be made in instalments throughout the process. Retained recruitment is often even more effective at the top-end of the job market where salaries are high and suitable candidates are scarce or not actively seeking new employment.

Why go retained?

Allowing your recruiter guaranteed exclusivity on an assignment ultimately means a better quality result at the end of the process, here’s why:

1. You are buying your consultants time up front so the benefit to your business is that you can guarantee 100% commitment from your recruiter who now has a duty to deliver the assignment.

2. Retained assignments are at the top of a consultant’s agenda every single day until the role is successfully filled.

3. A detailed project plan will be drawn up to highlight exact timescales throughout the process, this can be tailored to your exact requirements.

4. By agreeing timescales up front, the consultant can take their time to fully exhaust the candidate market and source the best talent available. This will include searching through their active candidate database for the best talent, tapping into their passive networks and headhunting on your behalf.

5. Your recruiter will invest more time and money into sponsored advertising across all the major job boards and social media giving an opportunity to sell your brand.

6. The recruiter will save you an enormous amount of time by carrying out all first stage interviews and testing, including general intelligence tests and personality profiling. You are therefore free to do what you do best, which is running your business.

7. You will only need to meet the final shortlist of 2 or 3 people, confident in the knowledge that they will be the best candidates on the market.

8. Your retained recruiter will view themselves as a valued recruitment partner and an extension to your business, ensuring they take the time to fully brief all candidates giving them an accurate and informative insight into your business. The message going out to market is that you and your business take people attraction seriously by investing in a retained search to find the best of the best.

9. Where confidentiality is key, retained recruitment is essential. You can have 100% trust in your chosen recruitment partner ensuring that confidential recruitment is kept that way.

10. In today’s candidate lead market, it is becoming more important for recruiters to have a commitment from clients before going the extra mile to source top quality candidates.

Ultimately, retained recruitment costs no more than contingent and always brings about more effective results.