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Contingency Recruitment v Retained Recruitment – Chalk v Cheese

Contingency Recruitment v Retained Recruitment – Chalk v Cheese

Contingency Recruitment v Retained Recruitment – Chalk v Cheese

How often have you struggled to fill a vacancy despite having a number of recruiters working on it?  Does it frustrate you that engaging all these recruiters was supposed to make your life easier and yet it feels like it’s cost you time and effort not to mention the effect it’s had on your blood pressure?


Why doesn’t using multiple recruiters make life easier?

  • Recruiters earn their fees not based on input/output but on results. The more recruiters you engage on your vacancy the less chance each one has to fill it.  The lower the prospects of filling a vacancy the lower the commitment a recruiter can afford to give to your vacancy.
  • The more recruiters you engage the more CVs you receive – making the whole point of recruiters pre-screening and pre-assessing candidates redundant. It’s over you to short-list.  And you thought that was the recruiters job!
  • Each of those recruiters on board to “help” are in competition with each other. Each one will call/email you with varying degrees of persistence to try and get their candidates ahead of the field.
  • If you find you your ideal candidate in this first round and successfully appoint you may consider the short-term pain was perhaps worth it.  If you’re not so lucky and have to go back to the recruiters for more CVs you may find second time round they’re nowhere near as keen.  The odds of filling what is now a “difficult” role have fallen.  Many will simply take the view they’ll leave it the other recruiters they know you’ve engaged to fill it for you.  And when they all take that view … Months later you’re no further on and now business is suffering from a gap in the structure.


What CAN you do to make your recruitment easier?

  • Engage just one recruiter – make it someone who understands your industry and who has a strong network in your industry.
  • Make them accountable for filling your vacancy by showing your commitment to them by retaining their services with an up-front payment of part of the final fee – you’ll get this back if the recruiter can’t find any suitable candidates for your role.
  • Let them go out and map the talent relevant to your vacancy, pre-screen appropriate candidates and meet them face-to-face before presenting you with a shortlist of 3 or 4 candidates well-matched to your vacancy, business and culture.
  • Interview candidates and employ the best one.
  • You’re happy, the candidates are happy and the recruiter is happy.


For many clients the reason they shy away from what sounds like an obvious choice when recruiting for business-critical roles is the misconception that retained recruitment is just too costly.  This doesn’t have to be the case.  Why not give us a bell and find out, you may be pleasantly surprised.   We’d love to chat through with you how our retained recruitment service will save you time and effort with no detrimental effect on your blood pressure whilst enhancing the profile of you and your business to future prospective employees.