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10 Benefits of Retained Recruitment

Searching for the best talent is usually challenging to most HR managers, primarily when recruiting candidates with unique skill sets. Therefore, you need a recruitment service that is more efficient in order to find such talent. Fortunately, there is the retained search that prioritizes your needs to help you meet even the hard-to-find candidates fast. This recruitment method has been of assistance to most employers, and it’s about time that you also try it and enjoy the retained recruitment benefits.

What is Retained Recruitment

Retained recruitment is a method of hiring whereby you get to pay a recruiter or agency a retainer fee for them to prioritize your recruitment needs. By doing so, you get to meet and hire the most suitable candidate fast. Although you will give up some control over the hiring process, the retained recruiter will work with you hand in hand until the most qualified candidate for your vacant position is found.

Contingency vs. Retained Recruitment

Now that you understand the retained search meaning, note that there is also contingency search recruitment. In contingency recruitment, a recruiter or hiring agency only gets paid once a candidate has been sourced and successfully hired. Failure to find a suitable candidate will leave the recruiter with no payment. 

A contingent recruiter assumes higher risks than the retained recruiter. For this reason, they will rush to find you a candidate in order to get paid, which does not guarantee higher levels of stability and certainty. That is why most employers, especially those looking to fill senior positions, prefer retained recruitment because it is more convenient.

Retained Recruitment Fees

The comparison above on retained vs. contingency recruitment shows that retained recruiters receive an upfront payment before resuming their duties and the balance once a candidate is successfully hired. In case the right candidate is not found within the agreed timeframe, a refund is expected. 

In most scenarios, retained recruiters source candidates for top or senior positions with salaries starting from $150,000. Their payment schedules vary, but in most cases, you will be required to pay in three equal installments. All in all, it depends on the retained recruitment terms of business. Therefore, ensure you are on the same page before committing to one another.

Benefits of Retained Recruitment

You might be skeptical about paying an upfront fee for a candidate search using retained recruitment, but this recruitment method has many benefits. Take a look below at why you should consider a retained search rather than the contingency method. 

1. Higher Priority: Since you will be paying a retainer fee for this recruitment method, your hiring needs will be prioritized. As a result, the recruiting agency will focus fully on sourcing the right candidate for you fast.

2. Quality Talent: A retained search is usually conducted by highly trained and skilled professionals. Therefore, if you seek to fill a position with a unique skill set, retained search guarantees quality talent. Their main goal is quality over time, and instead of rushing to find a candidate to get paid, they will take their time to find quality talent, which is more important to any organization looking to hire more employees.

3. Saves Time and Money: Retained recruiters have all the necessary resources to find the best candidate for any vacancy position. Therefore, utilizing their services helps you fill a position quickly, which saves time compared to conducting the recruitment internally. The process also saves you money in the long run since most candidates sourced by retained recruiters intend to work for you long-term.

4. Stronger Relationship: For the best candidate to be found, a retained recruiter will have to work hand in hand with you to understand your organizational needs. As a result, a strong relationship will develop, making them work even harder to find the most suitable candidate.

5. More Flexible: It’s a no-brainer that retained recruiters are more committed to their tasks than their contingency counterparts. Therefore their main goal is to satisfy you even if it means going the extra mile as long as you are willing to agree on matters regarding timeline, payment, rebate periods, and more.

6. Maintain Your Brand’s integrity: Retained search is more focused on specific tasks, and working with a retained recruitment agency means that your company will be fully represented to the public and potential employees. This is unlike working with multiple recruitment agencies, where you can lose control of how your business is marketed.

7. Guarantees Discretion and Confidentiality: Working with a single retained recruitment agency secures your company information. Although hiring a contingency recruiter might also be safe, working with many agencies is risky, and you have an increased chance of having your business information leaked to your competitors.

8. Offloads Company Tasks: A retained recruiter does all the candidate search, and sourcing and only presents you with the most suitable candidates for interviews. For this reason, most of the recruitment tasks will be offloaded, allowing you to concentrate on other matters that boost productivity.

9. More Exclusive: Imagine a scenario whereby multiple recruiters approach a candidate for similar job roles. It gives them more power over you, right? The last thing you want as an employer is looking desperate before a candidate. That is why retained recruitment is exclusive, meaning that the candidates you get presented with have not been approached by any other recruiter. This helps maintain your dignity and saves you from embarrassing and complicated scenarios.

10. Proactive Recruiting Approach: Retained search not only considers candidates who are actively searching for new roles but also those who do not. As a result, there will be a more comprehensive selection of candidates, which maximizes your chances of meeting top talent.


Retained recruitment is your best bet if you are looking for quality talent willing to work long-term. The market hosts plenty of retained recruitment agencies. Therefore, it is important that you fully understand the retained recruitment terms of business before partnering with a recruiter. This way, you will be able to fully understand your roles in the recruitment process and be on the same page until the right candidate is successfully hired.

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