Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What is Retained Search Recruitment and Contigency Search Recruitment and their advantages and disadvantages

Retained Search Recruitment and Contingency Search Recruitment:

Retained Search :
A retained search is an employee screening process used by recruitment companies. It is designed to enable highly skilled professionals to find opportunities in the work environment.

Recruitment companies that use the retained search process are able to offer employers highly skilled candidates with proven track records.

Retained search is preferable in cases where a company has a pressing executive level need that requires a candidate who will hold key leadership responsibilities and whose services are integral to overall organizational success. Given the strategic importance of these positions, there is often a degree of urgency, and often confidentiality, that accompanies this type of search.

The retained search process includes
• Set criteria in order to obtain the best candidates for any given role.
• To begin with, the recruitment company obtains a thorough understanding of the company they are recruiting for. This provides them not only with an idea of the type of company, but also with a better understanding of the job role involved. This means that the candidate will get a better idea of the role that is being offered.
• The next step is the preparation of the candidate that employers are looking for.
• When both the candidate and the employer are aware of the expectations from both sides, a better fit for the job role can be found.
• The agency scouts out organizations and areas where the best candidate can be found.
• They also use a large research database of candidates specifically for the retained research procedure.
• The employee candidate may already be employed and may not be considering a move, but the opportunity is made available in case the candidate is interested.

The next step in the retained search process is screening.
• Potential candidates are contacted, and their work records and qualifications undergo a screening process.
• They are also be made aware of the opportunity available and asked about their interest in the job offer.
• If the candidate is open to an offer, then an intensive evaluation process begins.
The recruitment agency conducts interviews and makes assessments by evaluating past performance in similar work environments. The future potentiality of the candidate is also evaluated, as well as the compatibility of the employee and employer.
Only when all the retained search evaluations and assessments have been made will the employer be contacted with potential candidates. The employer will usually be given three or four candidates for consideration. If the process if successful, then follow up procedures will be used to evaluate the progress of the candidate.
The retained search is a highly intensive recruiting tool. It saves time for both the employer and the candidate. By maintaining a research database of potential clients for employers, the recruitment agency can find a fit more quickly. A recruiting company that uses the retained search method only accepts a limited number of assignments in order to give each one full consideration.

Contingency Search
A contingency search by definition means that the search firm will only collect a fee if they find and place a suitable candidate for the position in question. This type of search may or may not be structured contractually with the client company and it is 100% “back end” loaded. Therefore, regardless of the number of qualified candidates presented, if none are ultimately hired, the search firm in question earns nothing. A strict contingency search means that there is no exclusivity to the arrangement and therefore the client company is free to use other search firms or source other candidates on their own. This arrangement begs the question as to whether the search firm actually has such a “client” given the absence of any stated or written commitments for exclusivity. It also explains why contingency searches are often given less energy by recruiting professionals because of the increased risk of no return on invested energy and resources.

In a contingent search, the search process is usually less structured and less about a precise candidate “fit” and more about getting potentially qualified candidates in front of the client so that the client can make his or her own final assessment. Often candidates in such searches are drawn from a search firm’s existing database or from public job boards. While these methods can certainly uncover good candidates, such approaches leave a vast pool of talented passive candidates untapped. With less time spent on securing a clear job description and the candidate sourcing methods that are often employed in a contingency search, the chance of a candidate/client mismatch is significantly increased. Many good candidates get hired for the wrong reasons and therefore care should be exercised when embarking on a contingency search to in sure that there is a well-defined job description clearly communicated to and understood by the recruiter conducting the search. Fees for contingency search usually average around 25%, although this varies widely depending on geographic location being sourced, the industry and specific talent being recruited, and the number of positions being filled.

CONTINGENCY FIRMS VERSUS RETAINER FIRMS

Contigency Search
Frequently represent individuals seeking placement.
Are usually in competition with other similar firms or agencies for the placement.
Professional staff is usually compensated on commission for placements made.
Usually search for lower level organizational positions including but not restricted to individual contributors.
Tend to spend little time on initial research and specification; often never meet company management or prospects.
Focus primarily on applicants/candidates actively seeking employment; recruiting is placement-oriented.
Search consultant works concurrently with a multitude of open job orders.
With no guarantee of payment for services performed, the consultant cannot afford to invest much time in a search beyond basic recruiting and submission of resumes.
Will present most candidates within 1-2 weeks of obtaining job order; may submit substantial paperwork to increase probability of a placement by pushing for interviews and hoping for interest on both sides.
Contingency search requires considerable Human Resource involvement in screening, interviewing and evaluating candidates presented.
Under no obligation to guarantee or produce results due to contingency fee arrangement (paid on placement only).
Fees range from 15-33% of compensation and are paid by company on placement (or shortly there after).
Decision to pay a fee is usually made by Human Resources and is budgetary motivated.

Retainer Search :

Represent Companies employer only.
Conduct search assignments on an exclusive contract basis only.
Professional staff is usually compensated on salary and bonus with incentives for client business development.
Usually work at middle to senior management organizational levels.
Must know client organization and position responsibility/requirements thoroughly before initiating search. Typically document this in a position description.
Recruiting efforts are strategically focused on a broadly targeted range of potential candidates, most of whom are not active in the job market; recruiting is process and result oriented.
Typically the search consultant is personally committed to 3-5 assignments at any given time and is responsible for the success or failure of each.
Search consultant typically invests 40-160 hours per month per client assignment in recruiting, evaluation, screening and client interaction.
Usually recommends 3-10 highly qualified and ranked candidates to client company in 4-8 weeks.
Requires minimal Human Resources and General Management time investment until interview process begins.
Reputable firms offer a professional guarantee of candidate success and are committed to thorough and ethical practices and results including an off limits policy.
Fees range from 25-33% of compensation (or flat quote) plus expenses and are paid by company in installments
Authorization for search is usually made by company General Management and Human Resources Management with rigorous selection criteria.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

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William said...

This is really good informative work. As an employer myself of SME size I prefer the Contingency Search approach. Recently there has been a wave of Flat Fee Recruitment specialists. With SMEs typically providing growth during recession times, this will fuel the rise and popularity of such recruitment methods.

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Rebs said...

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