• Contingent Search or Engaged Search: Which is better?

    Edmonton, AB - April 25, 2022

    Contingent vs. Retained Search: Which is better?


    Contingent Search:


    One of the critical differentiators between contingent and engaged search is compensation timing. The recruitment firm is paid after the candidate is placed during a contingent search. This timing makes contingent search more effective for larger candidate pools. Contingent search is often employed for lower to mid-level positions with general requirements and less specialized skill sets.


    Because of its nature, there is often a lower success rate with contingent search. There are several factors involved:


    • There are higher rates of competition for broad roles. More recruiting firms are circling candidate pools with other offers.
    • These positions don't require the whole level of applied focus and vetting that an engaged search would. This broad approach will often receive the most available candidate for the job rather than the most perfectly tailored for the candidate.


    So, when should Contingent Search be used?


    Contingent search is most often used to save money. However, the cost savings are only effective in roles without specialization or a high-level skill set. In positions with these demands, placing the candidate that meets every qualification is crucial. Failure to do so will rack up costs in other areas (whether performance issues, training, or even needing to find a replacement). 

    Engaged Search:


    On the other hand, engaged search is often utilized when the skill set and role qualifications require a more granular and tactical search approach. Several factors suggest engaged search:


    • Timelines - If a role needs to be filled on a tight timeline, an engaged search is a safe bet to ensure it happens. Deadlines mean that recruiters need to utilize their time, resources, networks, expertise, and urgency to find the most suitable candidate. Clients often engage with the process more deeply by paying some of the compensation up-front rather than after the placement, as they invest more in the outcome and have skin in the game. This arrangement ensures a better result, as the engaged search process hinges on a solid working relationship between the client and recruiter. The more engaged and responsive a client is, the faster the role is filled.
    • Role Specifications - The extra time, focus, and resources utilized in filling an engaged search role are often demanded by the type of candidate that needs to be found, engaged, vetted, and presented. For recruiters, filling this role is time and energy-consuming. Our recruiters use state-of-the-art tech, software, and strategy to locate and connect with candidates. They vet them and build relationships to ascertain skill level and culture fit. The pre-allocation of compensation by the client allows the recruiter the space and time to focus their resources and expertise on the one goal of finding, vetting, and placing the perfect candidate for the role.


    When should engaged search be used?


    An engaged search arrangement is built on a mutual commitment between the client and the recruiter. They work well when the client places a high level of importance on filling the role and is willing to work with the recruiter throughout the search and placement process. While it requires effort and commitment, the results speak for themselves. An engaged search is the preferred search method for important roles that will save money and time in the long run.

    Which type of search is better?


    Like every business decision, it depends on several factors. Contingent search can work quite well for broad, general, and high-volume positions. However, roles that require a higher level of skill and are facing a tight deadline to be filled are better suited to engaged search recruiting. Engaged Searches ensure a high level of priority, attention, and care which will help recruiters find the right person for your workforce needs.


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