Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that should be considered in deciding, whether you want a contingency or a retained search arrangement.
- The client pays no fees until a candidate is found and placed.
- Should a client find a candidate himself, he does not have to pay the recruiter anything.
- Should the client suddenly decide differently and therefore cancel the search, he has no costs for the work done.
- If such an assignment is placed with several recruiting companies, a wider net can possibly be thrown and therefore a greater number of candidates be found.
- If such an assignment is given to several recruiters the likelihood is greater that one of them may have the “right” candidate and the project can be completed quickly.
- The recruiter has much less motivation to really delve into a search, particularly if he has no exclusivity.
- If lacking exclusivity, it can happen that the same candidates are approached by several headhunters. This can lead to the candidate having a poor opinion of the potential employer (“They can’t fill the position;” “They are desperate!”)
- The concentration of the search will be on those candidates that have already indicated their interest in a job change since these are easier to find (through job sites etc.).
- The headhunter can’t afford to conduct detailed interviews and assessments. Therefore the service is reduced to finding and forwarding possible candidates with little pre-qualification in the hope, that one of them will fit. This makes for much more work on the client side, who has to examine many profiles and talk to many candidates.
- If the search becomes difficult, the headhunter can easily lose interest. If a retained search is decided on at a later date, the pool of possible candidates has been “muddied”.
- The headhunter is under no obligation to work on the assignment and under no direct pressure to succeed and make „the extra effort“.
- The search consultant makes the effort to clearly define the profile of the person looked for in order to be able to find the fitting candidates. This service at the beginning of the search includes advice on the feasibility of finding such a candidate as well as an estimate of the remuneration necessary to win such a person. This is a determining factor in the success or failure of such a search assignment and can save much time and effort on both sides.
- The search consultant is under the obligation to find qualified candidates within the agreed time and to present them.
- If the search becomes difficult, the search consultant will make the „extra effort.“ Possibly he will discuss the profile or remuneration with the client to adjust these to what the market requires.
- The search consultant actively searches for candidates, not only among those who are already looking themselves but also among those people who currently are not thinking of a change in job. That allows him to address a wider spectrum of possible candidates.
- Specific candidates can be addressed and specific industries can be targeted.
- The search consultant conducts preliminary interviews with possible candidates and pre-qualifies them This results in only those candidates being put forward that fit and who are interested in the company and position thereby relieving the client of a lot of work and allowing him to make a good decision in a short period of time.
- Candidates are only addressed by one search consultant thereby ensuring confidentiality and reputation of the client company.
- Should a client decide to cancel the assignment he will have to pay the fees of the search consultant for the work done.
- Should the client find a candidate himself, the search consultant will nonetheless expect at least a part of the agreed fee.
- Possibly the search consultant won’t have quite as broad a selection of candidates.
- Should the search consultant not be as active as the client wishes, the client will be bound to him through the search assignment and the monies already invested.