The benefits of using a retained search
What is the best option for hiring top talent when using a recruitment agency?
Do you choose the ‘contingency’ search – a lower cost option where quantity trumps quality in the agency’s pursuit of placing a quick hire and winning the fee or do you go for the retained option – where you will be presented with quality candidates to meet your needs?
Given the current climate of the ‘Great Resignation’ and the fact, that there are a record number of vacancies – recruiting the best talent has potentially never been tougher.
If your business is finding it hard to recruit, then it needs to get smarter with its strategy and tactics to recruit the best talent for those niche roles, where expertise and experience are ‘must have’ criteria.
Competition for the best talent is always fierce, but even more so right now. A recent survey from the UK’s ONS (Office of National Statistics)* indicated that 28% of food and drink businesses (which included manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers) faced labour shortages.
The survey also revealed that 60% of food and drink businesses reported a low number of applicants for roles on offer.
So, how do human resources departments overcome this challenge?
This is where working with a recruitment agency on a retained search basis can reap the most benefit – especially in comparison to a contingency search.
Firstly, it’s important to define the difference between both retained (also known as executive search or headhunting) and contingency recruitment methods.
On a retainer agreement, the business and the recruiter will work closely together, often on an exclusive basis. This will require an up-front fee to commence the recruitment process, with the remainder upon a candidate being employed.
On a contingency search, there is no up-front fee and the recruiter is paid on results. With no guarantee of payment, this can impact on both the time spent searching and the quality of candidates put forward, given they are likely to be in competition with other recruiters.
If your business is in the market to fill a particular role which requires a certain skillset or senior management or executive position, then retained recruitment should be chosen as it offers the greater benefits.
Greater access to talent
A retained recruiter has access to a wider talent pool to fill the vacancy. Aside from those active on their books, a retained recruiter will also be able to use their knowledge to search and approach potential candidates, both actively looking and those that are ‘passive’ candidates.
Reduced risk of a bad hire
There are financial and reputational risks with a bad hire. By outsourcing the recruitment, the risk of a bad hire is significantly reduced as the recruiter will use carry out in-depth research into each potential candidate and only put forward the ideal candidate for the role as well as the company.
A retained recruiter will prioritise your vacancy above contingency opportunities. The agreement ensures not only exclusivity but for a greater collaborative approach. A retained recruiter will offer greater insight and be more readily available during the process.
Quality over quantity
While contingency search methods put more candidates forward, retained search ensures only the best and most appropriate candidates are considered for a vacancy. Candidates will have been vetted more rigorously and have detailed background checks.
Rather than a random one-size-fits-all, retained recruiters have the ability to take more time and identify the right candidates with the skillsets to fill a specific role.
By using a retained search, the recruitment agency can take on many of the tasks, from assessing CVs and interviewing candidates to presenting a shortlist of ideal candidates. This frees up time for the business’s HR function to focus on the day job. It also ensures that candidates put forward are the most suitable. This will also deliver greater employee engagement and retention.
An advantage over competitors
Retained recruitment tends to operate ‘under the radar. This can give your business the edge by hiring the best talent ahead of your rivals. It can also prevent your business from losing its best staff.
The benefits of retained recruitment do come with higher fees, but it delivers greater confidence in securing the right candidate for the business, especially for senior roles.
If you would like to discuss retained recruitment and how we consistently secure the best talent from across the globe, talk to one of our Clarico headhunters.
*Stats Link: https://www.fdf.org.uk/fdf/news-media/news/2022-news/economic-insights/uk-vacancies-see-a-new-high-but-households-worse-off/