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Recruiting insights:

The benefits of using retained search

retained search recruitment

Are you looking for a superstar talent for your IT team? Recruiting for niche roles that require specific skillsets, or even straightforward recruiting can sometimes be downright challenging.

Perhaps you’ve begun your search toward securing the assistance of external recruitment agencies but aren’t too sure which way to go next. Read on to discover all there is to know about the ultimate recruitment service: retained search. We will explain why retained search will turn your challenges into opportunities for finding the right talent.

What is retained search?

The term retained search, also known as an executive search agreement or retained recruitment refers to personalised, high-touch recruiting methods, such as headhunting. The term originates from the retainer, or fee, that is paid by the company upfront to retain the recruiter for the duration of the search.

In retained recruitment, the recruiter, or team of recruiters, works closely with your company’s leadership team, HR department, and other key stakeholders, on an exclusive basis. This means that they, and only they, will be working on the search. The recruiter will work closely with the client to gain a deep understanding of the qualities needed in the right candidate.

Generally, payments are staggered and matched to pre-agreed milestones being reached. Just like how most other service-based models work.

A time and place for contingency search

Both retained and contingency searches have benefits and drawbacks.

Working with several recruiters on a contingency recruitment basis can sometimes allow you to tap into a wider talent pool and bring different perspectives to a brief. However, this ‘many hands make light work’ approach can have intended consequences. For example, it can lead to a diffusion of responsibility. No one person is responsible for finding the right candidate and recruiters are free to walk away if the brief becomes too tricky.

Your recruiter is the ambassador of your brand, so it’s advisable to use one agency as you can control what image they portray of you. When working with multiple agencies, they may not focus so much on selling your brand because they are not working exclusively.

With a contingency search, there is the possibility that a candidate could be approached by several recruiters for the same role. Retained search is more exclusive, in every sense of the word. It shows candidates that the company is serious about the hire and the importance that the business is focusing on it. In a tight candidate market then these factors do come into play.

Often, we see that for more junior roles, contingency search works well. But for senior hires, hard-to-find skill sets, or when a strict timeline needs to be applied to an appointment, retained search almost certainly gains the best results.

7 reasons to use retained search

As mentioned above, there are benefits of contingency search when recruiting. However, there are also many benefits that can arise from using retained search with a recruiter.

Here are 7 reasons to consider when you next need to make that important hire:

1. Personalised experience

The recruitment process is made up of stages, which take time and effort, particularly when working on a senior or hard-to-fill role. Retained recruiters don’t just search a database of contacts, they have access to additional networks of specialised talent.

A dedicated consultant will focus on matching the perfect skills with your requirements and can also carry out other tasks such as psychometric testing. They will be accountable for delivering the agreed results of the search.

2. Greater access to talent

With retained recruitment, the search is more detailed with recruiters also searching for passive candidates, as appose to handing you CVs from a database that every other agency has access to.

It takes time to build relationships with passive talent – professionals who are already working rather than actively job-seeking – and this is where a retained recruiter can really help. This strategy leads to a higher success rate and a lower risk of a bad hire.

3. Long-term partnership

A retained recruiter is not just focused on filling the position as quickly as possible. They will spend more time with you to gain a better understanding of your company’s precise needs. Having a strong relationship with your retained recruiter will allow them to find the ideal candidate for your open role.

Because retained search expands the search to a wider range of individuals, the chances increase of finding the person with the exact, unique skill sets needed. Finding the most qualified and vetted candidates will greatly benefit your company in the long run.

4. Benefit from the first refusal

A retained recruiter will present you with candidates on an exclusive basis. You will therefore be given the first refusal on any suitable candidates that are found during the search. This can be particularly important when recruiting professions that are in high demand. This strategy eliminates any competition for a candidate’s signature from your competitors.

5. Flexible terms

Most recruiters will have a standard contract for a retained search, but in our experience, the final signed agreement is often a bespoke contract relating to your needs as the client. This can include the fee percentage, rebate period, number of agreed payments applicable through the process, the amount of time to shortlist, etc.

6. Increased feedback

Retained search with a recruitment expert will take the stress out of a time-consuming process. Recruiters will provide you with helpful information such as market intelligence, competition, and timelines – feedback honed through years of experience.

They will keep you informed at each stage of the process. You don’t have to worry about resolving any issues as they have been outsourced to an expert.

7. Shows the candidate you are serious

Top talent can be inundated with inquiries from recruiters hoping to connect. A retained search however utilises more nuanced sourcing techniques that differ from a day-to-day job search.

This one-on-one process demonstrates to candidates that you’re serious and that their resume isn’t just one in a heap you are reviewing.

The right time to use retained search

At the end of the day, retained recruitment can be more expensive upfront, but in general, can cost the same overall. Having an investment from a client upfront allows recruiters the time and resources to perform stronger and more exhaustive searches.

By paying a proportion of the fee upfront to the recruitment agency to source the best talent, the agency is demonstrating its commitment to hiring and working in close partnership through to placement. Candidates can be vetted much better, giving the client much more of a fuller story than a black-and-white resume alone.

How we can help

Luvo Talent has a dedicated team of experienced consultants, each with extensive networks of IT professionals accumulated through years of successful recruiting. We pride ourselves on using methods of candidate attraction that deliver unique candidates for our clients.

With our unbeatable delivery, we understand what it takes. We will listen to your need, understand your business, and propose timely and effective recruitment solutions. And whichever type of recruitment you choose, luvo Talent is happy to help.

Contact Luvo’s Talent Team today and we will help you find the talent you need to grow your business.

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