What is retained recruitment?

Empty 09 March 2021

What is retained recruitment?


As a hiring manager responsible for filling an integral position within your team or company, you’re probably wondering which recruitment service will be best. For example, you may have a niche role for an unusual skill set or a vacancy that requires very specific qualifications. If this is the case retained search could be your best option.


A retained assignment is a recruitment solution that offers a company dedicated resources, to ensure that your critical vacancy is filled as quickly as possible with a highly qualified candidate. With fill rates at 90%-95%, this option offers a measure of certainty and a full commitment to fill that important vacancy. 


Retained recruitment is the opposite of contingency recruitment. Here, you’re paying to retain' a recruiter to your cause. When a recruitment consultant works a position on a retained assignment, they are guaranteed exclusivity on the specific vacancy for a certain period by the company This enables the consultant to prioritise the position over others and provides a platform for them to take the time to make sure the best available candidate in the marketplace at any given time is found.


Why choose retained?


Exclusivity will get a recruiter to work even harder for your cause. Because retained recruitment guarantees exclusivity, you know that the consultant is going to exercise consideration and due diligence in sourcing you candidates.


Industry average suggests that you get 5 times the amount of man hours spent on your vacancy compared to a standard contingency search. This time allows the recruiter to cover the entire marketplace and target many qualified candidates. For this extra level of commitment and work, we also require that extra level of commitment from our clients.


A retained search allows us to take time to locate and source the most suitable candidates in the marketplace, instead of a potential first past the post system when up against other recruiters in a contingent search. In contingency recruitment you’ll probably find a good candidate, with retained search, you absolutely will.


Most of our clients believe that retained search costs more than contingency and takes longer. This is not necessarily this case and costs / timescales can be agreed upon at the outset.


Benefits of a retained recruitment process include:


1.    Higher priority level

2.    Lower risk of bad hires

3.    More proactive searching

4.    Quality over quantity

5.    Guaranteed level of commitment

6.    Clearly defined deliverables

7.    One point of contact – not multiple agencies

8.    Greater advertising options

9.    Improved collaboration between client and agency

10.  Customisable service offering


Retained search has historically been offered as a solution for senior hires or for projects/multiple hires. At WSH we believe that all level of roles can have a similar level of importance and can be just as integral to the company’s overall success. Because of this we discuss our retained solution as an option for all vacancies.


If you would like to know more about our retained search offering or to discuss our other recruitment solutions please contact us ASAP


info@wshrecruitment.co.uk or 01628 337250

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