The Benefits of Retained Search Recruiters

Is your company trying to attract top talent in the industry? While your human resources department may be working endlessly to fill the critical roles needed within your organization, there may be advantages to using a recruitment agency to help your recruiting process. If the role is a mission-critical, senior level position that is time-sensitive to find the right candidate, consider these benefits of partnering with executive recruiting firms.

What is a retained search?


There are two types of recruiting agencies that companies can partner with, both with their benefits and differences. Contingency recruitment agencies assist in providing hiring managers resumes and contacts of candidates that match the job description, and are paid on a successful hire of a candidate. Recruiting firms that complete work through retained search agreements serve as an internal partner to the company and manage the recruiting, first round interviewing, and candidate prep for the client. The fees associated with contingency recruitment and retained search are similar, but the retained agreement fees are paid on an agreed upon basis of milestones throughout the talent placement process.



There may be hesitations on an up-front payment to kick off a retained search, but there are key advantages to the level of service provided by the recruiting firm. If the role you need to fill is core to the company’s growth, consider these benefits of retained search.


Focus on Thoroughness & Quality


Retained recruiters are focused on quality candidates, not quantity of candidates. As they work with your leadership teams and key decision makers, they complete a diligent discovery process to identify the gaps you’re trying to fill in your organization to reach your vision for the next stage of growth. They apply that same discovery process to the recruiting and interviewing process to qualify only the candidates that will match and add to your company’s culture. With it being a quality over quantity focused process, there is a thorough attention to detail and bar set higher than the job description to ensure they are bringing your company the best candidates.


Time & Resources


As a growing start-up, your time is essential to your progress and your resources may be limited as you’re trying to scale your growth. The recruiting and hiring process takes time; the average interview process per candidate could take 20-30 person hours of your team’s time between reviewing resumes, screening candidates and the actual interview process. Your alternatives may be hiring an internal recruiter (that you still need to recruit, train and manage) or work with a contingency agency, which increases your volume of resumes but does not save your team time. Retained search recruiters are helpful in managing the time-heavy portion of the recruiting process and providing you a few quality candidates you can feel confident making a decision on.


Expanded Network of Talent


One key benefit to working with a retained search firm is the recruiters have excellent communication and negotiation skills, and will use these skills to not only sell your company to actively searching candidates, but also to reach out to passive candidates that are satisfied with their current work set up. Working with a recruiter expands your company’s reach to connect with the best talent in the industry and hire the best fit for the job at hand. A recruiter that is experienced and well connected in your specific industry, such as JumpSearch in the tech start-up community in Utah, also understands the confidentiality required and relationships between companies to navigate during the recruiting process.


An End-to-End, Full Service Partnership


Working with a retained search firm gives you a partner in a transformational stage for your company. Recruiting the top talent can be a long process, but the working relationship between your recruiter and leadership team also provides opportunities to improve internal talent recruiting and management processes, train your team on best practices, and help set up HR systems that will help your company long-term. The recruiter is working for you 100%, while recruiters from contingency agencies are playing the quantity game and may be working with 5+ clients.

This strong relationship benefits you at the time of candidate consideration and hire, too. With a deep understanding of your company’s needs, the recruiter can identify potential issues with candidates along the recruiting process and work to problem solve on the company’s behalf. Recruiters at JumpSearch also work with their clients to conduct a “pulse” interview with the new hire within 30 days of their first day on the job, evaluating the connection made between the hire and client for an opportunity to strengthen it.


When is a good time to work with a retained search firm?


Consider a retained search firm if your team’s bandwidth does not support the time and resources required to find the quality candidates you need for your mission critical roles. At a key point in your company’s growth, a mis-hire can cost you more than just the time it takes for you to source it on your own. If you have tried a contingency agency and were not satisfied with the results, seek out the right retained search firm to partner with. If your start-up is preparing for a rapid growth phase and you need additional console in processes and systems, a retained search firm would be helpful in setting you up for long-term success.