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Retained Search - The Pros and Cons


									Retained Search - The Pros and Cons
People are unique and diverse and for most businesses, represent the
difference between success and failure. Then why would a company looking
to add such an important asset, risk anything? That's the question
underlying the major difference between contingency and retained
With contingency search, professional staffing agencies are constantly
struggling with the knowledge there are other agencies working against
them. Instead of creating an atmosphere of support and client commitment,
the agency has to juggle the very real fact its efforts may go to waste
and be rewarded with nothing.
For the most part, contingency recruiting treats people like commodities
and creates a combative environment where the focus is not entirely on
selecting the best client candidate, the focus is also on filling and
On the other hand, retained search represents the ideal scenario and
supports the best atmosphere and environment for a successful search
campaign. With a retained search an exclusive project is undertaken on
behalf of a client whereby applicants are sourced, screened and
ultimately selected for client consideration based on specific company
culture and best fit.
With a retained search, the seeking company effectively partners with the
search firm for the duration of the project. During this time the hiring
company outsources the recruiting process to this sole service provider -
effectively making them part of the overall company function.
Since the search firm's focus is now 100% on the client's requirements
there is no longer an attention divide between doing their job and
avoiding being 'trumped' by another agency. This equates to a much higher
quality of search campaign for the hiring company, which ironi cally
counters the apparent gains of having many agencies searching for staff.
This apparent value inversion effect is caused by the fact that although
perceptually 'more is better,' it is in fact a falsehood. This falsehood
happens because there are only a finite number of suitable candidates
available at any time for consideration, and all firms have to "drink
from the same well". Since the applicants know this, they often register
with multiple firms using multiple resume versions. This can cause
numerous problems for contingency agencies, especially when considering
'who owns' the applicant for billing purposes.
With retained search no such challenges exist and a company's best
interests are served because the search firm has exclusivity. This
exclusivity is attractive for the potential applicants too and brings
added attention within the job market. It should also be noted that
retained firms prefer launching fresh advertising campaigns when starting
a new search. This 'newness' ensures the resumes and applications are the
freshest possible whereas often times contingency agencies avoid this
extra step because it incurs additional costs and requires more time.
Retained search firms don't cut corners because they can afford to
execute the search campaign completely. This commitment also breeds a
better relationship between client and search firm - and frankly only
improves the process because the firm then has a better understanding of
the client culture, environment and intangibles.
In fairness, if you have a job requirement that is temporary in nature
and where there are clearly defined pools of candidates, the industry
parameters are quite static, and the salary cap on this type of role is
stable, then using a commodity acquisition model (contingency searching)
might work for you.
However, if you are seeking a long-term staff member to join your
business who will be an excellent match for your requirements and
company, bring their own individuality and uniqueness and help raise your
company to new levels, then consider a retained search. The rewards far
outweigh any misconceptions you might have about the process.
ABOUT: Fernie Black is one of the founding partners at HR -Fusion,
specializing in outsourced recruitment, selection and hiring. HR-Fusion
works with clients on a retained basis.
This dynamic Human Resources (HR) consulting firm focuses on strategic
business and organizational development through HR delivery and training.
The integrated team approach and 'full service' philosophy makes HR -
Fusion a reliable resource and valuable business partner when you need
professional HR support.
HR-Fusion's Hamilton, Ontario location is uniquely positioned to provide
services to Brantford, Burlington, Oakville, and the surrounding Niagara
region. HR requirements outside the immediate geographic area are handled
through the HR-Fusion partner network and provides coast to coast
coverage as required.
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