What is Retained Recruiting?

Author: Halley Harrelson Published: September 2022

Retained recruiters operate on an exclusive basis. This means that the job will be filled only through this recruitment company. The recruiter will charge a fee upfront to the client to conduct research. Therefore, retained recruitment is typically more expensive upfront.

Retained recruitment comes with dedicated time and premier expertise in your industry. Owned firms typically create an off-limits agreement. This means that they will not source candidates from a current client. Depending on the firm, they may require a dollar amount you must spend per year before qualifying for an off-limits agreement.

Clients trying to fill a senior-level role typically use this recruiting. Depending on the firm you decide to go with, the cost for the placement will be in the 30% range of the total annual salary for the position.

Payments are usually made in three parts. One as a retainer to initiate the search, one at a milestone date during the search, and one as soon as someone is placed in the role. Firms typically guarantee to replace said candidate if the candidate leaves the position before a specific milestone. The firm may also offer onboarding and coaching programs to help ensure that the transition of the new hire into the role goes well.

Retained firms have access to an extensive database of potential candidates. They also have a network of industry leaders. Their access to these resources can significantly increase your chances of finding the best possible candidate for your company.