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The Beauty & Benefits of Retained Search

The Beauty & Benefits of Retained Search
ArticleLeadershipRecruitment Process
Publish Date: October 16th, 2023

​It’s with much pride that I’m able to say, after 10 years working in the recruitment industry, the vast majority of roles I work on with clients on are now done so on a retained basis.

It’s something which we recruiters truly understand the value of – because we’re the ones driving it – but it’s exciting to see that actively recruiting employers are beginning to see retained search in the same light. Particularly in times of uncertainty, engaging with a recruitment partner on a guaranteed-outcome basis simply makes sense – and here’s why.

Time is valuable – so save it

Managing applications; working out who came from where. Receiving multiple profiles, which come through at different times, from different recruitment partners who have varying terms. Composing emails to multiple agencies, to coordinate times which may or may not work for their candidate. Receiving confirmations at different times, or requests for a different interview slot, instead of having that one partner simply make the arrangements. Following up with each individual agency afterwards.

These are just the extra tasks you have to do when working with multiple agencies… Now add to that all of your actual recruitment activities – the interviewing itself, for instance – and you’ve got yourself some serious man-hours to put aside for this.

Retained search means one simplified, streamlined channel for all communications. That’s one person to talk to regarding who’s in the process, when you’re meeting them, how they feel about the opportunity, and everything else which comes along with making a hire.

Working on a retained basis saves you time – of that fact, there’s no doubt.

Quality trumps speed – the best, not the convenient

The upfront nature of retained placements mean that they’re our number one priority to fill. However, that by no definition means we’re going to rush; in fact, quite the opposite. We want to fill the role with the best candidate for the job, however long it takes, but with a priority push at all times.

When working on a retained assignment, it’s not a race to pre-qualify candidates and get them over to you before another agency does, potentially missing out key pieces of information and things which needed further qualification, in the name of securing their representation. Now, it’s about taking our time to present the most fully-qualified, relevant people – still in a timely manner, of course, but ensuring that quality of hire is top of mind, rather than speed.

Retained search means more candidates who are fundamentally right for the role, rather than those who are simply available.

Money is an object – but not an obstacle

Because of the “pre-authorised” nature of these projects, you simply don’t have to worry about ‘paying extra’ should a higher-level candidate come about, or negotiating salary based on the fee you may end up paying us.

Money becomes less of a priority and, again, it all comes back around to ensuring you get the absolute best candidate. When we recruiters work on a contingency basis, nothing is guaranteed; from the off, we’re trying to recoup hours (and therefore costs) spent on sourcing, interviewing and placing candidates. When it comes to retained, we can focus our efforts without the stress or pressure which might lead to a less than perfect decision.

That’s all not to mention that you know what you’re paying for this hire from the get-go – plus the time (AKA cost) savings we mentioned above. In times like that which we’ve been experiencing for the past 12 months or so, with uncertainty rife and finances never entirely secured, it just makes sense.

Recruitment is what I do, retained search is what I love; if you’re currently or soon-to-be conducting a recruitment campaign for a key position within your business, I’d love to show you some case studies where my team has been successful in the past – moreover, how we’re doing things differently to add value throughout the process.

Send me a direct message here on LinkedIn, or call the Melbourne office today on +61 (03) 8644 6891.

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