+1 212-516-6535

+44 131-378-0270


Welcome back to our blog! One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked is what are the different recruitment methods? Today we wanted to explore the differences as well as the pros and cons. The main types of recruitment searches are contingency and retained. The searches may also be exclusive to one recruitment agency or not. What defines each search? Which is best for your needs? Let’s jump right in!

Contingency Recruitment

This type of search is best for when the employer is looking to fill the position quickly, and there are many candidates in the market competing for the position. On contingency, payment is only made when the position is filled.

This method will usually be a fast process as it is in the interest of the recruiters to place a qualified candidate quickly. Most of the time this type of recruitment may be done in competition with other recruiters or in house recruitment.

Pros of Contingency Recruitment

  • Fast hiring process
  • Payment only when position is filled
  • Having different recruiters working on the vacancy

Cons of Contingency Recruitment

  • Is not best for senior positions where qualified talent is scarce
  • Recruiter cannot devote fully to the vacancy without exclusivity
  • Employer may not have consistent message when there are many recruiters advertising the position

Retained Recruitment

The other type of recruitment is retained search where the employer gives the recruiter more time and trust in finding the right person for the position than in contingency recruitment. This will be best for employers that want to take the time to make sure they get a qualified and fit candidate for the position.

Usually, the recruiter is provided exclusivity in retained recruitment where only that recruiter is working on filling the position. Payment is also provided at different stages of recruitment since the recruiter will be implementing a thorough hiring process and devoting full time and resources towards filling the position.

Pros of Retained Recruitment

  • In-depth hiring process
  • Best for expert, senior positions or where the employer wants the right fit
  • Having the full focus of the recruitment agency on finding the right person
  • Builds long term trust between employer and recruitment agency


Cons of Retained Recruitment

  • Payment is done in instalments as the work is more extensive
  • May take longer in order to find the best fit amidst scarce talent
  • Will place more trust on one recruitment agency

Exclusivity in Recruitment

For the most part, contingency recruitment is not exclusive and involves different recruitment agencies or in-house HR teams working to fill one position while retained searches are entrusted to only one recruitment agency. However, at times, the employer may grant the recruitment exclusivity even to contingency recruitment. This may happen if the employer trusts the recruitment agency to find the company the right person.

Exclusivity provides the recruiter the ability to focus on filling the position without worrying about competition. Some recruiters will even provide a discount to have exclusivity on filling a position. This way candidates will also not be approached repeatedly by different recruiters for the same post giving the recruiter a higher chance of attracting the qualified candidate.

We do what’s best for you!

At AJ Connect, we provide both exclusive and retained (assured delivery package) recruitment depending on your needs and resources. Our exclusive search will provide you with a candidate in a shorter time.

Our assured delivery package will ensure we employ our rigorous search and selection process so that you will have a qualified candidate that’s the best fit for your company. We pride ourselves in building long-term, first-class relationships with the companies working with us.

Like what you’ve read?

Subscribe to our blog by adding your email address to the form on the right. You’ll be the first to hear about our updates.