Understanding the Difference: Contingency vs. Retainer

Are you in the process of hiring top executive talent for your organization? If so, you may be thinking about the best way to get help filling these roles. It’s crucial to comprehend the nuances between two popular approaches: contingency-based recruiting and retainer-based executive search. Let’s explore the key distinctions and highlight why retainer-based executive search emerges as the preferred choice for Clark Schaefer Executive Search and our clients. 

Contingency-Based Recruiting: 

Contingency-based recruiting refers to the traditional model where recruitment agencies are compensated only upon the successful placement of a candidate. This often results in a race to find candidates and get positions filled at the cost of a thorough process. 

Retainer-Based Executive Search: 

On the other hand, retainer-based executive search involves engaging a recruitment firm under a formal agreement, typically accompanied by an upfront retainer fee. This model ensures a dedicated focus on the client’s needs and allows us to allocate more time and resources to identify, attract, and evaluate the best talent. The retainer fee signifies a commitment to the process, ensuring sustained efforts towards finding the perfect fit. 

Why Retainer-Based Executive Search? 

1. Enhanced Attention: By engaging in a retainer-based model, you receive undivided attention from our team. They dedicate themselves to understanding your organization, its culture, and the specific requirements of the role. This deep understanding translates into a more targeted and effective candidate search. 

2. Comprehensive Search: Retainer-based executive search gives us the freedom and time to learn about your organization and ensure that the candidates are not only competent, but an excellent cultural fit. Listening to clients on an ongoing basis, helping them with their people strategies and execution of the strategies, is one of the many benefits of our approach to executive search. By working with you over time, we have knowledge and insights into your organization and culture, that other firms do not take the time to understand. 



3. Collaborative Partnership: Retainer-based executive search fosters a collaborative partnership between your organization and Clark Schaefer Executive Search. It enables open and frequent communication, feedback exchange, and ongoing refinement of the search strategy, ultimately leading to better alignment with your hiring objectives. 

4. Reduced Time-to-Hire Without Sacrificing Quality: With a dedicated team working diligently on your search, retainer-based executive search can significantly expedite the hiring process without sacrificing quality. The ability to quickly identify, vet, and present qualified candidates ensures faster decision-making and reduces the risk of losing top talent to competing offers. 

5. Long-Term Relationship Building: Clark Schaefer Executive Search goes beyond immediate hiring needs. Our model allows you to establish a long-term relationship with our firm, leveraging our expertise for future talent acquisition endeavors, succession planning, and building a strong talent pipeline. 

Our Executive Search retainer-based approach, offers distinct advantages that align with the strategic objectives of high performing organizations seeking top talent. The dedicated focus, comprehensive search efforts, and collaborative partnership we provide contribute to better outcomes and lasting value. 

Your growth is only limited by the capacity of your executive talent. Let us help you build the team that can get you to the next level of performance.

Contact us to learn more about why CSES is the right fit for your organization.