top of page

Types of Recruiting Searches: Retained versus Contingent

Updated: Jul 10

Explained: what are they, what are the pros & cons, which is best?

by Hannah Peddle, Manager at The Neriah Group

Five people sitting in a row, waiting for their job interviews.

Both Retained Searches and Contingent Searches are valuable strategies for finding and hiring qualified candidates.

But, what’s the difference between these two types of recruiting searches?

In a Retained Search, a company exclusively hires a recruitment firm to conduct a thorough search for a specific position. The recruitment firm is paid a fee upfront, before a candidate is successfully placed.

On the other hand, in a Contingent Search multiple recruitment firms are typically engaged to find suitable candidates for a job opening. These firms only receive payment upon successful placement of a candidate. Contingent searches are often used for roles that are easier to fill or for companies looking to cast a wider net in their search for talent. Again, this is the typical contingent search scenario.

So, how do I choose the best search for my business?

Both search types have advantages and disadvantages; the choice between the two depends on factors such as urgency of the hire, level of specialization required, and resources available for recruitment. Ultimately, the goal of both types of searches is to find the best candidate to meet the client's needs and contribute to the success of the organization.

What makes The Neriah Group unique? & why should I choose to work with your firm?

I’m so glad you asked.

At The Neriah Group, we pride ourselves on prioritizing every search, whether retained or contingent.

As seasoned business professionals with experience spanning a diverse array of industries and roles, we know that every businesses’ most valuable asset is its people. That’s why we treat every search as a new search and take the time to fully understand your exact needs.

We then dedicate our time, talent, and resources to finding candidates who not only bring top skills, but also match and positively contribute to your company’s culture.

We love helping businesses win.


Learn more about our Talent Acquisition services.

Discover how our Consulting services help businesses discern which roles they need, at what time, in what capacity, and with which capabilities, skills, and experience.

Unsure what your next steps are? We'd love to chat.

14 views0 comments


bottom of page