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Which Is Better for Contingent Search: Sourcing or Recruiting?

Image of two men standing in an office shaking hands. In the background there are two employees at their desk smiling.

Filling certain positions in a company can be a time-consuming, challenging, and financially straining process. The search can be tricky since finding the right fit for the job can be difficult and costly. However, there is an alternative that can ensure you get the right fit for the job and at less risk and cost. It’s called contingent search.

What Is Contingent Search?

Contingent search is a form of hiring designed for difficult-to-fill roles that trend toward mid-level management. With this search method, compensation for the one responsible for bringing in the employee is contingent on whether the individual is best for the job and has successfully integrated into the workforce. In other words, contingent search firms only get paid if the employee they put in the role works out.

Most firms that provide contingent search services offer a trial period to see if the employee works out long term. These periods can range from one to six months, and if they remain a viable employee until the end of the trial, they remain on staff, and the firm gets paid. But the question is, what is the best form of searching for candidates when employing contingent policies?

Sourcing Versus Recruiting


Firms that use sourcing as a hiring process are looking to expand their candidate pool beyond the typically searched demographics. The firm searches for passive candidates who are qualified for a position but are not actively looking for work. They look for these candidates because they are generally comfortable where they are now, but their abilities might be a perfect fit for the role you are trying to fill. Firms searching for these individuals use social media presence, review online résumés, or other passive mediums instead of job boards.


Firms that use recruiting pick up on where sourcing left off by getting the candidates and the company on the same page. They search job boards and even place job listings on those boards on behalf of their client to maximize the number of active candidates – those actively searching for employment.

Which Is Best for Contingent Search?

When it comes to contingent search and these different hiring mediums, recruiting is your best bet. Since sourcing relies on passive candidates and uses social media and online presences to get applicants, they can alienate candidates. Pestering uninterested parties with unsolicited job offers can often leave potential candidates with a bad taste in their mouths. On the other hand, recruiting puts the word out about the job and goes through candidates actively searching for work to minimize conflict. Recruiting ensures the firm, and the company, by extension, start on the right foot.

Finding a Candidate That Makes an Impact

Contingent search is an excellent way to ensure financial security when finding an employee to fill a niche role. The process is made more effective by recruiting and actively hunts for professionals hungry for work, putting the word out about the position on your behalf. As for finding a firm that can handle contingent recruiting, you might find the answer closer than you realize. At ImpactSearch, we focus on finding the best talent possible in the sales and marketing, technology, and leadership fields with a contingent service. So, if you are looking for a risk-free hire, contact us today and see the kind of impact we can make!

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