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What Are The Benefits of a Contained Search Model?

What Are The Benefits of a Contained Search Model?

When startups and other high-growth organizations need top talent, they often turn to professional recruiters. The right recruiter can provide access to a deep pool of highly-qualified and well-aligned talent, but it’s not just the talent network that should be considered when choosing a recruitment partner. It is also important to look at a recruiting firm’s engagement models before building a partnership.

There are several types of executive and professional search models that recruiters offer. The most common models are contingent and retained search, but a contained search model is often the best choice for high-growth companies in need of specialized talent.

What Is Contained Search?

A contained search is a hybrid model that combines the biggest advantages of other search models. The name itself comes from the marriage of contingency search and retained search (contingency + retained = contained).

In a contained model, a portion of the agreed-upon fee is paid upfront, and the remainder is paid upon the successful placement of a candidate. This model offers flexibility to the organization without high up-front costs.

Contained Search vs. Retained Search vs. Contingent Search

Keeping different types of recruiting models clear can be challenging for startups and high-growth companies that are new to working with recruiters. Here are the features and differences of each model:

Contingent Search

A contingent search model is a success-based model, meaning a business only pays the recruiting company if they hire a candidate from that recruiter’s pool.  In short, the firm only gets paid for a successful placement. In a contained search, the recruiter has the incentive to move quickly to fill a position, but it also means that the recruiter does not have an exclusivity agreement of any kind and could be working to fill similar positions with direct competitors. On the flip side, a contingent model allows the company doing the hiring to with other recruiters, as well.

A contingent search is best for entry-level or non-specialized roles, or for a high volume of hiring.

Retained Search

A retained search is exactly what it sounds like. A company puts a search firm on retainer, paying them upfront for services before anyone is actually recruited. Retained searches take longer to fill, and the recruiter typically works with a smaller pool of well-aligned candidates than a contained search where recruiters cast wide nets in order to fill a job quickly.

The attention to detail and alignment, as well as the work retained firms do with passive candidates make the fees worthwhile. Retained searches are almost always exclusive, which means that for the time of the engagement, the recruiter won’t engage in conflicts of interest, nor will the company doing the hiring.

Retained searches are best for highly technical, highly specialized, leadership and executive roles.

Contained Search

As previously noted, contained searches combine the best aspects of a contingent and retained search. A portion of the fee is paid upfront to “retain” the recruitment firm, and then the remainder of the fee is “contingent” upon a successful placement.

Think of a contained search as a sales-based fee model.  Companies pay salespeople a base salary plus commission for successful sales. Similarly, a contained search firm is paid a “base” fee and the receives a success fee when an offer of employment is made.

Contained searches are ideal for leadership/executive searches, confidential searches, and other specialized recruiting projects.

Why Choose Contained Search to Hire Top Talent?

Companies that are looking for well-aligned leadership talent, highly specialized talent, or need to run a confidential search are finding that a contained search model is best for them over a retained or contingent model.

Startups and high-growth companies are choosing contained search because it:

  • Encourages a true partnership: contained searches work so well because the recruiter becomes an extension of the hiring organization. Since the business pays a little upfront, they have stock in the outcome of the search and the recruiter only gets the remainder of the fee upon a successful placement. This encourages ongoing communication and engagement and means the recruiter learns everything they can about the company’s culture, growth plans, etc., to make a well-aligned placement.
  • Delivers dedicated resources: The retainer portion of a contained search means that the recruitment firm will put together a dedicated team that is focused on that particular search. This means there are more resources behind a contained search than behind a contingent search.
  • Ensures passive candidate connections: In a contained search model, recruiters work with passive candidates who are not out in the “active” job market but are open to making a change if the right opportunity presents itself. In a contingent model, speed is of the essence, so recruiters are more likely to work with only an active talent pool.
  • Balances efficiency and customization: Contingent searches are efficient. Retained searches are more customized to the organization – it’s one or the other. In a contained search, companies get a balance of efficiency and customization that isn’t available in the other models.
  • Is cost-effective: Contained searches are not as expensive as retained searches because they are less specialized and are not typically customized to the business. Contained searches tend to be more cost-effective than retained searches due to the hybrid approach to the search. Companies get the quality of a retained search with more cost-effectiveness.

Hire The Best Talent For Your Company With ImpactSearch Partners

The recruiting experts at ImpactSearch Partners work exclusively with startups and high-growth companies. Our team understands the unique challenges of hiring talent in these environments, and we have a reputation for excellence when it comes to making accurate, well-aligned placements.

Working as a true extension of the business, we work alongside companies that may or may not have dedicated hiring teams or HR teams to ensure a true partnership and to deliver the highest quality candidates in the market. For our recruiters, good is never good enough. We want to exceed expectations with every engagement.

As early adopters of a contained search model, we deliver efficiency and accuracy with every placement. We work in highly specialized niches, recruiting for technology, sales, marketing and leadership roles. If you are looking for exceptional talent to take your business into the next stage of growth, contact ImpactSearch Partners today.

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