Recruiting 101: What Is Contingency Recruiting?

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What is contingency recruiting?

What is contingency recruiting?

Contingency recruiters find job candidates for employers, but only earn a fee if a candidate is hired. The fee is based on a percentage of the hire’s salary.

When performed by a contract recruiter or recruiting agency, contingency recruiting involves:

  • Analyzing the opening’s job description
  • Identifying qualified resumes by searching through a database of known candidates or sourcing new resumes
  • Reaching out to candidates to see if they are interested
  • Submitting the resumes of qualified and interested candidates to the employer
  • Waiting for the employer to review the resumes and identify who they want to interview
  • Scheduling interviews with the selected candidates
  • Making and negotiating an offer with the finalist

Why work with contingency recruiters?

Employers favor contingency recruiting for its low-risk fee structure; there is no obligation to pay if no hire is made.

Because of this fee structure, contingency searches happen very quickly. Recruiters start submitting resumes as soon as possible, and in high volume. The longer a search goes on, the less profitable it becomes for the contract recruiter or recruiting agency providing the service.

While this speed can be beneficial for urgent or tentative searches, it can be detrimental to quality of hire (the value a new employee brings to the organization). Roles that require company culture fit, highly-specialized skills, specific personality traits, or executive-level experience are better served by recruiting services that allow deeper sourcing and screening – for example retained search or on-demand recruiting.

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