Contingency Recruiter or In-House Recruiter?

There are not too many companies out there that have not yet worked with a recruiter, headhunter, or executive search firm in the past. The question is, should you consider hiring an in-house recruiter or a contingency recruiter for your company’s staffing needs?

A retained recruiter is paid for their services whether or not they are able to find candidates that you choose to hire, while a contingency recruiter is paid only if a candidate they present is hired.

Recruiters who work under the contingency model source and present candidates who are potentially qualified for your open assignment, with the expectation that they will collect a placement fee in case of a successful hire.

As compared to other types of employee sourcing and staffing, contingency recruiting is a popular choice with growing businesses because it requires a low up-front investment and limited time commitment on behalf of the business. Hiring a contingency recruiter is typically the most cost effective way to hire executives and fill those positions for which you have been unable to find the right candidate in the past. Additionally, a contingency recruiter is financially motivated, which means they will invest a great amount of time, energy and resources on hard-to-fill positions.

Contingency recruiters are often flexible with their commission and easier to negotiate with in terms of adjustments based on company requirements. However, negotiating a lower fee could also lower the priority for the recruiter, meaning that they would put less money and time into filling a job order. Many recruiters offer incentives for exclusive contracts, where the company agrees to work strictly with them on that specific position.

Contingency recruiters typically have a thorough understanding on the hiring process and how different types of companies in different industries operate. They are often known for their ability to attract passive candidates to meet an executive placement need, which widens the pool of high-quality candidates considerably.

Working with a staffing agency is a smart alternative to finding candidates, since having a productive employee is arguably the most important operating structure in a company. Contingency recruiters are often hired for important executive positions, positions that are hard to fill, or positions that an in-house corporate recruiter was unable to fill.

As part of due diligence while you make your final decision, give Fairwinds Recruiting a call to discuss our money-saving and efficient contingency recruiting services before you settle on an in-house/retained recruiter. Source:


 Dan Counts President Fairwinds RecruitingDan Counts, Founder of Fairwinds Recruiting (@FairwindsRcrtg) is a recruiter/coach for candidates and clients, specializing in the software consulting industries for Enterprise Performance Management (Oracle/Hyperion), Business Intelligence, Cyber Risk Security, Sales, and Product Management. Residing in Monterey, CA near Silicon Valley, he works with boutique firms as well as large companies nationwide. Redefining the recruitment experience one placement at a time. You can check out his website at

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