Comparison Retained vs. Contingency

Retained Recruitment:

Contingency Recruitment:

  • has a methodology that is consulting-oriented

  • firms are contractually obligated to conclude the search


  • represents the client


  • recruits and evaluates: maps talent, reaches out to target talent, and evaluates (fully interview)


  • works with companies on an exclusive basis presenting candidates to only one client


  • is able to engage with candidates and take the time  to determine cultural fit, skill fit, motivation (build rapport with individuals)


  • develops candidate relationships representing a specific search when engaging a candidate; working exclusively on the client's behalf


  • guarantees the candidate, typically for twelve months; does not recruit a placed candidate

  • firm receives payment to start a dedicated research process for a search, and on milestones; such as when the company interviews and when the person accepts the offer

  • has a methodology that is transaction-oriented

  • firm is not contractually obligated to conclude the search

  • represents the candidate


  • recruits and refers: looks for talent that is immediately available, quickly shares resume


  • works for many companies at the same time presenting talent to various clients


  • is up against time to complete a search, beat their competition to get the finalist candidate in, and to receive a return on any time invested


  • takes on the expense of building a pipeline to place a candidate at any company that will conclude with placement


  • guarantees the candidate, typically for 30 to 90 days; some firms will recruit placed candidates

  • agency receives payment only if their candidate is identified as the finalist and is made an offer that is accepted

Talent Link Resources Search, LLC

Talent Link Resources is a woman-owned boutique executive search firm that helps renewable energy, oil and gas, chemical, engineer, technology, and manufacturing clients recruit, hire, and retain talent. TLR Search offers many services to our clients such as diversity recruiting, consulting, and client relations. We are located in Houston, TX, and offer our services to clients across the US. 

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