Types of Firms

Retained Search

Companies Use this Type of Search When

  • They are filling senior to top management positions typically paying at least $150,000 or more.
  • Confidentiality is a must.
  • They have a strong relationship with a particular firm or recruiter.

Advantages to You:

  • You will not be presented to companies without your prior knowledge.
  • You may find it the only way to be presented for a specific position.
  • Confidentiality is maintained.

Disadvantages to You:

  • The typical process takes 3-6 months.
  • You will only be considered for one of the firm’s assignments at a time even if they are simultaneously recruiting for other similar positions.
  • Retained firms have a "hands-off" policy, which typically means they will not assist you if they perform searches for your current employer.

Contingency Search

Companies Use this Type of Search When:

  • Search is for entry to mid-level management typically paying $75,000 or more.
  • Skills and experiences are well defined.
  • Speed is of utmost importance.
  • Recruiters send unsolicited resumes for open searches.

Advantages to You:

  • They can show you multiple opportunities at once.
  • They may have access to openings that are not publicly advertised.

Disadvantages to You:

  • They do not necessarily have a relationship with the hiring company and may not have “insider” access.
  • If they present you to a company and you are hired, they will demand a fee from the company. This fee adds costs to your candidacy and may eliminate you from consideration.
  • They may float your resume to many companies with or without your permission. It is important to ask that a contingency firm NOT release your resume to a company without your prior consent.