Edit Content
Staffing and Human Resources
We work directly with talented individuals and successful organizations. Career Strategy Consultants recruits, interviews, staffs, and so much more.
Career strategy consultants

Contingent Recruiting vs. Retained Recruiting: Pros and Cons

Laptop recruitment search
Laptop recruitment search

In the ever-evolving world of talent acquisition, businesses are constantly searching for the best recruitment strategy to meet their staffing needs. Two popular approaches are contingent recruiting and retained recruiting with staffing firms. In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision for your organization’s hiring needs.

Contingent Recruiting


  • Cost-Effective: Contingent recruiting involves paying a fee only when a successful hire is made. This can be a cost-effective option for smaller businesses or startups with limited budgets.
  • Wide Talent Pool: Contingent recruiters often have access to a broad network of candidates, giving you a better chance of finding the right fit for your organization.
  • Speed: Since contingent recruiters are typically working on multiple roles simultaneously, they may fill positions more quickly than retained recruiters.
  • Flexibility: You have the flexibility to engage multiple contingent recruiters for various roles, allowing you to target different skill sets and industries simultaneously.


  • Limited Commitment: Contingent recruiters may not prioritize your positions over other clients, leading to potential delays in filling roles.
  • Quality vs. Quantity: Contingent recruiters may focus on quantity over quality to maximize their chances of securing a placement, which can lead to mismatches in candidate skills and company culture.
  • Lack of Exclusivity: Contingent recruiters often work on a non-exclusive basis, which can result in multiple recruiters submitting the same candidates for your openings, leading to confusion and potential disputes.

Retained Recruiting with Staffing Firms


  • Exclusive Partnership: Retained recruiters work exclusively for your organization, providing dedicated attention to your hiring needs, ensuring that they fully understand your company culture and requirements.
  • Quality Focus: Retained recruiters prioritize the quality of candidates over quantity, delivering a tailored selection of highly qualified individuals.
  • In-Depth Search: Retained recruiters conduct exhaustive searches to find the perfect match, leaving no stone unturned to identify top talent.
  • Strategic Collaboration: Retained recruiters often act as strategic partners, providing market insights, salary benchmarking, and comprehensive recruitment strategies.


  • Higher Cost: Retained recruiting typically involves higher upfront fees compared to contingent recruiting, which can be a drawback for cost-sensitive organizations.
  • Slower Process: The exclusive nature of retained recruiting may result in a slower hiring process, which may not be suitable for positions that need to be filled urgently.
  • Potential Risk: If the retained recruiting firm fails to deliver on its commitment, you may end up paying a significant fee without a successful hire.

The choice between contingent recruiting and retained recruiting with staffing firms ultimately depends on your organization’s unique needs, budget, and timeline. Contingent recruiting offers cost-efficiency and flexibility but may come at the expense of commitment and quality. On the other hand, retained recruiting provides exclusivity, quality focus, and strategic collaboration but at a higher cost and potentially longer timeline.

By weighing these pros and cons, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s goals and objectives. Whichever method you choose, remember that finding the right talent is essential for your company’s success in the long run.

Ready to take your hiring strategy to the next level? Contact Career Strategy Consultants, Inc. today and let our experienced team of recruiters help you find the perfect candidates for your organization. Whether you’re considering contingent recruiting or retained recruiting, we have the expertise to tailor a solution that fits your unique needs. Don’t compromise on talent – partner with us and unlock the potential of your workforce.

Click here to schedule a consultation with Career Strategy Consultants, Inc. and elevate your recruitment process!