February 22, 2023

Contingency Recruitment: Delegate Your Hiring Hassle

Contingency Recruitment

What is Contingency Recruitment?

Contingency recruitment is a recruiting service in which a firm hires a recruiting agency or head-hunter to find candidates for open positions. The firm pays the agency only when the selected candidate meets all the expectations and is successfully placed in the open position.

contingency recruitment to find best candidate

How does Contingency Recruiting Work?

It works in an ordered manner:

  • The agency receives all the relevant details regarding the job, i.e., the job description by the client.
  • The hiring client and agency finalize the fee structure, terms, and timeline for the search.
  • The recruiter starts their journey by sourcing the candidates from various platforms, such as online job boards, social media, professional networks, and referrals.
  • Then they screen and shortlist the potential candidates.
  • After initial screening, the agency presents the best candidates to the client company.
  • The client organization then organizes the recruitment stages for these screened candidates.
  • If the candidate passes all the stages, they are selected for the role and offered the position
  • If the candidate accepts the offer, the employer pays the contingency recruiting agency, the discussed fee.
Working of Contingency Recruiting

5 Times When Contingency Recruiting is Appropriate:

These are the times when contingency recruiting is required, such as:

  • A company needs to fill an open position urgently and wants to engage a recruiting agency to support the search.
  • Multiple job openings with the same job description get filled.
  • The talent pool is more than the number of open positions.
  • The hiring organization wants to take additional responsibility for screening and interviewing the candidates.
  • The company wants to focus on managing the company, remain hassle-free, and not get burdened with too many tasks.

For Which Level of Positions can Contingency Recruiting be Used?

Mostly it is done for entry-level and mid-level positions, where there is high demand for talent and a limited pool of qualified candidates.

Who does Contingent Recruitment?

The client company contacts contingency recruiting agencies where it is the responsibility of the contingency recruiter to provide contingent recruitment services. They are experienced at sourcing, screening, and recruiting talent and have a profound knowledge of their client's requirements. Their responsibility is to find suitable candidates for the open positions using various means such as referrals, social media, etc. They then screen and present these candidates to the client company for consideration.

contingent recruitment

How do They Work?

Contingency recruiters get paid if their presented candidate gets hired for the respective position, which means they work on a commission basis. The fee is typically a percentage of the candidate's first-year salary, which the client company pays after a certain time.

What Is the Difference Between Contingency Recruiters and Retained Recruiters?

They are both types of external recruitment agencies that companies hire to help them find and hire suitable candidates for open positions. But these two are different in some aspects, for example:

  • Retained recruiters are paid a fixed amount upfront and typically receive a retainer fee after they find a candidate to take the open job. This upfront payment helps cover their services during the recruitment process. On the other hand, contingency recruiters get paid when the company hires their candidate.
  • Retained recruiters work only with a single client and generally present only a few qualified candidates. However, contingency recruiters usually work with multiple clients simultaneously and may suggest several candidates for the same position.
  • Retained recruiters get contacted for more specialized positions that require a lengthy search process. But contingency recruiters tend to work for a shorter period of time and focus on filling open positions as soon as possible.

Both contingency and retained recruiters can be helpful for organizations searching for the best fit for their open positions. The choice entirely depends on the needs and requirements of the hiring company.

Pros of Contingent Recruiting

There are many advantages of contingent recruiting:

  • Less HR effort: it may decrease HR's workload, reducing the time to source and screen candidates.
  • Reduced cost: as you only pay the agent when a candidate is hired successfully by the client company, the cost involved in hiring a contingency recruiter is preferably lower than any other method of recruiting.
  • Quick hire: contingent recruiters are highly activated to fill the open position as quickly as possible, increase the time-to-hire, and benefit the companies that need to fill open positions quickly.
  • Less risk: Contingent recruiters only get paid if their presented candidate is successfully hired by the client company, reducing the risk for the hiring company. No Win? No Fee.
Pros of Contingent Recruitment

Cons of Contingent Recruiting

Contingent recruiting does come up with some disadvantages:

  • Quantity over quality: contingent recruiters may focus more on quantity than quality to fill open positions as quickly as possible.
  • Same candidate: contingent recruiters who do contingency work can present the same candidates to various clients.
  • More money: contingent agencies might demand high costs, depending on the demand in the market.
  • Less communication: if multiple contingent recruiters are hired and are searching for the same position, it can cause a gap in communication between recruiters and the hiring company.            
Cons of Contingent Recruitment

Some concerning questions about contingency recruiting and recruiters (FAQs)

Q1. How do I know if this is the right contingency agency?

Ans. The choice of contingency agency depends on the agency's experience in your industry, research, and success in presenting the best fit for the respective positions. What approach do they use? What methods do they follow?

Q2. What cost do contingency recruiters demand?

Ans. After their presented candidate is successfully hired by the client company, they charge a percentage of the hired employee's annual salary. This percentage can vary from 10% to 30% depending on various factors.

Percentage of Salary

Q3. What do contingency recruiting do after they find the best candidate for the open role?

Ans. After matching the best fit according to the job requirements presented by the client company, contingency recruiters refer these candidates to the client company. If they get successfully hired for the role, the agency gets paid after the discussed time period.

Q4. Can a client company hire multiple contingency agencies to find the best fit?

Ans. Yes, a client company can hire multiple contingency agencies to find the best candidates for the open position as it will help gather a great talent pool and provide more potential candidates for the role.

Q5. What is the quality of the candidates presented by contingency agencies?

Ans. The quality of the candidates can vary, depending upon which company you choose to hire for your open positions, how they work, their success rate, and the turnover rate of employees hired through them. Sometimes in order to speed up and fill the open positions quickly, contingency agencies compromise quality, ultimately leading to a large pool of candidates with potentially low talent. But with the right contingency agency and process, great candidates can be found through contingency recruitment.          

Contingency Agency


It completely depends on your requirements and needs, whether you want to hire contingency agencies to find top talent or not. They assist a lot in hiring and finding the right fit, reducing cost, time, and effort, but only if the appropriate agency gets chosen. Otherwise, it will have some major drawbacks, as mentioned above.

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Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier