Search firms operate under two primary profit models: contingency and retained search.
For the sake of clarity, firms conducting a contingency search are paid only upon the successful placement of a candidate; there’s no upfront cost to the company.
In retained search, on the other hand, the firm takes on more of a consultant role, earning money throughout the engagement for work done continuously.
These contrasts might seem subtle, but if you’re in the market for a recruiter, it’s important to understand them. It might mean the difference between finding the right candidate for your open position or making a detrimentally wrong hire.