Recruitment: How to Make the Move from Contingency to Retained

If you’re a recruiter who’s used to pitching your services on a contingency basis, it’s likely the idea of selling a retainer to a client sounds like a pretty daunting task to you. But making the move to bring retained search into your recruitment offering isn’t half as scary as you think, and the pay-off is huge!

What's so good about retainers?

Make the step from contingency to retainedWorking retainers gives you a much better understanding of your workload and can help you make clear predictions about your pipeline and progress towards your targets each month. You also always get paid for the work you do, you'll be nurturing much stronger client and candidate relationships and you have a better work/life balance too.

Essentially, all the things you normally strive towards as an agency recruiter can be achieved by default if you start winning retained contracts with your clients!

So what are the first steps you need to take when making that step towards retained recruitment?

1. Take a brave pill

First thing’s first – you simply need to push your fears aside and commit to discussing the possibility of a retainer with your clients.

Just having the confidence to ask for a retainer can be enough to let the client know they can trust you to fill the job and it will reflect positively on your abilities – even if the clients says ‘no’ this time round. You'll also learn from every rejection and improve your pitch with every try, so what have you got to lose?

Just be sure to commit to making retainers your priority and make contingency your back-up option - otherwise, you’ll slip back to working 100% contingency again before you know it.

2. Understand the benefits

If you have a clear understanding of all the benefits to working retainers (not just how they benefit you, but more importantly how they will benefit your clients) this will motivate you to make retained search your focus this year.

Having that conversation with your clients will be much easier if you know that what you have to propose is going to benefit them as much as it’ll benefit you.

3. Use our eBook to create your retainer offering!

The most important step in moving towards retained recruitment is to take time to plan and package up what you have to offer in a way that's irresistable to clients.

And if you’ve no idea where to start with this, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

We’ve put together a toolkit for you to use when constructing your retainer offer, including some tips on how to convince your client that a retainer with your agency is the right choice. Click to download the toolkit below...

Recruitment Retainers

We’re also recently ran a live video discussion on how to win more retainers in recruitment on click to watch the replay!

Katie Paterson

Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.

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