A contingency search means the client only pays a fee if they hire a candidate that a search firm presented. Neither party has any kind of commitment to the other. The client hasn’t agreed to partner with the search firm while the search firm has not agreed to devote any resources to the client’s search.

When to Employ a Contingent Search

Large Candidate Pool – If your job specification is extremely loose and there seems to be a large candidate pool, contingent might be the best route to go.

Out of Work Candidates OK – If you want out of work candidates or candidates that are easily found on job boards, contingent search is a good fit.

Multiple Search Firms – If you want to go the route of numerous search firms, contingent is the way to go. Keep in mind with this strategy that most candidates will come from their existing databases with very little primary recruiting conducted.

Fee Structure for Contingent Searches

A contingency firm assumes all of the risk and only gets paid if you hire their candidate. The fee is “contingent” upon a successful hire. The fee is usually a percentage of salary and paid 30 days after the candidate starts employment.