The different features and benefits between retained and contingency recruitment

30th June 2020
The different features and benefits between retained and contingency recruitment

AUTHOR: Dan Prince

Retained vs. Contingency Recruitment

No matter what industry you work in, you will have had some experience in recruitment – possibly from the perspective of both the job seeker and the organisation seeking a candidate. What many people don’t see is the work that is carried out ‘behind the scenes’; From pinning down precisely what role needs to be filled, to building a profile of the perfect candidate. From trawling through applications and bedding the right candidate into their new role once a selection has been made – it’s a vast amount of work!

Recruitment is far more than simply hiring the first person to step foot through the door, and ensuring a good fit is far more nuanced than many expect. When you need to ensure that the fit is right the first time, it makes sense to invest in the expertise of a team who are dedicated to successfully filling roles to take your organisation forward; Leaving you to focus on running your business without being side-tracked by finding the next team member.

There are two ways that most organisations will do this; sometimes it’s looking for a one-off fit and needing a guiding hand to position one employee – a simple, transactional arrangement which takes the paperwork off your desk. This is a contingency arrangement; you call us, we set the wheels in motion, and we are out of the picture as soon as a candidate is selected. 

This is great if you simply need to fill one role and carry on with business as usual – but what if that candidate decides to move on? What if another team member hands in their notice? Where do you turn when one employee is promoted, a new team is created and you need a reliable resource who knows the ins and outs of your organisational dynamic and is ready to plug those gaps?

A retained recruitment service means that we are never more than a call away – and that we can predict when you may need more support when you’ll be ready to begin the process for recruitment and when there’s going to be a new position opening. We can have the wheels in motion in advance, with a selection of applicants lined up. 

Our recruitment experts are not only aware of the fluctuations in your personnel needs, but we also have our fingers on the pulse of your industry, with head hunters experienced in skimming the cream of the crop, directing them to those upcoming spaces within your team.

As part of your dedicated retained service, we understand your culture and personality, allowing our consultants to build a better picture of your company – the ethics, values and views which shape your professional environment – and use this insight to find the perfect person to join your team. Over time we intuitively identify your needs and position the right candidates for you every time.

Even better still, we will then use this experience to conduct all the first-stage interviews with our DNA Screen platform; Giving you access to view the interviews of successful candidates ahead of second-stage interviews. 

Whilst the one-off payment of contingency recruitment may make sense in the short term, costs can quickly spiral as you pay-per-role and miss out on the expertise and insight that perfects the process when you establish strong relationships with a recruitment partner. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we see the biggest unemployment increase in decades. This means larger than ever applications per role – making it harder to pinpoint precisely the right fit. As recruitment agencies are inundated with requests, they may not have the time to focus on your one-off opportunity the way that a dedicated team could. 


Invest in the future of your organisation’s success, and partner with a recruitment agency you can trust to put your needs first, even under pressure. Call us today on 44 (0)20 7490 9350  or email us at



Barley Cricket Club

Proud sponsors of Barley Cricket Club

Berkhamsted Ruby Club

Proud sponsors of Berkhamsted Rugby Club


DNA are proud sponsors of the BD100 - Winning Together

The Network Recruitment

Members of the The Recruitment Network

© 2024 DNA Recruit

Created by Unearthed, built by