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Retained Recruitment

Higly personalised service, our most sought out service 

What is Retained Recruitment?

We refer to “headhunting,” a proactive recruiting method. This type of recruitment search is a partnership between the client and the recruiter, shortlisting the best and most qualified candidates. Other terms include “engaged search” or “executive hire” but all have the same meaning

Contingent vs Retained

In a contingent search, a fixed price per placement is agreed upon at the start, payable on successful candidate’s start date — in other words, a contingent recruiter is only paid if they succeed at finding someone.

In a retained search, however, a percentage of the agreed price is paid up-front with the remainder payable upon successful completion of the assignment.

If the assignment is not completed, the payment is refunded in full. With fill rates at 85-95%, this option offers a measure of certainty and a full commitment to fill the vacancy. 

The Truth about Retained

There are many benefits to retained search over contingent. Here are 5 reasons to utilize retained search for your next big hire: 

  • Higher priority level

    • Placement takes higher priority than commission-based placements. 

  • Finding rare skill sets

  • More proactivity 

    • A more proactive approach, This enables a much wider selection than just those who are in a database, answered ads or shown interest themselves. 

  • Most vetted candidates

    • With retained search, your candidates have been fully vetted — from more strenuous background checks, reference checks and so on, you can know only the most genuinely-qualified candidates, both skill-wise and culturally, will be presented. 

  • Quality over quantity

    • Using multiple recruitment firms can mean juggling many candidates and having to keep up with which candidate comes from which firm. A retained search offers a single point of contact for the entire recruitment process. You are kept informed at every phase so you can keep track of the activity, enabling complete control of the process. Instead of being overwhelmed by multiple candidates from multiple sources, you now have a streamlined and time-effective process.

How it works

Crawford & Carruthers invest all our resources and dedicates our research capacity on each search assignment while leveraging the full spectrum of active and passive candidates available in the market. 

Our Process

  • Working with the client to get a complete understanding of the company culture and the perfect candidate

  • Define a tailor-made search strategy

  • Progress report to the client every step of the way

  • Shortlisting and submitting a candidate pack consisting of comprehensive CV, our findings and a copy of our video interview


We provide our client with a selection of highly qualified candidates that have the right background and experience for the specific opportunity and fit well with the client’s culture.

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