The healthcare industry is known for its critical demand for top-notch talent. Healthcare recruiting companies play a pivotal role in helping healthcare organizations find the right professionals for their teams. When it comes to healthcare hiring, two common approaches are often used: Contingency Search and Retained Search. Let’s delve into the key differences between these two methods and when they are most suitable in the healthcare industry.

Contingency Search:

  1. Payment Structure: In a contingency search, recruiters are compensated only when they successfully place a candidate with the client. The fee is typically a percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary.
  2. Multiple Vendors: Employers often engage multiple contingency recruiters to find suitable candidates. This method allows them to cast a wide net to find the right fit.
  3. Speed: Contingency searches tend to move quickly as recruiters are motivated by the “first to the finish” principle. This can result in a faster placement but may not always guarantee the best match.
  4. Quality vs. Quantity: Contingency recruiters may prioritize a higher volume of candidate submissions over a deep and thorough screening process. This can lead to an inundation of resumes, some of which may not be the best fit for the role.
  5. Risk for Recruiters: Since they only get paid when a candidate is placed, contingency recruiters face higher risks. If the placement doesn’t work out or the candidate backs out, they may not receive compensation.

Retained Search:

  1. Payment Structure: In a retained search, employers pay a portion of the fee upfront, typically a third or half of the total fee. The remaining portion is paid upon successful placement. This initial payment secures the recruiter’s exclusive commitment to the search.
  2. Exclusive Partnership: Retained search is typically an exclusive partnership with a single recruiting firm. This approach is often chosen for critical and strategic roles where finding the perfect candidate is paramount.
  3. In-Depth Candidate Assessment: Retained search recruiters often perform more extensive due diligence in candidate assessment, including in-depth interviews, reference checks, and cultural fit evaluations. This results in a more thorough candidate evaluation process.
  4. Long-Term Commitment: Retained searches are often used for executive-level or hard-to-fill positions, where long-term, strategic commitment is needed for a successful outcome.
  5. Higher Success Rates: The dedicated resources and in-depth evaluation processes employed in retained search often lead to higher placement success rates and the identification of the most qualified candidates.

In summary, the choice between Contingency Search and Retained Search in healthcare hiring depends on various factors, including the role, the urgency of hiring, and the desired level of partnership with the recruiting firm.

For critical and executive-level positions in the healthcare industry, where finding the perfect match is paramount, a Retained Search is often the preferred choice due to its comprehensive approach and the long-term commitment of both the employer and the recruiting firm.

On the other hand, Contingency Search is often used for positions with more immediate hiring needs or when employers are looking to explore a wider candidate pool with less commitment upfront.

In the end, it’s essential for healthcare organizations to assess their specific hiring needs, timelines, and the criticality of the positions in question to determine whether a Contingency Search or a Retained Search is the most suitable approach. Both methods have their strengths and can be invaluable tools in securing the best healthcare talent.