Reasons to Develop a Retained Search Partnership

Can You Afford Not to Invest in Retained Search for Senior and Complex Hires?

Are you struggling to make those crucial hires?  Is the talent shortage cutting short your company’s ability to progress toward its strategic business goals?

Your HR department is swamped.  Your security team is, too.  It needs improving with specific and complex skill sets.  A senior hire that is hard to fill.  Should you hire a contingency search firm or retained search firm?

Contingent Search v Retained Search

There are some critical differences between contingent search and retained search.  These include how the different services work and how they are compensated.  Before you decide if you need to hire a retained search firm, here’s what you need to know about these key differences.

Contingent search is a more common form of recruitment.  You’ll gain access to high-quality candidates, and the more specialized the recruiter, the higher this quality is likely to be.  However, the agency may also present these candidates to other hiring companies.  You will be in competition with other companies for the best candidates.

You only pay the agency’s fees if a hire is made.  That sounds good, like a no-win/no-fee.  However, this also means that the agency will likely simultaneously work on many hiring requests.  Therefore, the available resources are spread more thinly, with less time for in-depth analysis and candidate search.

Retained search is more reliable.  This is partly because of the more dedicated nature of resources made available to you and partly because of the relationship between you and the retained search firm.  You’ll agree on a hiring strategy upfront, and the firm will search for the right candidate with specific priorities dictated by your business goals and company culture, as well as the experience, knowledge, and skillsets you require.

Payment for this highly personalized service is made upfront and with staged payments throughout the process.  You also gain exclusive access to the candidate – the search firm won’t be sending them to your competitors.

You’ll also find that retained search examines candidates more deeply, qualifying their suitability across an agreed spectrum of metrics.  Here at Tiro Security, we use various tools, tests, and interviews to ensure the candidates we present to our clients are of the highest caliber.

The Benefits of Partnering with a Retained Search Firm

A contingent search often works well if you are hiring for junior positions.  But for more senior and hard-to-fill roles, retained search delivers the best results.  Before partnering with a retained search firm, you should always ask about their fill rate (ours has been at 100% since we started in August 2012).

It would be best if you also considered how much resources and time your company has to dedicate to hiring key people.  Our retained search service dedicates a team to your needs and can quickly deliver positive results.

In short, by using retained search services, you will benefit from:

A personalized hiring strategy

We tailor our search to the needs of your business, understanding your strategic goals, hiring needs, and corporate culture.  We’ll ensure that your search team dedicates appropriate time and resources to find the ideal candidates for you, immediately rewarding your upfront investment.

Discretion assured

Especially for senior hires, discretion in the market is crucial.  You may be restructuring a team, or a senior staff member is leaving soon.  A leak of such news could be damaging to you.  Also, many of the best candidates are passive and don’t want others to know they are available to be hired.

Access to passive candidates

Our personalized and personal search techniques extend your reach to candidates you could never approach discreetly.  We’ll find the most suitable candidates who may not even know they are willing to consider a move themselves!  The depth of our knowledge and relationship with you means we are ideally placed to recommend that a candidate should learn more about working with you.


We conduct our retained searches with exclusivity.  We are the only firm you work with on the hire, and we won’t present a candidate to two clients simultaneously.  This ensures the candidates we identify are presented with a professional approach, which helps improve outcomes with each passive candidate.

Search and selection expertise

Our retained search staff have the specialized experience, which we put at your disposal.  They have expertise in the headhunting process and in recruiting.  We work with you as an extension of your company, asking the right questions and gaining deep knowledge that provides us the insights to do a successful search.  Oh, and we won’t be afraid to challenge you as we help you to identify the characteristics, skills, and experience needed to be the perfect fit.

Be Serious About Your Next Senior Hire with a Retained Search

An approach from a headhunter is viewed very differently than a casual connection.  It demonstrates to a potential candidate how serious you are about filling this role.  It’s a more personal process, and the collaborative nature of the partnership should allow the retained search firm to clearly present your objectives, goals, culture, and values.

Indeed, our long-term partnerships with our clients mean that we are in the best position to identify and encourage the best candidates to take the first step to join them.  Traditional recruitment processes cannot compete.

To learn how Tiro Security can help you achieve your strategic goals through our retained search capability, contact us today.

Posted in