IT Staffing Companies

 IT Staffing Companies – Contingency or Retained Search

IT Staffing Companies are an important part of the hiring process and becoming even more important in today’s search for top talent.  In this article, we are going to take a look at the 2 main types of options that IT Staffing Companies offer so you can determine what is best for you.





















Executive search firms and IT Staffing Companies work to fill full time permanent positions, also known as direct hire.  This can be on a contingency basis or a retained basis.  With a retained search, a retainer is paid up front to start the search process.  Since the retained search firm is being paid to conduct the search, the process involved is very detailed to find and identify the right selection of candidates and a very thorough search is performed.  The position is usually given on an exclusive basis so not to compete with other IT search firms or IT Staffing companies. 

Companies usually select the retained search option when trying to fill higher level positions and more executive level roles.  This can include VP, Director, and C Level positions including CIOs Chief Information Officers and CTOs Chief Technology Officers .  Companies also select the retained search option for highly critical roles, that need to be filled immediately with the perfect match, or for positions that are very difficult in nature that will require a very detailed and defined process.  Not all IT Staffing Companies offer a retained search option however those calling themselves IT Executive Search Firms do.

With a contingency search, no fee is paid up front.  A fee is paid to the IT Staffing company once a placement or hire has been made.  The job opening may or may not be exclusive in nature, as there may be several IT Staffing companies working on the same opening.  Contingency search requires speed and quickness. 

Companies select this option if the position is not mission critical or a high level executive level role.  They understand that the position may go unfilled for some time, as one staffing company and then possibly another work on the role to try and find a match.  Contingency search is also used for contract staffing related positions. 







Both options can work well for your company depending on how critical your IT opening is.  If it is a CIO or CTO level position, a retained search is going to be the best option.  If it is a Desktop Support or Help Desk role, most companies would choose the contingency search option.

 If the opening is for a Software Developer or Systems Engineer, either option of retained search or contingency search could be a viable option.  Some questions to ask yourself could include:  How crucial is it to fill this role?  What implication will this have on my organization if this positions remains unfilled for an extended period of time?  Is this a very difficult search that only a retained search could result in identifying the right candidate?  How high of a priority is it to ultimately fill this position with the right individual?  Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about your IT staffing needs and requirements.


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