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Contingency vs. Retained Recruiting

Not all recruiting firms are created equal.  One of the biggest differences is whether a firm works on a retained or a contingency business model.

So, what’s the difference between the two?  To put it simply, a retained recruiting firm must be paid to conduct your search whether they find your perfect candidate or not.  A contingency firm is only paid if a client decides to hire a candidate through them.

At Creative Healthcare Solutions, we are technically a contingency recruiting firm.  I say “technically” because two of the three partners behind the company come from a retained search background and wanted to incorporate what they know to be the advantages of that model into the accessibility and affordability of contingency recruitment.  In our firm, we truly believe our clients can have the best of both worlds and we’ve created a new model to provide that.

Many contingency recruiters believe in quantity over quality, but we prefer to do things differently.  Instead of blindly forwarding every resume in which a candidate looks good “on paper”, we take the time to have thoughtful conversations with every qualified applicant, so we can ensure they’re the right fit for the position on a deeper level and that their motivations and professional goals are aligned with our clients.  

We also invest time on the phone with our clients at the onset of every search.  We schedule an onboarding call with the hiring organization, so that we fully understand the opportunity, the company culture, and what makes an ideal employee.  We find that even a short call (that’s respectful to busy schedules) before we start recruiting can save hours later on in the process.  Having all the details and a clear understanding means we can do a better job screening candidates which, in turn, means clients only receive appropriate applications.

And our candidate presentations go beyond what most contingency recruiters provide.  In addition to the candidate’s resume or CV, we include an upfront summary with important information, such as whether they’re seeking full-time or part-time, how many years of experience they have, current licenses, certification status, communication style, etc.  

If you’ve ever struggled to decide between engaging a contingency or retained recruiter, we encourage you to consider using a hybrid of both.  At CHS, we provide retained quality services for the friendly prices and fee schedule of a contingency firm.