Since its inception in 1990 as a retained executive search firm, Shulman Associates has worked with some of the world’s most successful brands; Apple, HP, Oracle, Visa, AOL, Microsoft, and General Motors to name a few.
Seasoned executives recognize the retained search model provides far greater support, objective counseling, speed and results than the contingency placement model. This is because retained search consultants work with a fewer number of clients and fully concentrate their efforts on each search assignment. We are more intensely focused on matching the needs and goals of our clients and candidates, whereas contingency placement is a numbers game based on submitting the maximum number of resumes of unseen candidates with the hope that one of them will be hired. As a retained search consultant, I insist on meeting the hiring managers and team members, and I insist on interviewing every single candidate I submit. Contingency recruiters, by dint of the huge numbers of positions they work on concurrently, don’t have the time to meet hiring managers and candidates – for them it is a “numbers game.”
A brief history from my perspective: Up until the late 2000s, retained and contingency recruiters were charging the same 25% – 33.3% fee basis with various discounts for repeat business. Then contingency recruiters started heavily discounting their fees to 7% – 15%. Cost-conscious companies quickly pivoted to contingency placement, moving away from retained search in favor of cheaper fees. Concurrently, ATS (applicant tracking software) and job boards became extremely popular and companies started hiring junior entry level “recruiters” to respond to massive amounts of incoming resumes generated by these technologies. The result is what we have today – companies being barraged with resumes from candidates that are not appropriate for the job, frustrated hiring managers with incomplete and overtaxed teams, and candidates never hearing back from said companies.
The attention to details retained search supports is unparalleled, as is retained search’s success rate.