Written by Grégoire Depeursinge

3 September 2020

When Hiring Managers think about which recruitment model to choose, it is recommended to take into account the Total Cost of Hire or Total Value of Hire, for example:

  • How many resources are available and what are the delivery time lines with the chosen model
  • Ask yourself what the risks are in terms of confidentiality, both inside the organisation and outside (clients and competitors)
  • Consider the real cost of recruitment, especially taking into account hidden costs
  • Think about the missed opportunity cost of hiring a good candidate vs. hiring the best in the market

“The external cost is only the tip of the iceberg”

Retained executive search firms face strong competition from other candidate sourcing models such as  contingent search firms or purely internet-based ‘search firms’ as well as in-house recruiters.

What are the reasons for this development?

We believe that the retained model has come under attack as new players of questionable quality and business ethics have used the opportunity of low entry barriers to start their businesses. But does this mean that there are no trustworthy partners existing? No!

Recruitment capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of classic HR-teams are well known. But what are the strengths, weaknesses and differences of contingency and retained search firms? Many HR Managers know the differences of the fee/invoicing model, but what about the service level? For detailed information about this you can refer to the AESC’s comparison chart.

And what is the goal of the in-house recruitment team? Basically to in-source the capabilities of external recruiters (but which: contingent or retained?) in order to reduce costs.

The objective drivers to reach a decision about the execution of a recruitment project should be:

  1. (Available) In-house resources
  2. Importance of confidentiality
  3. Cost
  4. Quality/fit of hire

We consider each objective in more detail here. Be sure to consider all costs carefully before your next big hire. AIMS Consultants are experts in their particular markets and will always strive to offer the best value in service while being discreet. 

NOTE: This is an adaptation from an article published previously by AIMS Switzerland. Click here for the full version or if you prefer to read it in French or German.

Written by Grégoire Depeursinge , Managing Partner AIMS International Switzerland

Adaptation and final edit by the AIMS International Marketing Team