When forming a business relationship, a contract between a recruitment company and a client generally falls into two categories: retained agency services and contingency services. The type of services the company offers can greatly impact the recruitment process for the client when filling construction jobs and so within this latest post, our Toronto recruitment team present a guide to the differences between retained agency and contingency services in the recruitment marketplace.

In simple terms, the difference between retaining the services of a recruitment firm and working with a firm on contingency is whether you pay up front for your search or pay upon the hiring of a candidate. However, there are significant differences in the way searches are conducted under each scenario that are important to consider.


A retained agency will provide their client with exclusivity in the candidate search process. This means the recruiter will focus their efforts on candidates solely for that search and will not offer those candidates to other clients who might be looking for the same type of person. In a contingency search, qualified candidates may be offered to other clients who are drawing from the same talent pool.  In a retained search, the recruiter will also be able to provide the client with an additional level of control over the candidate search and help boost the communication between the two parties as the recruiting agency has a singular focus on the job role and the recruitment requirements.


When working with a retained recruiting agency, companies will be able to keep their recruitment firm accountable for the work they’re completing. Having paid an upfront fee, the client company will then be able to follow-up with the recruiting agency on a regular basis to determine the current stage of the recruitment process and make sure their requirements are being met. With payment only completed at the end of the recruitment process, contingency recruiters simply cannot offer this level of accountability.

Co-Promotional Opportunities

Trusted specialists offering recruitment services for construction jobs in Toronto Harbinger Network offer co-promotional opportunities to their retained clients. They’re able to promote the client’s open position across their broad network space and to highlight the opening via social media and other advertising platforms. This gives greater levels of visibility to the open position and ensures that a wider range of candidates are available from which to choose.

Consider Carefully

On the surface, it may seem logical to go with a contingency search. After all, you only pay once a suitable candidate is found and hired. Once you consider the differences in the way the searches are conducted, however, paying up front results in a more targeted, exclusive search that can fill your staffing needs more quickly and effectively. Regardless of the route you choose, a qualified specialty recruitment partner like Harbinger Network will always take the time to explain the differences in search methods and what best suits your needs.

The specialists at the Harbinger Network in Toronto are available now to fill construction jobs with highly skilled candidates. To learn more, call our offices now at 905-257-9691.