Full-Service Vs. Contingent- Your Perception May Not Be Reality

As I continue to meet with Executives and In-House Recruiters to discuss strategic planning and current recruitment needs, one of the questions I always ask is, “How are you currently recruiting”? I am frequently told that they have been working with some contingency firms without much success. This is understandable as a contingent recruitment model very seldom produces the outcome that a client is expecting from them.

First, let’s look at the definition of the word Contingent. (Subject to chance, accidental, possible, unforeseeable, unpredictable, random). These words alone should be considered every time before deciding to work with a contingent firm and here’s why.  The perception the client has is that they have 3-5 contingent firms working for them for “free” and the client has no skin invested in the process. The client believes they are “saving money” only paying a fee once the candidate is placed. What is often forgotten is the time the client has to put into the candidate after they are presented to ensure they meet the qualifications necessary.

The recruiter, in most searches, has no loyalty to that one particular client because they don’t have time to do so as they are chasing a commission check. They only get paid if a search is filled!  Submitting multiple CV’s to a client and hoping something sticks can be both time consuming and frustrating to the client. I am often told from our clients that have worked with contingent firms in the past that the candidates the contingent recruiter presents know very little about the actual opportunity and after a conversation with the candidate, they also realize that they won’t be a good fit either professionally, personally, or both.

We at Pacific Companies know that a full-service model is a better approach. Unlike contingent firms that are “shopping a candidate” a firm like Pacific Companies takes a different approach by taking your current position out to the market and increasing your visibility to a national level. Our recruiters are paid a salary. This allows your recruiter to invest the time to learn more about you and the position and why there is a need.  It is business standard for the full-service recruiter to meet with the client at the beginning of the search. Our recruiters at Pacific Companies, meet with the decision makers, tour the facility and the community as well.  You can’t sell what you haven’t seen, so making sure we understand everything the client is looking for both professionally and personally in a candidate is our top concern. From there, once all of the information has been collected, then and only then, can we approach the market with an understanding on how we can best help our clients. By the time our candidate interviews with the decision makers, everything that has been shared with them prior to the interview, should be an affirmation of everything they were told by the time they are there. One interview, one placement, is our goal!

We at Pacific Companies have a very simple recruitment approach. “Physicians practice evidence-based medicine, we practice evidence-based recruitment”. Even though the idea of working with a contingent recruitment firm may seem like the best option upfront, one must remember that regardless if you are paying a contingent firm a fee at the very end of the search or, a full-service firm throughout the process, the money invested in finding a candidate either way is usually equal or close to the same amount. So, you need to ask yourself, if the investment is the same for finding a candidate either way, who is more invested in finding the right candidate that will reflect the quality healthcare we want for our patients and, am I invested in the firm and process as well? If not, it may be time to make a change.

  • Rob Miller, Pacific Companies 2018