What is Contingency Recruiting?

By Abhishek Kathpal | Updated 26 July, 2022

When a company needs to fill jobs up to the director level, contingent recruitment is the ideal option. Only after a candidate is hired does a contingency recruiter receive payment. Companies Broaden their recruitment reach as a result without having to pay beforehand.

Learn more about the subtleties of contingent hiring by using this review. Check to see if your company would benefit from this outsourcing option.

What is Contingency Recruiting

Contingency Recruiting meaning and definition

Contingency recruitment is a sort of hiring in which a customer pays the recruitment firm a fee only after they have found and placed a suitable candidate for the open position.

If a candidate is placed for a position with a customer, a fee is paid to the agency, hence the name. Fees vary, but they typically range from 12.5% to 20% of the candidate's base income for the first year.


Companies' recruitment approaches differ based on a variety of variables. The scope of the organization's human resources staff, the organization's size, or the distinctiveness of the qualities required to fill a position is a few examples of these variables. With no upfront costs, outsourcing the hiring process to a contingent staffing firm dramatically increases the client company's reach.

Because these recruitment services are only paid for once, a candidate is hired, contingent hiring has very little risk for firms. A short time to fill is another incentive provided by this business model for the recruiter to move rapidly.


A contingency recruiter must manage more clients and search projects than a retained recruiter who is focused on a small number of in-depth projects to land a new hire. They consequently spend less time considering a candidate's soft talents and leadership qualities. As a result, the internal hiring team of a corporation must shoulder additional responsibility.

Sometimes a customer chooses to work with multiple recruiting agencies simultaneously to speed up the process. However, that can give the applicant pool the wrong impression. An appealing prospect may feel the post is too junior for them if several agencies approach them. The customer also misses out on the power of a single, consistent branding statement in the marketplace.

About the Author

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder at Longlist.io. Funded by US based OnDeck, Longlist is currently enabling 50+ businesses to increase their candidate and client reach outs, automating the workflow across stages.