Contingency recruitment is a type of recruitment in which the recruitment agency would collect fee from client only when a suitable candidate is searched and placed by them for the position in question.

The name comes from the fact that the fee paid to the agency is contingent on the event of placing a candidate for client’s position. 

In this type of recruitment, the agency is basically competing with other agencies as well as the client (HR department, advertising, direct applicants ), and it will only get paid if it fills the role i.e. service performed by the agency is free till the candidate represented takes up the client’s job. So regardless of number of qualified candidates presented, the search agency would earn nothing till no one is ultimately hired.

So the recruiter has to be quick to be successful and hence they collect resumes from databases, job postings etc. and send them to the client as fast as possible before their competitors. As this process has to speedy, certain problems like remaining untapped vast pool of talented passive candidates, chances of a candidate/client mismatch etc. can happen. 

Contingency recruitment is used generally in the following scenarios:

  • For low level non critical positions
  • When many qualified people are likely to be present for the role
  • To fill large numbers of positions
  • Speed is important than quality

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