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Contingency Search

Smarter than Contingency Search

con·tin·gen·cy (kn-tnjn-s)
1. An event that may occur but that is not likely or intended; a possibility.
2. The condition of being dependent on chance; uncertainty.

Don’t get us started on this one. Many of us are reformed contingency headhunters.

The contingency search model has only one advantage over Decision Toolbox: you don’t pay anything unless they provide a candidate you hire.

Now for the advantages of Decision Toolbox over the contingency model:


Because they operate on straight commission, contingency search firms are incented to earn the highest fee with the least amount of work. This means they shop their best candidates to your competitors and they put the least effort into the positions that are the most difficult to fill. With DT, you have a professional recruiter, supported by a specialized team wrapped in productivity tools and technology committed to filling your position(s), regardless of the difficulty. And we never shop candidates.


Contingent recruiters mask your identity because they are afraid candidates will circumvent them and cut them out of their fee. When we recruit for you, we operate as a member of your team, promoting your employment brand in an extremely positive way.


At 20-30% of salary, contingency search firms eat up your budget very quickly. Our fees average around 7% of salary. That means even if Murphy’s Law invades our relationship and we only fill one out of three searches you assign to us, your hard cost is still the same or less than a contingency fee, but you gain the other value adds we bring to the table.


Put another way, a 20% contingency fee on a $100K position gives you a $20,000 invoice. The same $20,000 with DT gets you three Standard Search hires.


Our new full service hourly model widens the gap even further with an average total cost per hire around $4,000 for most professional positions.


Contingent search firms typically offer up to a 90 day candidate guarantee. And if you have paid their invoice, the contingent recruiter may have little incentive to find a replacement for no additional commission. Our Standard and Advanced searches have a one year extended candidate warranty with the same recruiter commitment level for replacement hires.


100% of a contingency search fee is salary dependent, meaning the contingency recruiter is incented to negotiate on behalf of the candidate only. Our recruiters work for you.


Inherently, contingency recruiters are incented to throw as many candidates over the fence as possible, just in case one of them is the one that results in a fee. Because you are hiring us for the work we do and not just paying a sales commission if we happen to hit the mark, we are accountable for the quality of every aspect of the process, not just the hire.


Contingency recruitment is much like the Wizard of Oz – who knows what is happening behind the curtain. Our process is extremely transparent to you. You can watch every aspect of a search unfold in real time.

Disclaimer: we are aware that there are ethical, responsible professionals in the contingency search business. Your mileage may vary. Our intention is to draw a comparison of the inherent differences between the contingency model and our model.

Contact us to discuss your specific needs and to receive a pricing proposal. Contact Us Today
Download White Paper

Oh No You Didn't! Top 10 Mistakes Made By Candidates & Hiring Managers

This white paper is a fun read that compares the interviewing and hiring process to dating, with practical tips for both job candidates and hiring managers.

In addition to great hires, with DT as your recruitment partner you gain

  • Control and Freedom

    Log on any time to check the status of your hire. Our transparency provides peace of mind.

  • Confidence and Kudos

    Our first job is to make you look good. Our 1-year guarantee promises we will.

  • Intelligence and Insight

    Proprietary software and processes create unique, fresh routes to success.

See what our clients are saying…

Believe it or not, we don’t have giant heads. See More Client Quotes

  • " (DT Recruiter) is a great partner and I rely on her to respond as if she were my direct staff. She never lets me down. "
  • " (DT Recruiter) was a terrific recruitment partner...personable, enjoyable, responsive, willing to go above and beyond, open to feedback/learning...she was great! "
  • " Great process..very professional..speed of search and follow-up from (DT Recruiter) was great. Thanks a lot!! "
  • " (DT Recruiter) is just awesome. Her follow up ethic is perfect and she's just a joy to work with. Thanks for all your help. "
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