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Retained Solutions: what is it?

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From finding hidden gems to engaging candidates, find out why it's so popular...

The recruitment market has never been more competitive. With the UK’s unemployment rate at its lowest level in forty years, a fierce war for talent has broken out in many sectors as companies fight to secure the brightest minds in the business.

With this in mind, sometimes using an ordinary recruitment process isn’t enough. When you’re hiring- and especially, when you’re hiring senior-level staff- making the right hire doesn’t only benefit your bottom line. It can help boost team morale, improve your company culture and, given the right person, grow your business. 

With 85% of decision-makers admitting that their organisation has made a bad hire in the past, a new approach is needed for securing the best top-level hires who can make a real difference to the company. 

Enter Retained Solutions. An industry staple, Retained Solutions has steadily been growing in popularity over the past few years- and it’s easy to see why. Offering a tailored, specialist service that stands apart from Contingency-based recruitment solutions, Retained Solutions gives clients the opportunity to find the best candidate for the job by exploring a much wider market. 

An exclusive service

In a market where passive candidates make up an estimated 75% of potential employees, finding the right person for the job is key. At its heart, Retained Solutions is all about taking on one agency to find you the candidates that you need. Ideal for finding senior-level hires- or those high value candidates that are typically hard to source in the modern market- a team of recruitment consultants will work exclusively for you, investing all of their time and effort into finding stellar candidates. They carry out an in-depth recruitment process, which involves mapping the job market to identify the right individuals for the role through their networks, company databases, and extensive research, before taking a longlist to the client for due consideration. The key here is that the process targets not just the active candidates in the market (such as with contingent recruitment) but rather the passive and inactive market to find the hidden gems.

The result? You might find the best candidates turning up in unexpected places: places you might not have thought to look yourself.

Advice and guidance

It’s not just hidden gems that Retained Solutions can offer, either. It’s proven to be successful: at IDEX Consulting, we’ve filled 100% of the retained assignments that we’ve taken on. It allows companies to hire people who will bring more value to the business, as people taken on through Retained Solutions are the best fit for the role, not just technically, but by personality as well , and are therefore likely to stay longer and have more of an impact on the job they take. Indeed, 94% of the retained projects we’ve taken on have resulted in a candidate staying in situ for more than five years.

In addition to finding a great candidate, using Retained Solutions gives the client a lot more say in who they hire- and who they want to hire- during the length of the hiring process. Alongside kick-off meetings where the client can set out exactly what kind of person they want to recruit, they’re also involved in whittling down the longlist with our specialist Consultant to the shortlist of people that they want to interview, not just those that are available for interview. But Retained Solutions also plays a part in streamlining this process. 40% of company founders say that their interviewing techniques need improvement, and so Consultants working alongside their client will often offer advice and guidance on how to improve their recruitment process, both for today’s hire and for the future.

A competitive advantage 

Retained Solutions also gives clients the competitive advantage that they need to secure the hires that they want to make. Given that the majority of the best candidates in the market are rarely active, there will be limited competition for the talented passive candidates you source and interview, as they’re not explicitly on the market for a new job. This exclusivity results in less pressure during the hiring process- and the guarantee that once you decide to hire them, they’ll accept, rather than taking a rival firm’s offer at the last minute.

Indeed, one if the biggest advantages of a Retained Solution is the way in which clients can control the flow of market intelligence relating to the hire. Once the market knows that they are recruiting for a key position, the gossip starts, and this inevitably leads to false information which can affect their brand. A weak recruitment campaign or mixed messages from multiple agencies can undo or dilute much of the hard work done by the leadership team to build and protect their brand. 

To combat this, IDEX has created the “Candidate Information Pack”, to manage this and it’s designed by the expert Consultants after detailed discussions with the client. Including information about the job description, the company culture, working strategy and more, candidates can come into the interview already invested in the role and bought into the client; as a result, clients have much more control of their company image and successful candidates are much more likely to accept the job offer once it’s been made.

Retained Solutions at IDEX 

We’re firm believers in the potential of Retained Solutions: with countless successful placements under our belt, and years of experience in the recruitment industry, the benefits of employing Retained Solutions- which, in many cases, hardly costs more than the Contingency recruitment process- are clear.