Difference Between Retained and Contingency Recruiting Firms

Companies have several choices when it comes to selecting the right type of recruiting company. Should you go with a retained or contingency based company. We will provide our thoughts on both services. So how do you as an employer decide which type of firm is right for your needs (?)

Retained Recruiting
Retainer based firms enter into contractual relationships with their clients for strategic search assignments. Since there is a contractual based relationship a retainer based firm will work exclusively on an opportunity until a successful candidate has been identified.

As the name implies retainer based firms will require an upfront fee to conduct the search. This fee is typically 50% of their total fee for the assignment. Retained firms operate on an exclusive basis which means the job will be filled through this recruitment company. They operate with processes and agreed on methodologies in place between the client and search firm. As a client you have peace of mind of a contractual agreement to protect your interest as well.

Retained search firms can establish a higher level of credibility with passive candidates. Because a retained search receive higher priority most candidates are more likely to take the call from the recruiter. Retained firms will share the name of the company up front to establish credibility. When speaking with candidates no need to be evasive with explaining your purpose for calling or sharing information about your client. For high level assignments retained searches are more appealing to executive level candidates. No need to randomly search for the dreaded purple squirrel.

We have found that many high level executives will only work with retained firms. They are also less likely to have their candidacy posted on national job boards especially when they want their search to be confidential. A retained firm depicts a level of seriousness on the part of the company to fill the position.

Contingency Recruiting
Contingency based recruiting firms will work on similar assignments while also working on other projects on their recruiting desk. Recruiters working contingency often will compete with the client’s internal recruiting department, job boards and usually other staffing firms who received the same search assignment. The catch is to present the best candidate before your competition beats you to the punch. The result at times can mean quantity over quality.

As stated above companies who utilize contingency recruiters typically open the assignment to other recruiters as well. This intent is to let the recruiting firms compete to see who can come up with the best candidates to submit for interviews the fastest. This sometimes result in a no win no pay approach by the recruiter. Situations have arisen where multiple contingency firms have claimed to have presented the successful candidate. These disputes will escalate to the point where the employer just decides that it’s easier to walk away from the entire situation. Contingency firms will be a lot quicker in sending candidates your way as they know the more candidates submitted the greater their odds are to make a placement. For some easily filled positions this may be ideal.

The Results
When your company has a hiring need for a mid management or lower candidate you should utilize a contingency based firm. If the job description is generic in terms of the skill set you are looking for then you should utilize a contingency based recruiter. Companies looking for a unique candidate in terms of skills and leadership qualities will hire a consultant. The consultant will provide true objectivity when it comes to recommending the best fit for your need. This is the ideal situation to use an experienced retained based firm.

As a retained staffing firm we are often asked by prospects the differences between contingency and retained firms. Many did not realize that the cost savings in working with a retained firm.

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Small Company Marketing Consultants – Why You Need One And How To Select One

Having spent many years working with small and midsized B2B and B2C organizations on their marketing and marketing communications strategies and plans, I believe I’ve got a good sense of the issues facing them. Generally, at the top of the list, is the lack of a real marketing plan. How is it possible that something so basic is missing? My conclusion is that, despite possessing the skill sets that drive their organization’s success, founders and/or management simply do not have:

Time to think about marketing at all, because there is always something “more important or urgent” that needs their attention;
A real understanding of the power of marketing and how it can significantly improve profits and return on investment (ROI);
The resources, budgets and people available – marketing and marketing communications is “unfamiliar and scary”, and there are always other areas that need support first;
The knowledge of how to seek out and evaluate professional marketing help.

These are concerns regardless of the type of organization – start up, early stage or established companies, and even nonprofits for that matter. And, without real planning upfront, many brands are operating with a “Ready, Fire, Aim” reaction to the marketplace.

What Will Hiring A Marketing Or Marketing Communications Professional Do For You?

In order to accomplish short and long-term objectives you need to develop a meaningful marketing strategy and an integrated marketing communications plan and tactics. At its core, having a professional marketing program will improve a brand’s profitability and ROI. This task is often outsourced, frequently with a part-time Chief Marketing Officer.

The process starts with the outside consultant learning about the brand – its strengths and weaknesses, competition, distribution, business plan objectives, existing communication materials, employee involvement. During this learning period, the consultant also avails himself of any pertinent primary or secondary research. Most important, this period is also the time for establishing trust between the organization and the consultant.

While some tasks may be completed directly during this learning period, an outside professional would use this knowledge to prepare:

1. A marketing and marketing communications strategy, along with a positioning statement. The positioning statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed, and a compelling picture of how the marketer wants the audience to view the brand.

Sound simple? Take a minute and answer these four questions about your brand:

The target audience, in very specific detail?
The category in which the brand competes, and its relevance to customers?
The brand’s benefit and point of difference?
A reason for the customer to believe – the most compelling proof?

The positioning statement is the credo for the brand to live by. All marketing and marketing communications should flow from this positioning and be understood by all employees, agents, partners and management.

2. An integrated and holistic plan with tactical expressions – media programs; creative executions, including new and/or traditional advertising; public relations; content marketing (social media, articles, blogs, white papers, video); packaging; point of purchase; employee engagement; and, events.

The use of internal or external staff to create the above will be directed and evaluated by the consultant or, if necessary, specialists may be recommended.

3. Recommendations for primary or secondary research when clear cut answers don’t exist on specific subjects. Marketing depends on a complete understanding of the customers’ “wants and needs” as well as how they relate to your brand and competition. Not just what your staff thinks; rather, information. Facts beat opinion every time.

4. A procedure of measurement and evaluation of the objectives of the agreed upon plan, as well as the established objectives to be accomplished with each target audience and marketing communication task. Benchmarking and on-going analysis is key to successful marketing programs, allowing for change or refinement as you proceed.

5. A format for informing and discussing the reasoning behind the marketing planning, so that everyone in the organization understands why the specific strategies, plans and tactics were developed and implemented. The consultant becomes a “teacher” and the entire organization becomes brand advocates.

Marketing consultants have increasingly become members of the C-Suite because of today’s turbulent and rapidly changing environment.

What Talents Should A Marketing Consultant Have?

Look for a consultant, full or part-time, who is:

1. Willing to learn your business from the ground up and doesn’t have a “one size fits all” mentality;

2. An established professional, with extensive experience across industries and brands in B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations, large and small. Expand your horizons and don’t settle for experience in only your niche or industry;

3. Media neutral and willing to embrace analytics to develop a variety of programs as well as to measure them. In today’s complicated marketplace, a consultant must understand new and traditional media, the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, “likes” vs. “sales”, the dangers of digital ad fraud, etc., etc.;

4. Apolitical and willing to tell it like it is, so candor will flourish in your relationship. Having your consultant free to demonstrate the discipline of marketing and marketing communications will build trust and a meaningful partnership;

5. Has an established network of marketing communications specialists who can be called in to provide solutions when necessary.

The marketing and marketing communications strategic and tactical challenges of today are growing exponentially. But, as with our uncertain economic and political environment, putting your head in the sand isn’t a viable response. As Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

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Strategic Marketing Using Digital Channels The Right Way

If you are looking to implement marketing from a strategic perspective in your company or business endeavour by making use of digital channels then it may well serve you to seek out some advice first. That’s some of what we set out to do here as we look to highlight some of the ins and outs of executing marketing in the digital age. There is more to digital marketing that ordinarily meets the eye as found in our consulting, devising and executing search engine and social media marketing campaigns.

When a company is looking to [via its marketing personnel or use of third party agencies] market its products and services use the available digital marketing channels such as…

Video Marketing
Email Marketing
Search Engine Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Micro Blogging

… all of the activities will need to be carried out via specific digital marketing channels with a view to getting engagement from chosen target market sector clients.

As an example of the statement made above; the decision could be made to use the social media marketing and to connect with clients using an associated advertising platform through which to serve up ads. Going through the process of crafting and executing specific ads necessitates that one understands who the target audience is that the business is concerned with so that time is not wasted running ads that will be ultimately shown up to people that are not interested in the related products or services that the company has to offer. Going through the targeting process will determine where one’s audience ‘hangs out’ so that when the message is seen it is relatively easier to consume [or be interacted with].

When running ads within the social media marketing channel alongside that of publishing engaging and compelling content, connect, following and republishing others content. It is important to make sure that the ads are in fact related to target clients likes, interests and aspirations as this will affect click through rate, engagement and other factors that lead to the actual cost of running the ad itself.

The content aspect of digital marketing is indeed a critical and foundational one as one piece of content can effectively be repurposed for use in various formats and on differing platforms and digital marketing channels. E.g. a well written article can be used as a blog post, then used as the basis for a podcast, this same piece of content can be developed into a video and then used to create multiple micro blogging content pieces. Each piece of content should be used within planned digital marketing channels in order to deliver the marketing message through to the intended market segments.

With the world in which we live in becoming increasingly technology enabled; this is continuing to open up opportunities for marketers and business owners to present their message to clients found the world over. However it is important to execute correctly and to start with the right messages, next the most appropriate digital marketing channel [some of which are listed above] are used in order to put the marketing message in front of the right audience. In other words a targeted approach should used as opposed to a shotgun spray and hope approach.

At the end of the day digital marketing is still a subset of marketing and it itself has its own set of sub digital marketing channels. The strategic digital marketing approach is strongly recommended as when adhered to and the results start coming in, one will understand why it’s important to continue to adopt this approach to business promotion.

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Why Donald Trump Is President

I woke up the day after the 2017 election compelled to share this article. We’ve all been taught many ‘laws of success’ over the years; reasons that explain why something or someone succeeds. We can’t always take this on blind faith. If you’re like most people, you want a healthy dose of proof.

This is by no means a political stance or statement, but rather a poignant way of proving to you that success follows certain laws. Laws have no exceptions; rules do.

The question raised by millions is “Why is Donald Trump President?” The answer may be summed up in one word.


Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Obama Won For the Same Reasons

It happens to be the same reason Obama won in 2008 and 2012. Marketing.

You’ve probably heard a dozen times:

“Victory Goes To The One With Superior Forces at the First Points of Contact.”

Barack Obama and Donald Trump both achieved victory at the polls because their marketing was spot on and they each kicked ass at the first points of contact.

Marketing is always the tool that determines the winner – whether it be a new product, service, business, book, idea or even the race to the presidency.

Hillary Clinton was clearly more politically qualified, more seasoned and better supported for both runs to the White House, but she was defeated in each case. With hindsight being 20/20, it’s easy to speculate why.

Donald Trump out-marketed Hillary Clinton from the day he announced his Presidency:

He clearly explained why he was both different and unique
He found out what his audience wanted and promised to give it to them.
He mastered the art of social media; especially Twitter.
He unabashedly shouted his message loud and proud.
He followed the Marketing Equation to a ‘T’ – He Interrupted, Engaged, Educated and Offered his alternatives.

No one can argue with these facts.

You Can Rocket Your Way to the Top

If you have the ability to stick to your plan and not get distracted by anything along the way, you can follow this simple plan to the top. It summarizes EVERYTHING we have shared with you thus far.

Here is the simple (not easy) plan to winning. If you want to become successful, wealthy, famous and even President of the United States, you must:

Become Great at Marketing
Embrace Social Media
Share Your Vision – Be Loud and Proud

That’s it.

Print it out, stick it on your wall, stay focused and accomplish anything your heart desires.

Your Unfair Advantage #19:

Think of Donald Trump’s Perfect Execution of the Marketing Formula – and Use It Yourself!

Let’s break down these 3 and see why Trump (and Obama) was able to win the Presidency – despite their lack of ‘qualifications’ over the favorites.

Become Great at Marketing – It was no secret that Hillary was in great standing with the media. It was reported her campaign had many of them on speed dial. Yet, she was still beat at this first point of contact. Every night Trump would steal the headline and get the media talking about him. He had 18 opponents dwindle away, one by one, because he was far better at this point of contact. He travelled the US with a simple and easy to grasp message… “Make America Great Again”. That paint’s a better picture than “I’m with Her”

Embrace Social Media- In order to reach the masses, you need many ways to do that. Get good at using social media. Trump was often criticized for his use of Twitter. Yet, he explained it was a simple way to reach out to millions of people in seconds. Hillary had her team of people occasionally send out a calculated message. People like to be involved. He used Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and his website to offset the media.

Share Your Vision – It’s important to state, your vision must be worth sharing, simple to grasp and bigger that you. Trump painted a picture of a greater America – Make America Great Again. He describe a handful of ways he would do that, and provided basic details on how it would get done. The end result was enough to keep people loyal to the cause. That’s one of the keys to effective marketing. Sell the BENEFITS not the FEATURES. Obama did the same thing in 2008 – Yes We Can! This chant heard at all of his rallies was short and to the point. He was the first President to truly embrace and leverage the power of social media to interrupt, engage and educate the American public with his message. It allowed him to share his vision with a far greater audience than just those watching the nightly news or reading newspapers.

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