Employers have access to many types of recruitment models when working with executive search firms. A lesser known but highly effective model is called Container Search.

What is Container Search, and how does it differ from retained or contingency recruiting? Not all recruitment firms offer a container model, and those that do can vary in how their offerings are structured. I will describe Lucas Group’s flexible model.

A simple approach to the recruiting and hiring process

Our Container Search asks that a hiring company place a refundable deposit on our recruiting process. The deposit ‘contains’ or encompasses the goals and terms of the search, and the broader agreement reflects the full recruitment fee.

The average deposit represents approximately 25% of the total recruitment fee. If a candidate is not hired, the deposit is refunded to the employer. Once a search is successfully completed and a candidate is hired, the employer pays the remaining 75% of the recruitment fee.

Container Search differs from Retained Search, where the full recruitment fee is secured in advance. It also differs from Contingency Search, in which an employer does not pay for any services until or unless a search is completed, and a candidate is hired. All models hold distinct value and benefits for employers.

When and why do employers choose Container Search?

This model is highly motivational for both the hiring company and the recruiter. It moves an employer’s hiring needs into the fast lane because it is based on a shared commitment. The employer’s up-front monetary engagement demonstrates a real and pressing need – and a genuine commitment to follow through with a hire. This in turn places the onus on the recruiter to prioritize and successfully complete a quality search.

Here are more reasons hiring companies prefer it:

  • Container Search can be used by any company in any industry.
  • It can be used to fill key roles in any discipline or area of operation.
  • It is ideal for very specific roles that employers find difficult to fill.
  • It quickly fills talent gaps in high-level, high-revenue-producing roles.

Not long ago, an investment firm in Dallas spent a lot of time using multiple recruitment firms on a contingency basis. They needed talent but were not getting quality candidates. Once the firm agreed to explore a container relationship with Lucas Group, we were able to bring them more than 10 qualified candidates within 25 days of entering the relationship.

Simple Container Searches can be performed without contract stipulations, and specific requests can also be established up front, such as a minimum number of qualified candidates to be interviewed within a certain timeframe, and other terms.

Gain access to the same top talent and search processes

Getting more for less through Container Search does not mean compromising on talent and consultative, thorough recruitment services. Lucas Group performs the same collaborative methods across every search.

I encourage you to explore this expeditious and rewarding model for the next key role you need to fill.


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