Online Course For Recruiting Professionals

Moving From Contingency To Retained

Stop wasting your hard work! Discover how to break the “commodity recruiter barrier” to become a “Trusted Advisor Recruiting Partner."

Learn more about the Course Breakdown  

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Hi, I’m Brad Wolff.

I started off as a contingency recruiter in 1992 and experienced many changes that have made contingency far less desirable over time. When I considered the merits of contingency search vs retained search (and retained recruiter vs contingency recruiter), it became clear that being a retained recruiter doing retained search was the far better option!

In 2014 I embarked on a mission to move from contingency to retained search. The result was that I went from being a frustrated "contingency commodity” to a valued, trusted advisor!  

As a recruiting industry Coach & Advisor, I’ve learned that other than rare exceptions, the firms who excel work with an exclusive and retainer (also known as an engagement fee). When I engage with new clients who focus on contingency search, we discuss contingency vs retained recruitment.. Many are shocked to learn that shifting to a retained search model is extremely viable for them.

 In my "Moving From Contingency To Retained" course, I teach you a simple, step-by-step process that has been 100% successful in moving from contingency to retained. I’d love to help you create a business model that honors what you do in a way that's fair to you and your clients!

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Most Recruiting Firms Struggle with 4 Problem Areas

Conditioned Thinking

They’ve been conditioned to believe that they have to work on a contingency basis.

Saying "No"

They are afraid to say “No” to the wrong opportunities.

Client Habits

Their clients are used to contingency, even though it’s not their best option.

Lack of Training

They haven’t learned a proven way to secure retainers with committed clients who value them.

In This Program You’ll Learn A Proven Process To:

Change a client’s or prospect’s perception of your company, from “just another recruiting firm” to a trusted advisor.
Stop losing, time, money, and resources when you’re working on your clients’ behalf.
Recommend and receive upfront retainers with exclusives that set you up to succeed.
Stop the frustration and overwhelm that comes from working with low-quality clients who don’t value you.
Schedule a 15-Minute Call with Brad

Course Breakdown

In this recruiter training course you will learn proven principles, strategies, and tactics including step-by-step frameworks, that you can easily apply. Now your clients and prospects realize why it is in their best interest to move from a one-sided contingency relationship to a mutually committed / retained basis.

Successful change starts with a solid plan that leads to quick implementation.

  • Our modules provide you with a solid plan via clear & simple lessons.  

  • Our worksheets & frameworks set you to successfully implement the lessons

  • Our bonus content, online support, and 1-1 coaching  to move you past any obstacles 

  • Now you’ll experience the many benefits of a retainer-oriented business!

Module 1: The Principles of Getting Upfront Retainers
  • You’re worthy & it’s realistic to move from contingency to retained.
  • Creating habits that lead to retained searches.
  • You’re only working contingency because that’s what you know.
  • How your unwillingness to say NO is harming your business.
  • How you’ll stay committed to moving to retained search.
Module 2: The Beliefs & Practices of Recruiters Who Get Retainers
  • Debunk the top myths about getting retainers.
  • The Beliefs & Practices of Recruiters Who Get Retainers.
  • Let go of conditioned beliefs that prevent you from asking for retainers.
  • How to say NO to contingency in a way that elevates your value.
  • The importance of client commitment
  • The benefits of working with fewer, higher quality clients
Module 3: How To Select and Close Retained Client
  • The Job Order Quality Appraisal
  • The Deep Dive Job Intake Process
  • The Retainer Conversation
  • The Objection Handler
  • The Contingency Client Converter
Module 4: Develop Mastery in Getting Retainers
  • Retainer Training Camp Spreadsheet
  • The 5-step Retainer Mastery Process
Bonus Content
  • Best practices to put the course into action quickly
Below is a free video Masterclass to Move From Contingency to Retained

Free Downloadable Guidebook

Purchase the online course

Moving From Contingency To Retained

  • Bonus module: How To Best Utilize The Course
  • All 4 modules of the signature online course
  • Worksheets to help you understanding and apply the lessons
  • Frameworks to guide your interaction with prospects & clients
  • Checklists of lessons to complete with time estimates to help you allocate your time
  • Three ½ hr 1-1 coaching sessions with Brad
  • Ongoing digital support
  • Recruiting coach & advisory with a track record of success in moving clients to retained

One-Time Payment


Most Popular - Save $204


3 Payments


Per Month - Totaling $2691


Put it into perspective: Your first retainer is typically 1-5 times the price of the course! 

Our promise to you: Each module contains video lessons, checklists of lessons to complete with time estimates to help you allocate your time, frameworks and assignments to help you get retainers with prospects & clients.

Money back guarantee: You have seven (7) days to review the entire course and if you’re not satisfied, then you will receive a full refund. This provides you with ample time to review the quality and usability of the content. 

You will receive: Ongoing digital support and three ½ hr 1-1 coaching sessions with Brad, and to provide you with proven, training, strategies, tactics, and to move your business  from contingency to retained.

Get More Information About the Course

Contact us today to learn how this course can help move your recruiting business from a contingency program to retained model.

Course Testimonials

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Judd Borakove of Red Monkey Consulting

I’m Judd Borakove of Red Monkey Consulting. I wanted to move from contingency to retainer because the market had gotten to a place where, as a contingency firm, you are competing it’s way too many people.

There was too much inconsistency and you became commoditized. And that that shift was so important to change our business and how we approach business, so it was no brainer. What’s different about our business now that we’re working on retained? I’m going to kind of say everything. The bigger picture is that we get to be picky with our clients.

Our recruiters are very excited to work on roles, because there’s now skin in the game and it allows them to know that we have these roles and we’re not competing. And when we do this we produce at the level we know we can.

Our clients ask us to do more work, so it has really changed the entire business and the way that we’re positioned in our clients eyes. When new business comes in the door that’s referred to us and we explain this to them, it makes sense to them. So, it’s just been a game changer for us!

The things we’re most helpful in the training that Brad provided? I’d probably say his guidance in general. You know the training seems simple, but it was kind of scary when you haven’t done it before. He made it very approachable and easy to understand how to do it. How to be comfortable asking and knowing what to do in the situation.

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Mark Whitman, Founder of Teambuilder Search

Q: What is your name, title, and company name?
A: I’m Mark Whitman, the Founder of Teambuilder Search.

Q: What caused you to want to move from contingency to retained.
A: It’s really a lifestyle change for me. I’ve had a high growth contingency focused firm for a long time with employees and consultants. Being in the fourth quarter of my career, I wanted to just work with an environment I enjoy a lot more, which is just with senior executives.

And instead of wasting my time in contingent search where you may or may not get paid, I wanted to make sure I got paid for my efforts as they are valuable.

Q: What things were most helpful in the training Brad provided?
A: I think that the framework is the first thing: How to approach it? How do we have that conversation? What does that conversation look like? That’s the first part. The second part is a lot about confidence that this is a right path and that it’s achievable.
You know that when you’re equipped you become confident. But also when you have a coach telling you it can be done and other people have done it, that’s very helpful as well.

Also, he provided me paperwork for agreements and things like that which was incredibly helpful. So I didn’t have to figure out with this new way of doing business, how do I support that with my agreements and paperwork. So having those templates has been super, super valuable. It’s saved me a lot of time.

Q: How is your business different now vs before?
A: I am making a lot more per placement and I’m achieving more results with less effort. And the effort I’m putting in I’m enjoying more because I’m working with the target audience I really want to work with in those higher level positions.

And the other neat thing is that I’m working with the people I really want to work with, which are senior leaders. I get to learn a lot more than if I’m making the placements…the 60 to $100,000 per year contingency placements.

You just don’t learn as much as when you’re working with the executive leaders. It’s just such a bigger opportunity to learn and enjoy that journey of learning and reapplying that learning to other clients.

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Ryan Buxbaum, President of Next One Staffing

Q: What is your name, title, and company name?
A: My name is Ryan Buxbaum and I’m the President of Next One Staffing.

Q: What caused you to want to move from contingency to retained search?
A: We were starting a lot of searches for companies that went nowhere. We were taking on these enormous searches, spending a lot of our resources and in the end we either got beat by another agency, beat by an internal candidate, or they decided to go somewhere else. So we switched to the retainer model.

Q: What things were most helpful in the training that Brad provided?
A: The number one thing was we decided just to make that our model. The second thing was building the value and overcoming objections, as they come up.

Q: How is your business different now versus before?
A: I was telling Brad earlier today that in the last two days we billed $14,000 yesterday in retainers and $11,000 today. And that’s helped stabilize our income and keeps it a lot more steady rather than the ebb and flow that we’re all used to from contingency.

So when the clients are already bought in by paying the retainer and they’re part of the search, we find that the jobs are easier to fill because they’re part of the process and everybody’s looking for a win not just not just the agency.

Schedule a 15-Minute Call with Brad

Online Course: Moving From Contingency To Retained

The chart below represents the outcomes you can expect by participating in this course

Your Current Situation

After “Moving From ContingencyTo Retained”

You're tired of being treated like an expendable commodity.
Your treated like valued, trusted advisor.
Clients & prospects say “We only work contingency.”
Clients & prospects choose retained because it’s in their best interest.
You often lose time, money, and resources while working on your client’s behalf.
You don’t lose money on searches because the deposit covers your costs and more.
You’re overwhelmed with poor quality clients and job orders.
You’re able to focus on quality work with quality clients to build a better reputation and stronger relationships.
Your fill ratios are low due to a high percentage of failed searches.
You fill the vast majority of job orders due to quality, committed clients who give you the ability to do focused, dedicated searches.
You frequently feel frustrated and used and know “I’m better than this.”
You feel appreciated and valued and love what you do.
You lose good recruiters due to the frustrations of contingency.
You keep your good recruiters because they don’t get beaten up by the system.
You struggle to get an edge in hiring top-talent.
You have an edge over your contingency competitors in hiring the best recruiters.
Your return on investment and effort are unstable and frequently low.
Your return on investment and effort are higher and more stable.
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