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 with way too many people.

There was too much inconsistency and you became commoditized. And 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.

Judd Borakove
Partner, Red Monkey Consulting

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.

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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.

Mark Whitman
Founder of Teambuilder Search

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.

Ryan Buxbaum
President of Next One Staffing