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Delimited search firms differ from retained search firms in several aspects that make them more appealing to corporations interested in working with headhunters to locate and place talent quickly.
Similar to a retained search firm, a delimited search firm requires an up-front fee for its services—however that fee is fully refundable if the firm is unable to fulfill the terms of its contract within a specified period of time.
The nature of a company's employee search dictates whether it's in their best interests to employ the services of a delimited firm or a retained firm. While delimited firms offer a full refund if the search is not successfully completed by the stated timeframe, some companies may opt to use the services of a retained search firm if their need to fill a position is less time-sensitive, but more reliant on the need to find just the right person, no matter how long it takes.