Retained recruitment is a type of recruitment performed for a company by a recruitment agency on a retained, ongoing basis.
Retained recruitment is considered to be a more secure form of recruitment for the recruitment agency involved, as their commission is not dependant on whether they fill individual placements. Retained recruitment is entered into by a company on the basis that retained recruitment consultants will submit a higher calibre group of candidates to them on a consistent basis and will overall deliver more suitable placements than their counterparts, contingent recruiters. See more on contingent recruitment here.
Retained recruitment agencies can demand an upfront flat fee for their services, but must always assist the company they recruit for with filling vacancies, no matter how long-winded and difficult the process might be.