You may well find that you do not have enough active Dynasty members to carry out all the activities you would like to do - particularly if you are involved in Politics, or prizefighting duels (see Dueling). For this reason, you are able to hire Retainers - characters in the pay of your House who will carry out whatever activities you demand of them.
In order to hire a retainer, go to your 'Dynasty' screen and click on the 'House Retainers' link. From here you will be able to see all your existing retainers and also access the 'Hire Retainers' screen, which lists all available retainers in your galaxy right now. To hire a retainer, simply make an offer to the character you are interested in. The better the retainers skills, the higher the salary that retainer will demand. The potential retainer will consider your offer for several days (responding more quickly if your offer is very good) and then either accept or reject your offer. If he or she accepts then the retainer is immediately in your pay, until such a time as you terminate their services.
If several players offer employment to the same retainer he or she will consider both the size of the wage offer and the status of the Houses concerned - a retainer will be more inclined to join a House with high status. You must pay the wages of your retainers every month. If you are short of cash, you should terminate the employment of any retainers you do not need.
Note that you cannot terminate the employment of a retainer if he or she has an upcoming duel on behalf of your House. You must wait until after the duel, and until all challenges and insults with which the character is involved have expired.
The number of available retainers is linked to the total number of players in the galaxy. Retainers do not stay on the 'available' list for ever, even if noone hires them. A retainer who doesn't receive or take up any offers will retire and be replaced by others, in time. New retainers are also randomly added to the list over time, so you will need to monitor the list regularly if you want to get hold of the best talent.
As seen in the Rulebook
A retainer will never accept an offer that is less than half of their expected salary.
The cost associated with being able to higher a retainer is based on a random factor of the retainer themselves, and the Status of your house. A house with 0 status, or with Renegade status, will often have to offer much higher than a retainer's expected salary in order to gain their employ. A house with around 500 status or better will often be able to grab a retainer for the minimum half-cost.
Prior to a fix by Simon, the largest houses (usually 1000+ status) could hire a retainer for 1 solar a month. This fix added that a retainer can only be hired by half his expected salary.