Delivering Leadership

All Search Firms Are Not Created Equal

Why Retained Search?

If your executive search is a top priority and requires an immediate time commitment, choose a retained executive search firm.

Retained Executive Search is a process whereby a company (the client) retains a search firm to locate and identify the proper candidates they need. In retained search, the contract between the client and the search firm is exclusive. This arrangement displays a level of trust and confidence that the best candidates are looking for when they agree to discuss career decisions. Under this arrangement, confidentiality of both client and candidate are preserved until disclosure is appropriate and mutually agreed.

Employers cite these benefits:

Using a retained executive search firm provides confidentiality for the client if the organization does not wish its identity to be revealed. It is extremely difficult to keep a confidential replacement or search unknown within your company unless you go outside.

Likely candidates are not reading help wanted ads or searching online for their next opportunity. A retained search firm seeks out and attracts the most qualified and talented individuals who are not actively looking for a new position. Retained searches elevate the position and the company from the perspective of the highest quality candidates.

Contingency recruiters tend to favor quantity versus quality as there is no guarantee that the client will hire any of their candidates. Contingency recruiters also present candidates to multiple sources. A retained search prevents candidates from being "shopped." A retainer indicates a mutual level of commitment which means the executive search firm is focused on delivering results.

Relieves company of considerable administrative cost, risk and managerial time.

Consider the costs spent:

  • Advertising which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
  • Resume review time by human resources and top management.
  • Interview time of candidates not hired.
  • Addressing a volume of responses - There are over one billion lines of help wanted advertising daily in the United States. Who reads these? Is that the person you want to hire?
  • Determining real qualifications - It is common for individuals to inflate their education and experience on resumes. A good retained executive search firm will investigate the stated qualifications prior to submitting a candidate.
  • Screening and interviewing large numbers - under some circumstances, an ad can generate an avalanche of submissions. Often the screening process is daunting.
  • To assist with rapid growth - In time of rapid growth, it is impossible for the executives to devote the time required to search for a qualified candidate. A qualified retained executive search firm will know how to assist and where to find the proper talent.

Using a retained executive search firm relieves the burden on your human resources department and provides special expertise that may not be available internally.

Retained executive search firms have the resources to provide complete and thorough background verifications and references, including educational, credit and criminal histories.

Your competitors. A retained executive search firm can explore all possible candidates within a client's industry, including those who might be working for competitors.