Retained Executive Search: What is it and should you be using it the next time you make a critical hire?

Bringing top talent into your business, especially for key roles critical to growth and success, can be daunting. It’s essential to get it right. However, the hiring process is time-consuming, resource-intensive, and requires specific expertise that you may not have in-house. 

That’s where a retained executive search process could be the answer.

A retained search process means you only engage one consultancy and work in partnership, on an exclusive basis, in relation to your hiring project. There’s an upfront cost, which is associated with the search/market mapping/research element of the work, that a retained search consultant will do as part of the search to headhunt the right people for your consideration. Whilst that might be different to how you’ve engaged with a recruitment professional before, consider it an investment in expert support and research, which will get you the result you need!

But it is important to consider the difference a retained process makes:

  • Time and Candidate Quality: Retained search ensures focused time, from an experienced team of professionals, to actively headhunt and identify individuals in the market who may not be actively seeking new opportunities. This shift in approach focuses on finding the best candidate for the role rather than settling for the best fit among available options.
  • Quality over Quantity: Retained executive search agencies tend to handle fewer roles at a time, ensuring that your role receives priority attention. This approach allows for a more personalised and comprehensive search strategy focused on finding, and exploring, the best candidate for your specific requirements.
  • Exclusivity and Focus: Retained search offers exclusivity and no risk of compromising brand reputation or messaging. It demonstrates your company’s commitment to the hiring process and enhances your image as a serious and focused employer. This exclusivity and attention can significantly impact the perception of your organisation among potential candidates.
  • Discretion: Retained search firms talk only to carefully selected people and manage the conversation so that only serious applications ever get to a point where disclosures are made either way. This level of confidentiality is valued by candidates and clients alike, enhancing trust and attracting top talent.
  • Due Diligence: Retained search agencies prioritise due diligence in candidate evaluation. They go beyond CV/LinkedIn profile and interview to consider the match, often taking references, insight reports, psychometric tests, and background checks. This process provides you with qualified and reliable candidates, mitigating risks and increasing the likelihood of a successful appointment.

Filling senior-level roles requires a combination of wide-ranging search efforts and targeted precision. Retained executive search offers a comprehensive and focused approach, resulting in higher candidate quality, exclusivity, discretion, and thorough due diligence.

At Tribus People, we believe in the benefit of a retained executive search process to find exceptional talent. Speak to us today to help you find your next leadership talent.

Or if Executive Search is not what you are looking for, get in touch with Sarah West Recruitment at 01392 873813, their skilled team are passionate about connecting incredible organisations with incredible people.

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