To be retained or not to be retained?

To be retained or not to be retained?

Choosing the best executive search partnership to help with your next important hire is paramount in finding the perfect candidate. Within an industry which offers so much diversity, here are three simple points worth considering to assist in such an important and pivotal decision.

1) Recognise an executive search partner’s distinctive qualities

How many times have you seen the term ‘executive search’ used on LinkedIn profiles? Look at the time spent in the recruitment industry, the recommendations they have received, do you have any mutual connections? This will tell you more about a consultants capabilities than a job title.

The term executive search denotes a level of  professionalism, tailoring and head hunting.  A committed, steadfast team who search for candidates specific to your wants and needs are going to deliver a much more bespoke clientele than a database driven recruitment firm. Be aware that a larger firm doesn’t necessarily have a direct correlation to the best result!  Questioning an executive search’s “candidate mapping” will highlight exactly how precise and comprehensive their approach is in meeting your requirements. Successful candidate mapping should be headed by an expert in the field, so get to know the recruitment partner’s experience and credentials to ensure your expectations will be met.

2) Ensure your search partner is truly fitting for the talent pool you are targeting

Approach every search as a fresh new project. Consider exactly what you are looking for right from the credentials to the experience to the culture fit. It is vital to ensure that your search partner is completely competent to deliver as such, rather than simply just blindly buying into a familiar brand and avoiding the naturally perceived risk of unfamiliarity.

Regardless of an executive search’s brand, determine exactly how involved they are within the market division, community and level specifically of interest to you. Ensure the executive firm you choose are fully committed specialists and well experienced in achieving your specific target candidate, as opposed to simply being well-known in delivering a generalised whole industry standard.

Be aware that while a firm may brand themselves as specialist head hunters within an industry, commitments to their clients may restrict their headhunting search abilities on offer to you, so be sure to query if your competitors are in fact clients of theirs and if this poses any restrictions in their search for you.

3) Ensure your search is results focused and cost-effective

A consultant who is confident enough to insist on a retained project is one who knows they will deliver the right candidate within the timescales. It is important that clear milestones are set so that ultimately you are paying for, and the focus is on, the perfect hire, not just the recruiting process. Request regular updates, to ensure each stage in your consulting partners’ approach to finding that shortlist is being met and well underway to realisation.

Retained searches are often a useful way to establish that this is achieved and that your project is cost effective. Committed and professional executive firms will utilise this method to ensure a mutual satisfaction is met; their valuable time and effort is being paid for whilst you are able to hold genuine accountability over them to deliver the desired result on schedule as was prescribed.

So how does MA Executive Search operate retained searches?

In a retained search, the fee is for the time and expertise of the search firm. Retained search provides a guarantee to find you the very best candidate, not just from those candidates ON the market but from all those IN the market. This means we will use our powerful network of contacts to headhunt on your behalf, our consultants will be thorough in understanding your company and hiring position so we can attract the best talent for the role. When we initiate a retained contract with a client we will charge an upfront fee to conduct the initial searches and market mapping for the role. The process is rigorous with a shortlist of anything from three to ten names being presented before interviews commence. We assess candidates meticulously, we are interviewing them for a specific role so we are scoring them against pre-agreed criteria we create with the client. Our aim is to be able to present five candidates with the perfect skills, location, salary etc. and all the client has to do is pick the one they like the most. We will operate on an exclusive basis and during the project we will not work with any competitors. We work very closely with our clients and take a very thorough approach using an agreed methodology to find the best person for the job.

With over 15 years industry experience, Daniela recruits exclusively within executive level finance globally. Her sector experience is broad and includes all areas both private and public; Financial Services, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical, Property, Private Equity, FMCG and Retail, but to name a few.

If you are about to embark on your next Executive recruitment project, get in touch to see how MA Executive Search can help you. 

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