In recent years it seems that all forms of recruiters are saying that a core service they offer is "Search" and companies looking to appoint a recruitment partner are increasingly becoming confused!!
Retained executive search or retained headhunting sits at the management consultancy level and is as far away from contingency database recruitment as you can imagine. The confusion of 'search' has been created by contingency recruiters saying that they perform a 'targeted search' but the truth is that they are likely to be doing no more than searching their candidate database. I agree that you shouldn't invest in a retainer for this service and a success only agreement when they appoint a candidate for you is probably about right.
However, what is executive search and why would you invest your hard earned profits to retain such a consultancy?
In our world, when a client invests in a retainer it provides them with the guarantee and total commitment that Collingwood will keep going on the assignment until we reach a successful conclusion. Many of the executive recruitment projects that we are retained on are very hard to fill roles and so without receiving investment it would be very easy to give up and focus on easier projects that will deliver revenue quicker.
Aside from this resilient and committed approach, executive search provides a lot of value to companies including;
1. Rich data insights into their industry including competitor activities, competitor talent pool and salary structures.
2. Advice on the role they want to recruit and if candidates exist to make it possible.
3. Help to develop a robust recruitment process and an involvement in their interviews if needed.
4. Conducting psychometric testing to delve deeper into the behaviours and capabilities of candidates.
5. Undertaking candidate referencing to support the experience, qualifications and information they have declared in the recruitment process.
6. Attracting individuals that would otherwise be impossible to engage with. These include those who are very happy with their current employer but your opportunity is just very exciting when approached by a consultant.
7. Creating talent pools that you could come back to when creating other roles in the future.
8. Remove all the administration time involved if you recruited the role yourself. It is also very hard for companies to 'headhunt' candidates themselves in a confidential way.
There are so many more benefits too but the above 8 are core differentiators from services offered by contingency database recruiters.
Overall, investing in a new employee is very expensive if you get it wrong and so cutting corners to achieve it could come back to haunt you at a later date!
Here is another article worth reading http://www.collingwoodsearch.co.uk/our-insights/recruiting-retaining-talent/executive-search-a-cost-or-investment
Retained executive search consulting is a form of management consulting - the phrase refers to the contract under which consulting and recruiting advice is performed. The process of contacting and introducing senior executives is a sensitive one and should be performed correctly. It is not just a matter of payment. The retainer provides an umbrella of professionalism, credibility and recognized practice into an area of management where considerable harm may be caused to the individual and the organization concerned if proper process is ignored. It also implies partnership between the executive search firm and the hiring organization. The search firm brings industry specific expertise and unique insight on the client’s leadership needs.