Retained search is an approach that focuses more on the process than the result. We devote hundreds of hours beginning with client interviews with all the key stakeholders involved in the hiring process. Often times, we come on site to see the facilities and interview the executives in person. In addition, the Teldar Group constructs a detailed and comprehensive recruiting plan including target companies, key words, search string strategies, etc. In addition, reporting for retained search is comprehensive and detailed.

When to Employ a Retained Search

Senior Management Searches – For director positions and above, retained search is the recommended method. The main reason is candidate responsiveness. Senior leaders will usually only work with a recruiter when it is a retained search. There are several reasons for this. First, it demonstrates that the client company is serious and has placed a high level of importance on this search because they have retained a search firm. In addition, there is a perception amongst candidates that retained search firms are more professional. Finally, several good VP level candidates won’t even talk to the recruiter unless they know it is a retained search.

Confidential Search – If the company plans to terminate the incumbent but wants to get a head start on the recruiting efforts to minimize the time gap, retained search is the way to go.

Strong Internal Candidate – If you have a strong internal candidate but need to benchmark the candidate against external candidates, then retained search is the best approach. A search firm is not going to devote a lot of resources to a search of this nature unless they are going to be guaranteed compensation for their efforts.

Extremely Difficult Role – In addition to senior roles, companies at times of extremely difficult searches. This could be due to location, scarcity of a specific skill set, company image problems (recent product recall, bankruptcy, etc.). In these situations, having guaranteed resources on a search is the best choice.

Fee Structure for Retained Searches

The fee is split into three payments. The first payment is the Engagement Fee. This is 1/3 of the estimated fee and is due up front. The Installment fee is the second payment. This is also 1/3 of the estimated fee and is due 60 days after the search begins. The final 1/3 payment is the Success Fee and is due thirty days after the candidate starts the position.