A retained search is preferable in cases where a company has a pressing executive level need that requires a candidate who will hold key leadership responsibilities and whose services are integral to overall organizational success. And the company’s internal methods to fill the role have not been successful. Given the strategic importance of these positions, there is often a degree of urgency and/or confidentiality that accompanies this type of search. Retained searches are given priority status in terms of the level of consulting talent assigned to conduct the search and the time and resources that are dedicated to the project. In exchange for this commitment, the client agrees to work exclusively with the retained search firm and cease their own recruiting efforts.

FITZGERALD RECRUITING takes great care in working with a client company to formulate a clear and objective outcome-driven search process. Furthermore, using collaboratively derived criteria, FITZGERALD RECRUITING carefully identifies and screens potential candidates based on their skills, core competencies, interpersonal styles, attributes, and work histories in order to insure the greatest potential for “culture fit” and positive organizational impact.  FITZGERALD RECRUITING also offers additional industry specific and validated objective testing instruments should this be a desired service by a client company.

The fees for retained searches are typically higher than for contingency assignments, usually 30-33% of the candidate’s first year’s annual compensation, given the level of energy and resources that a search firm invests in sourcing quality candidates.  These fees are usually paid out over three set time periods as mutually established “deliverables” occur.

The advantages of a retained search are significant.  First, retained searches take precedence over contingency assignments due to the mutual commitments that are involved in the search process.  A client company is essentially securing a commitment from the search firm to prioritize the search.  Search firms prioritize searches by dedicating a team of sourcing professionals to the project, setting target dates for specified deliverables, using direct deep-channel sourcing, and giving the client company the right of first refusal of sourced candidates. Second, initiating a retained search allows potential candidates to see how serious the hiring company is about filling the position, therefore giving credibility and legitimacy to the search firm’s consultants when discussing this position with potential candidates.