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Retained Executive Search Firms

Retained Executive Search Firms - An Overview

Retained executive search firms are the firms that are often called on to look for the cream of the crop as the next head of a company. When it's a high level executive position that's open, a retained executive search firm will likely be responsible for finding the best candidate, who is willing to make a change in their career.

This type of search for a candidate is much more difficult than mid-level searches. At any point in time there are only a limited number of high-level executive positions open, and only a limited number of people who are experienced enough to fit the bill. While that may seem like a perfect combination, you must consider many of the people who are qualified for the job are not looking to leave their current position.

Many retained executive recruiters specialize in a field or industry, so they know the ins and outs, and may have a little bird let them know when an executive is unhappy with their current job and may be able to be persuaded to move to a new position.

When it comes to payment, as the name implies, this style of executive search firms gets a retainer to do their job. Generally they ask for a payment that is equal to one-third of the annual salary of the candidate they are searching for. A portion of that will be paid up front, and other portions will be paid throughout the project, and when the candidate is found. While the price may seem high, the process of finding top-level executives who are ready and willing to move to a new company is not always easy, and these searches can last a long time, until just the right candidate is discovered.

As an executive looking for a new job, you may be able to contact a retained executive search firm and let them know you are available, but this is not generally how they work. For the most part, they find the candidates. The candidates don't find them. The best way to be spotted by this type of firm is to be seen as an expert and face in your field that they want to recruit for the company that has hired them.

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