Recruiting top talent is a critical task for any organization. The right employees can be the driving force behind a company’s success, and finding them requires a strategic and dedicated approach.
While many businesses have their own in-house HR teams to handle recruitment, there are times when specialized expertise is needed to identify and secure top-tier candidates. This is where retained search comes into play, offering an invaluable extension to your HR team.
What is Retained Recruitment?
Imagine an extension to your Talent Acquisition Team.
Retained recruitment or retained executive search, often referred to as executive search, is a specialized form of recruitment service provided by external agencies. In this model, an organization hires a recruiting firm on a retainer basis to find and attract highly qualified candidates for senior-level or specialized positions.
This approach is fundamentally different from contingent recruiting, where staffing firms are only compensated upon successful placement.
Why Choose Retained Search?
Retained search firms are staffed with experienced recruiters who specialize in particular industries or job functions. They possess a deep understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of these roles, allowing them to identify and engage with candidates who are a perfect fit for your organization.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
These firms have extensive networks and databases of potential candidates, including passive job seekers who might not be actively looking for a new job. This wider talent pool ensures that you’re not limiting your options to only those individuals who respond to job postings.
Time and Resource Savings
Retained recruitment can significantly reduce the time and effort your Talent Acquisition team would spend on identifying and vetting potential candidates. This allows your internal HR professionals to focus on other critical tasks while the retained search firm handles the recruitment process.
For hiring senior-level positions or roles that require discretion, retained search offers a high level of confidentiality. Candidates can be approached without disclosing the identity of the hiring organization until the final stages of the hiring process.
Improved Quality of Hire
Due to the rigorous and comprehensive nature of retained search recruitment, the candidates presented are often of higher quality. This means they are more likely to be a strong cultural fit and possess the skills and experience necessary to excel in the role.
The Process of Retained Recruitment
- Initial Consultation: The retained search firm meets with the hiring organization to understand the job requirements, company culture, and strategic goals.
- Candidate Identification: The firm leverages its network and resources to identify potential candidates, conducting in-depth research to find the best matches.
- Candidate Assessment: Candidates are rigorously vetted through interviews, reference checks, and skill assessments before being presented to the Client.
- Presentation: The retained search firm presents a shortlist of qualified candidates to the hiring organization.
- Interviews and Selection: The hiring organization interviews the candidates and makes a final selection.
- Offer Negotiation: The firm assists in negotiating employment offers, helping to secure the chosen candidate.
- Onboarding: Post-placement support may be provided to ensure a smooth transition for the new hire.
Is Retained Executive Search right for you?
To help you make an informed choice, we’ve crafted a checklist to assess whether retained recruitment aligns with your organization’s unique needs and circumstances. This checklist will guide you through key considerations, ensuring that your decision is well-founded and tailored to the demands of your hiring goals.
Complexity of the Position
Consider whether the position you’re hiring for is highly specialized or at a senior-level. Retained recruitment is particularly beneficial when filling roles that require a specific skill set or extensive experience.
Evaluate the urgency of the hire. If you need to fill a critical position quickly and can’t afford a lengthy recruitment process, a retained search firm can expedite the search and reduce time-to-hire.
Determine if your organization has the financial resources to invest in a retained search. While it can be more expensive than other recruitment methods, the return on investment in terms of quality hires can be substantial.
Lack of Internal Networks
If your organization lacks extensive networks within the industry or function you’re hiring for, a retained search firm can provide access to a broader talent pool.
Previous Recruitment Challenges
If your organization has faced difficulties in previous recruitment efforts, especially for critical roles, it might be a sign that external expertise is needed.
Think about the long-term impact of the hire. If the role is pivotal to your organization’s success and will have a lasting influence, investing in a retained search can be justified.
Alignment with Organizational Goals
Ensure that the hiring of an external firm aligns with your organization’s strategic goals and values. The retained firm should understand and embody your company culture.