What do you look for in a Retained Search Partner

  1. Does your search consultant personally conduct the search assignment(s)?  This is the highest probability of success for search work.  What is the success rate for the firm over the last 5 years?  The amount of information that you receive on potential candidates is significant.  Who personally is conducting the search for potential candidates for you the client?   How quickly are search assignments being completed? What are the performance metrics? 
  2. Does the search firm limit the number of projects that are under management to insure that the depth of leadership does its due diligence, candidate analysis and situational evaluations with candidates gives the client a refined picture of the highly refined candidate group? This has an enormous impact on outcomes. 
  3. Who owns every step of the process to insure smooth delivery along the way? This is critical to moving top candidates away from other promising opportunities that they may be considering through other recruiters. 
  4. What are the internal resources within the search firm?  This is uniquely funded to provide maximum impact for the retained search client.  This includes tools that are developed and entryways for candidates to be put into consideration. 
  5. Experience of Client Manager? This can vary widely with search firms. Is there a person managing a broader array of projects and attention to a focused effort versus on a singular message/evaluation process. Simply put, it is more challenging to deliver laser focus. 
  6. Search context functions as a message to candidates in the marketplace.  Who is representing you on a retained assignment? It places that company and their goals/value for the role in a completely different context.

In summary – The higher probability of success is the retained search. Are you confident that you have the right personality, high performance expectations and the caliber of individual that you desire as well as available marketing talent that the retained search will deliver for you at or above expectations – getting what you pay for, faster is typically the objective.