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The Different Methods Retained Executive Search Firms Use

Retained executive search firms employ different methods to locate candidates to fill vacant positions for clients. In identifying the right firm for you it is essential to understand these methods and choose the one which is most suited to your needs. Executive search firms may also specialize in different disciplines like sales recruiting, healthcare recruiting etc. Contingency search, exclusive search and modified contingency search are the major methods employed. An overview of these three methods furnished below will help you find the executive recruiters for your needs.

1. Contingency search

Contingency search by retained search firms is non exclusive in character and the fee is contingent upon the hire. In this method, there is minimal research and the recruitment agency relies largely on candidates figuring in the data base who may either be employed or out of work. Time constraints and the level of personnel being sought play an important role in this method. In most situations, employed people are contacted with the rider that such candidates may not necessarily have expressed an interest in seeking a fresh job. Personal interview of candidates is carried out depending on the urgency. If the employer prefers to interview candidates based on selected resumes. Similarly candidates residing in other states may also not be interviewed in person. But, the client is apprised of the situation and interviews are arranged subject to the client and the candidate agreeing.

Deliverables from retained executive search firms

Resumes are sent to clients with comments from the recruiting agency on the general suitability of the candidates. Several resumes may be sent in the process and interviews are scheduled based on client’s selection. Reference checks and biographical reports are absent. Reference checks are carried out by clients or the agency.

2. Exclusive search

This method of search involves only one retained executive search firm. The research is extensive and the search firm is involved in the process of interview and recruiting. The search firm personnel may travel to candidate’s location for initial interaction and costs are defrayed by client.

Deliverables: The client is presented with three or four candidates along with background reports, work samples, recommendation letters and extensive reference check report. Personnel from the search firm liaise between the client and the candidate throughout the recruitment process.

3. Modified contingency search by retained executive search firms

Some form of exclusivity is attached to this method which can be total or limited by time. If limited by time, only one search firm will be engaged until the agreed time frame lapses. Other head hunters can be added at the expiry of the time frame agreed. Client is free to pursue other recruiting exercises even when the agreement is subsisting.

This type of searches is usually ordered with an accompaniment of several conditions. These can include intensive reviews, interviewing the prospective candidates etc. A full fledged reference check may be sought even ahead of a resume being considered by the client. In certain instances, the candidate’s portfolio and written samples would be subjected to close scrutiny. With the agreement, the executive search firm normally receives a portion of the fee and full fee payment is contingent on recruitment.