Frequently asked questions about executive search often result from a lack of understanding of the two major types of practitioners in our industry. Here is a factual guide for your information.
|CONTINGENCY FIRMS||RETAINER FIRMS|
|1. Frequently represent individuals seeking placement.||1. Represent Companies employer only.|
|2. Are usually in competition with other similar firms or agencies
for the placement.
|2. Conduct search assignments on an exclusive contract basis only.|
|3. Professional staff is usually compensated on commission for placements
|3. Professional staff is usually compensated on salary and bonus with
incentives for client business development.
|4. Usually search for lower level organizational positions including
but not restricted to individual contributors.
|4. Usually work at middle to senior management organizational levels.|
|5. Tend to spend little time on initial research and specification;
often never meet company management or prospects.
|5. Must know client organization and position responsibility/requirements
thoroughly before initiating search. Typically document this in a position
|6. Focus primarily on applicants/candidates actively seeking employment;
recruiting is placement-oriented.
|6. Recruiting efforts are strategically focused on a broadly targeted
range of potential candidates, most of whom are not active in the job market;
recruiting is process and result oriented.
|7. Search consultant works concurrently with a multitude of open job
|7. Typically the search consultant is personally committed to 3-5 assignments
at any given time and is responsible for the success or failure of each.
|8. With no guarantee of payment for services performed, the consultant
cannot afford to invest much time in a search beyond basic recruiting and
submission of resumes.
|8. Search consultant typically invests 40-160 hours per month per client
assignment in recruiting, evaluation, screening and client interaction.
|9. Will present most candidates within 1-2 weeks of obtaining job order;
may submit substantial paperwork to increase probability of a placement
by pushing for interviews and hoping for interest on both sides.
|9. Usually recommends 3-10 highly qualified and ranked candidates to
client company in 4-8 weeks.
|10. Contingency search requires considerable Human Resource involvement
in screening, interviewing and evaluating candidates presented.
|10. Requires minimal Human Resources and General Management time investment
until interview process begins.
|11. Under no obligation to guarantee or produce results due to contingency
fee arrangement (paid on placement only).
|11. Reputable firms offer a professional guarantee of candidate success
and are committed to thorough and ethical practices and results including
an off limits policy.
|12. Fees range from 15-33% of compensation and are paid by company
on placement (or shortly there after).
|12. Fees range from 25-33% of compensation (or flat quote) plus expenses
and are paid by company in installments.
|13. Decision to pay a fee is usually made by Human Resources and is
|13. Authorization for search is usually made by company General Management
and Human Resources Management with rigorous selection criteria.