October 3, 2016

Retained Search: Why Aren't You Doing More of It?

Imagine that you have decided to buy a new house. You go to three builders and tell them that whoever can build the house first will get the sale.  Now, what quality of house do you think you’ll get?  It might look okay on the surface but what is going to happen in a year or two?

Of course you wouldn’t buy a house this way, but isn’t this exactly the way organizations behave when they hire search firms on a contingency basis to fill a critical hire? For what is pretty close to the same price, why would you ever want to take such a big risk?  Here are some reasons you might want to reconsider how often you utilize retained search:

Quality versus Speed – With a retained search you know you are going to have access to the best talent in the marketplace.  Because speed is no longer the primary driver, your search partner can focus solely on quality and delivering the best candidate for your job.  In most contingency searches you get candidates that are either actively looking for a job or those out of a job, but with retained expect to see the passive job seekers too.

Right of First Refusal – If you hire a search firm on a contingency basis and they find a great candidate, they are going to get them in front of as many companies as possible.  Why? Because they have to…they only get paid when that person is hired and they have to maximize the chance of that happening.  In a retained search any candidates are yours until you pass on them and they are recruited exclusively for you.

Guarantee Period – In a retained search, the search firm has greater control over the quality of the candidate and in many cases utilizes a formal assessment process to help select the best candidate.  Because of this, guarantee periods are always much longer than the 30 -90 days you will get in a contingency search.

Retained Saves $$$ – Yes, retained may initially cost you 5 -10% more than most contingency searches but it’s a minimal price to pay for the level of service and the quality of hire you’ll  receive.  The cost of the wrong hire is much greater.

Partner versus Vendor – In a shared-risk model like retained search, you get a true partner not a vendor. Your search partner will work with you to truly understand what competencies and qualities you need in the hire and will gain a strong understanding of your organization’s goals and culture. They become an extension of you and help you build your organization’s employment brand.

Still questioning the value of increasing your use of retained search? If so, give me a call.  I have a great house to sell you. 

Tags: executive & professional search

Mike Gamble

Mike doesn’t fit the typical “sales guy” mold. At first blush he might be the last person you’d expect but he’s the best person to lead business development. With a background in science, he knows the industry and our clients’ business from the inside. With a quiet demeanor he’s a great listener, capable of really hearing and understanding the problem that needs to be solved. Plus, like his deep-seated passion for his sports teams, Mike has an unyielding loyalty to the relationships he’s built over the years, always staying in touch and connected.

Mike’s extensive staffing background and even his sense of humor help him infuse different ways of looking at situations, welcomed by clients and colleagues looking for a creative, collaborative solution.

Mike has nearly 20 years of experience designing comprehensive talent acquisition solutions for leading healthcare and life science focused organizations. In his role, he is responsible for leading the sales effort across TSP’s full suite of offerings. Prior to TSP, Mike worked for Yoh, a leading staffing and workforce solutions organization where he held various leadership and sales executive positions. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Ursinus College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University.

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