What Is Executive Search and How Does It Work?

Are you looking for a high-quality candidate to fill a vacant position? If yes, then the executive search is probably the best way for you to do so. Want to know what is an executive search and how does it work? You will find everything that you need to know here.

What Is An Executive Search Basis?

You may know that in recruitment there are different search models and three of them are quite common.

When using a contingency search model, one or many firms may be simultaneously engaged without clients paying upfront fees and without the guarantee of placement. The contingency firm typically has a less intimate relationship with the client and has fewer resources invested because no upfront fees are paid.

With the retained search model, a client chooses one search firm to represent their external interests while searching for an ideal candidate. A fee is paid upfront. The retained firm then works very closely with the internal HR department, management or even the board, to accurately define the profile, experience, and skills of the candidate they would like to hire. It is a very personalized service, quality-oriented, focused, and intimate. Then only the most highly qualified candidates sourced from across all networks, people who are not just incredibly talented, but who are the right fit culturally, are presented to the client until the best candidate is hired. The retained search model has a guaranteed placement result.

Another search model is called executive search with exclusivity. This search model is similar to the retained search model with the difference there is no fee paid upfront. The fee is paid when the placement is done. The exclusivity of the search granted by the client to the search firm guarantees the payment by contract. The executive search with exclusivity has a guaranteed placement result.

When Is An Executive Search Preferable?

An executive search is preferable in the cases when there is an important vacancy empty in the company that needs to be filled as soon as possible. It is also preferred in the cases when a contingency search has failed. So, the more urgent and confidential the job is, the better it is to find the candidate through the executive search.

How Are Payments Structured In An Executive Search?

For the retained search model, the fee structure is divided into three stages to enable the consultant to invest time, resources, and effort in filling out the vacant position. Let’s take a look at the three structures below.

  • The first third of the payment is given to the search firm in the beginning. It is the stage when the employer and the search firm agree to work together to fill the vacant job based on a retained executive search.
  • The second-third of the payment is handed to the search firm when the employer has shortlisted candidates for the job that they want to interview for the job.
  • The final portion of the payment is due to the search firm when the employer has found a suitable employee for the job and a contract is done between the employer and the candidate hired.

For the executive search with the exclusivity model, the fee is a one-time payment when the candidate is placed at the employer’s company and a contract is done.

So, if we look closely, an executive search, either on a retained basis or with exclusivity granted, is a win-win situation for everyone. As more resources are being dedicated to finding the most suitable candidate for the job, the employer gets the best talent available on the market. Contact us to learn more about our exclusivity search or retained search.