When to Use a Retained Search Firm

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If you are unsure of what type of search firm to use for an open position, a retained firm may be your best option. Here are some things to consider:

Hard To Fill or Niche Specific Searches
For these types of roles, a retained firm's ability to conduct thorough research will be the key. A retained search professional will better understand your competitors and be able to identify the top players in the space by using research to find very specific skills or attributes. The candidate pool is likely to be very small and/or geographically dispersed and the targeted approach that retained search firms utilize will be able to find talent faster and more effectively.

Higher End/ Executive Level Searches
Talent with base salaries above $150k are typically more familiar with the different types of executive search. Many will ask if the recruiter has been retained as it directly indicates a company's level of commitment to finding the best talent. Some will notengage contingent recruiters at all as they know their reputation is married with that of the recruiter.

Seeking the Best Candidates
The best candidates want to know that the company recruiting them values the open position and that the C level executives or Board Members value both the position and the process. The search process is indicative of the importance that company places on the role and the talent being recruited. The process from start to finish needs to be handled strategically and with careful forethought.

Concern forEmployer Brand
Your Employer Brand can suffer from the bad impression that is left when multiple recruiters have attempted to recruit the same candidate for an opening. Engaging multiple recruiters on an executive level talent search makes the decision maker look unfocused and can leave a damaging impression; if the company is not loyal to their search partner, they may likely be disloyal to their future employees as well.

Your company's reputation in your market is affected by your employer brand. Some companies are under the impression that using multiple contingent recruiters on a search is a good philosophy, mistakenly believing that having multiple talent sources will result in a larger pool of talent from which to draw. In truth, the opposite is often true; your talent search partners are actually a part of your marketing department and low level inexpert recruiters crossing over each other and connecting with the same talent will leave a bad impression of your company and drive talent away from your open position.

It makes more sense to commit to a relationship with one firm that truly understands your company and will stay with you throughout the process to ensure the position gets filled with the best candidate. This also ensures that the talent market being pursued for the opportunity is being treatedprofessionally and ethically, further enhancing your employer brand in the market place. How candidates will be treated by your company is represented by the approach you take to hire them. €A€ list Talent that has been won over by your employer brand, commitment to finding the best talent via retained search and a smooth onboarding process are much more likely to refer other €A€ players to your company.
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