What is Retained Executive Search?

When it comes to finding the right leader for a critical position, traditional recruitment simply won’t do. This is where retained executive search comes in – a specialised strategy employed to secure top candidates for C-suite roles and other senior positions. But what exactly does this term evoke?

Beyond Job Boards: A Tailored Approach

Unlike traditional recruitment which is generally focused on advertised positions, retained executive search operates in a more consultative and bespoke manner. A company “retains” a search firm, entering into a dedicated partnership. This firm then becomes an extension of the organisation, getting to deeply understanding its culture, goals, and specific leadership needs.

Not Just Jobseekers: Reaching Passive Talent

The significant benefit of retained search lies in its ability to research, map and access a wider pool of talent. It goes beyond active job seekers, focusing on “passive” candidates – high-performing individuals not actively searching for new roles but potentially open to the right opportunity (sometimes referred to as headhunting). This opens doors to industry powerhouses and hidden gems who can truly transform the organisation.

Dedicated Focus & Personalised Service

Unlike the scattergun approach of some other methods, retained search is a research led, laser-focused pursuit. Search consultants invest significant time and resources in understanding the client’s needs and conducting targeted research. They build networks, delve into competitor landscapes, the wider market, and leverage deep market knowledge to identify the perfect fit.

Beyond CV’s: Assessing Cultural Fit and Potential

While resumes/CV’s matter, retained search goes beyond a fancy CV. It delves into cultural fit, leadership potential, and strategic vision. Comprehensive assessments, in-depth interviews, and reference checks paint a holistic picture of the candidate, ensuring they can not only handle the technical aspects of the role but also resonate with the company’s DNA.

Investing In Leaders

When weighing up the risks of trying to hire senior leaders in house vs using the expertise of a search firm, it’s important to consider the bigger picture. An investment into executive search is likely to be more affordable for than you think, and is certainly likely to reduce the significant risk and cost of a bad hire. To prospective candidates it also demonstrates you are serious about the role and the organisations success, as well as respecting their confidentiality. It reflects the dedicated resources, personalised approach, and access to the best talent. It’s an investment that can yield unfathomable returns, potentially saving companies from costly hiring mistakes and propelling them towards success with the right leader at the helm.

The Final Word

Retained executive search is not just about filling a position; it’s about finding the perfect match to lead the organisation into the future. It’s a strategic partnership, a consultative experience, and an investment into your future.

If you’re curious about the differences between retained executive search and recruitment, check out our post here. If you want to find out more about executive search, go here!

CJPI Insights

This post has been published by the CJPI Insights Editorial Team, compiling the best insights and research from our experts.

You might also find these insights interesting...

How to Build a Strong Succession Plan for Your Business

Succession planning is a crucial aspect of running a business...

Retained Executive Search vs. Contingency Recruiters

When the stakes are high and you need to secure...