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Search Firm Selection

Retained Search

Retained search offers an exclusive, in-depth, and tailored approach to executive recruitment. It’s an investment in ensuring that critical positions are filled with the right candidates who not only possess the necessary skills and experience but also align with the company’s values and long-term goals. The higher cost and lengthy process are often justified by the strategic importance of the roles being filled and the long-term value that the right leadership can bring to an organization.

Advantages:

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Exclusive Relationship:

The search firm works exclusively for the hiring company, fully committing to finding the right candidate. This ensures consistency in how the company and the role are presented to the market.

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In-Depth Process:

The search firm conducts a deep dive into the company's culture, business goals, and the specific role to understand the needs and create a detailed profile for the ideal candidate.

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Extensive Search:

Utilizes vast networks, industry knowledge, and research to identify potential candidates, specifically those not actively seeking a new role.

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Comprehensive Evaluation:

Candidates go through rigorous assessments, interviews, and background checks.

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Long-Term Relationship:

Focuses on building a long-term relationship with the client, ensuring the candidate's successful integration into the company and ongoing success.

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Quality Over Quantity:

Companies looking for a specific set of skills and cultural fit may opt for retained search to ensure a comprehensive, tailored approach that focuses on quality candidates.

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Strategic Importance:

When a position is crucial to the company's strategic growth or direction, investing in retained search ensures that the recruitment process is handled with the utmost priority and dedication.

Associated Risks:

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Upfront payment:

Most of the large retained firms require monthly time based payments plus an additional fee for “administrative” costs regardless of progress. At Cutwater Martin we have a performance based pricing model where our client partners control the process. The only risk our clients assume is cancellation of the search.

Contingency Search

Contingency Search emphasizes speed but time spent working on a specific assignment varies depending on the ease of filling other roles, leading to less personalized service. Best suited for roles where the talent pool is deeper and there is not a significant differentiation between the skills of the potential candidates.

Advantages:

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Payment Structure:

In a contingency search, the recruiter is paid only if they successfully fill the position.

Associated Risks:

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Fragmented Strategy:

If you give the same role to multiple recruiters with the thought that more is better there are hidden risks. When multiple contingency firms are trying to fill the same role, there isn't a coordinated or consistent approach to how the role is presented to potential candidates. This fragmentation can result in inefficiencies and the potential for missed opportunities.

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Number of Assignments:

Contingency recruiters often juggle 10-12 active assignments in a given week and are frequently motivated to add at least one new assignment every day. This can create a highly competitive environment for which assignment gets the most attention.

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Time Allocation:

The time a contingency recruiter spends on any one specific assignment is dictated by how easy their other assignments are to fill at any given time. If other roles are more readily filled, they may prioritize them, resulting in a more fluctuating level of attention to each client and each individual search assignment.

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Dilution of Your Brand:

With several firms reaching out to the same talent pool, there's a real risk of diluting the hiring company's brand. Instead of one clear message, candidates might receive varied and even conflicting information about the company and the role, which can create confusion or skepticism.

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Overlapping Efforts:

Multiple recruiters might approach the same candidates, leading to redundancy and a perception of desperation or lack of organization.

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Quality Control:

The rush to be the first to present a candidate might lead to less thorough vetting processes, increasing the risk of mismatches.

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Speed and Approach:

The focus on multiple active assignments often leads to a less personalized approach. Contingency recruiters might prioritize readily available candidates.