What is a Retained Executive Search Firm?

What is a Retained Executive Search Firm

If you are an executive who has ever searched for a job, you might have heard the term “retained executive search”.

A retained executive search is usually conducted for a director, vice president, or C-level positions with a minimum annual salary of $150,000. What you might not know is that there are two different types of retained executive search firms.

Whether you are a job seeker looking for your next C-level position or a business owner looking to hire, it is important to know the difference between a retained executive search for companies and a retained executive search for job seekers.

Retained Executive Search for Companies

Definition: A retained executive search for companies is where a firm is hired (and paid upfront) by the company to recruit an executive for a specific job.  

This is the most common example of a retained executive search firm and has been around for over 40 years. Companies hire retained search recruiters (headhunters) to find top talent for open positions.

How much do retained search fees cost companies?

In this model, retained search fees cost companies 25-35% of the estimated total compensation. This fee is not contingent upon a successful placement and can be kept without success.

Retained Executive Search for Job Seekers

Definition: A retained executive search for job seekers is where a firm is hired (and paid upfront) by the job seeker to find their dream job.  

This style of retained search has only become popular in the past couple years. Instead of working for the company, the firm works directly for the executive.

How much do retained search fees cost the job seekers?

In this model, retained search fees are a custom quoted amount, usually around 6-12% of the expected salary. Unlike retained search for companies, this payment usually comes with some sort of placement guarantee.

Which retained executive search firm is for me?

If you are in HR, Talent Acquisition, or Recruiting and you are looking to learn more about the retained executive search firms for companies, check out the top 20 retained executive search firms for companies. These companies include Korn Ferry, N2Growth, Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, and Boyden just to name a few.

If you are an executive looking for a job, the list becomes much shorter. As of now, there is only one company offering retained executive search for job seekers. That company is Find My Profession.

What is Find My Profession?

Since 2015, Find My Profession has helped hundreds of executives find their dream jobs at companies like Google, Amazon, Kaiser, Mercedes, UPS, Pepsico, Chevron and more.

They call it the “Career Finder”.

For a one-time investment, Find My Profession will assign an executive search recruitment consultant to manage your entire job search, create your resume, apply to jobs, offer interview advice, and network for you.

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