Why a Contractor Should Do A Retained Search

January 27, 2013 · 2 Comments

by Peg Codington

You are an accomplished contractor.  You need to find a key person to add to your organization.  What do you do?  You could:

1. Promote from within

2. Advertise the position in the paper/internet/trade publications, have walk-ins, flood of resumes.

3. Network with your own contacts

4. Engage a professional search firm for your needs

If you’re a #1, you already know what your talent pool is.  More than likely, if the right person was already in your organization, you wouldn’t be looking elsewhere.

#2 is Advertising.  Expensive with your time and money.  Everyone does it.  You’ll get more than enough responses, but will be faced with sorting through dozens, maybe hundreds of resumes trying to identify a good, place- able candidate.  Is that the best use of your time?

#3  In lieu of hiring a professional search firm, probably the best way to go…but then, will your professional network really give up someone who’s stellar?  That they could employ themselves?

#4  Hiring a professional search firm will eliminate issues 1-3.  Now the question is…how do you construct a search agreement?  You could offer them a contingency search….if they place someone, you’ll pay them the agreed fee.  What’s wrong with that idea?  Any successful, professional search firm will know one immediate fact…you’re fishing.  You’ll work with them, also put out your own ads, do your own networking and consider working with other Recruiters as well.  Not very motivational from a Professional Recruiter’s view.  From a Professional Recruiter’s standpoint, could easily look like a waste of time…low odds that you would hire their candidate/s.

Why should you agree to do a Retained Search?  For one, you will have an ironclad understanding that this search is important to you and that you’re not simply trolling for resumes.  You will have shown a sense of urgency and that you are willing to commit your resources to find a high-quality candidate that can be brought on board fairly quickly.  More to the point, a professional firm will vet only the highest quality candidates that “fit” your company, the role and your culture.  They won’t waste their time or yours on something/someone less.

You will do your homework and find the right Search Firm/Professional who can bring you the results you desire.  A Retained Search will lock that firm, their time, personnel and resources to be dedicated to your search.  Yes, of course, it’s a financial commitment from you as the Client.  In return, you have an equal commitment from the search firm to focus tirelessly on your need, to spend whatever man-hours it takes to present you a select group of candidates…any that would be qualified to fill the position successfully.  You and the Search Firm are in a win-win stature.  Both equally motivated and targeted.  It separates you from other companies looking for the same type of talent.  The bottom line is efficiency.  You, as a Hiring Authority can go through Steps 1-4…but if your search is sophisticated, urgent and you have a legitimate need…you don’t have time to waste.  Time is money and you get what you pay for.


Tags: Clients

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