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Services – Search Types

Finding top talent is harder than ever. As a result, an increasing number of companies are utilizing retained search firms to locate and recruit the talent they need. The quality of people determines the success of a business. Recruiting qualified personnel is a laborious and time-consuming process. The recruitment process consumes a significant amount of time that could be utilized more productively on other aspects of the business.

We understand that the same talent search approach does not work effectively across all companies and industries. This is why we offer various search options to help you find the right candidate for your position. Call or text 415-989-1188 today to discuss the most suitable search type for your recruitment needs or complete our Request Form.




Something to consider when choosing the appropriate type of search assignment…

Many companies believe that by working with multiple recruiting agencies they will get better results. In reality, the opposite is true. Despite the fact that these agencies submit a large number of candidates, often, none of them prove to be suitable for the position. Consequently, the vacancy remains unfilled, leaving the hiring manager in a quandary.

Ultimately, the company enters into an exclusive or retained search agreement. Within a few weeks, a shortlist of five potential candidates is presented. Three interviews are arranged and the client presents an offer to their preferred candidate. The applicant accepts the offer and all parties are pleased. The entire process took slightly more than one month.

Wouldn’t it have been more efficient for the client to enter into an exclusive partnership with the agency in the first place?

The Cost of a Bad Hire

Here’s What the Numbers Say!

The cost of a bad hire can
reach up to


of the employee’s
first-year earnings.

–  US Department of Labor

Bad hires can cost up to


in expenses related to
hiring, compensation and

–  US HR Exchange Network


of companies who admit they’ve hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire.

–  Career Builder

In addition, it is important to bear in mind the costs and consequences associated with hiring the wrong person. The cost of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a new employee can be as much as $240,000. And recruitment mistakes happen frequently. Bad hires impact productivity, team morale and cohesion, relationship with clients and partners, brand image, company culture, etc.

Think carefully about your strategy
so that you are not still hunting for talent
months down the line.
A retained search is an incredibly thorough and effective way
to find the best talent in
today’s market.

SummaryRetained / Executive SearchEngaged / Exclusive SearchContingency Search
RelationshipPartnership with clientIncreased CommitmentNo commitment on either side
Ideal UsesSenior Roles
Salary: $150-300K
Mid-Level Positions
Salary: $80K-250K
Entry- to mid-level positions
Salary: Up to $75K
Motivation / Target
Group (active vs. passive candidates)
Motivated to find
the best candidate.
Focus on passive
Targeting both
active and passive
• Active job seekers
• Bulk Hiring
• Quantity and speed
more important than quality
Cost StructurePaid on RetainerPartial upfront payment, remainder upon placementCompensation
contingent on placement
Additional SpecificsRetained / Executive SearchEngaged / Exclusive SearchContingency Search
Service ModelFull-service consulting, covering every phase of the hiring processHybrid between Retained and Contingency SearchAssistance sourcing quality candidates according to client-defined parameters
Focus• “Get the job done right”
• Headhunting
• Quality of candidate
• Focus on passive candidates
• Targeting both active
and passive candidates
• Speed
• Quantity (vs. quality)
• Primarily limited to active job seekers, hence lower-level candidates
Relationship / Agency ExclusivityExclusive search,
entrusted to just one
recruiting agency.
Exclusive search, entrusted to just one recruiting agency.Exclusive (one agency)
or non-exclusive (multiple agencies).
Commitment LevelHigh commitment. Agency dedicates significant time and resources to this search; does not stop until position is filled.Commitment level higher than the Contingency model, but not the same level of dedicated support as the Retained model.No commitment; can stop working on it at any time.
Agencies usually work on many assignments simultaneously.
Industry Overall Fill Rates90-95%
Search firms generally do not agree to a project that they cannot fill.
Ideal Uses• Critical Hires
• Senior Hires
• Confidential Hires
• Urgent Hires
• Niche Skillset
• Unknown Market
• Difficult Location
• Multiple Vacancies
• $150-300K+ positions
• Mid-Level Positions
• Urgent Hires
• Large Volume of Hires
• Limited Number of Suitable Candidates
• $80K-250K positions
• Entry- to mid-level positions
• Large number of qualified candidates available on the market
• Up to $75K positions
Candidate PresentationChoose from a shortlist of thoroughly interviewed and qualified candidatesChoose from a number of pre-screened and pre-qualified candidatesMore candidates, typically
less qualified, quicker
Candidate ExclusivityWill not present shortlisted candidates to more than one client simultaneously unless agreed to by all partiesAgencies present the same candidate to multiple clients simultaneously
(average industry pricing)
33-50% of total compensation25-40% of total compensation20-30% of total compensation
Financial Structure
(Fee is a percentage based on candidate’s annual compensation)
Fee is paid in three installments:
1/3 to start the search
1/3 at presentation of short-listed candidates
1/3 upon successful placement
Upfront, non-refundable partial payment of the anticipated fee for placing a candidate. Remainder due upon successful placement.Start Date / First day of employment of the candidate
GuaranteeDepending upon the negotiated fee90-day pro-rated replacement guarantee30-day full replacement guarantee
Key Advantages• Expertise through Search firm’s advisory role
• Focus on quality
• Efficiency
• Saves money
Focus on the logistics of candidate sourcing over in-depth analysis and strategy limits service cost