The economy continues to improve and the war for talent rages on; yet employers continue to be conservative when it comes to budgetary decisions – namely, hiring. Compensation isn’t the only area employers are slow to invest funds. Many shy away from investing in the hiring process as well. Ultimately, penny pinching before a search is even launched is costing employers thousands more in the end.

The argument could be made that we are biased because TurningPoint Executive Search is a retained search firm. But look at it this way: With the majority of search firms being contingent and the vulnerability that comes with being a “luxury”, why haven’t we jumped on the bandwagon and changed our model? Because retained searches yield higher caliber candidates who fit most if not all of a company’s needs, hires more likely to commit long-term (as is evidenced by a firm’s retention rate), and satisfied clients who continually call on us to fill future searches.

What are the benefits of a Retained Executive Search Firm?


Because retained search firms work on a limited number of searches at any given time, they have the bandwidth to be fully client-centered. This allows them to invest the time and resources to develop a complete understanding of the client’s needs and expectations, as well as, conduct a more exhaustive search for the most qualified candidate.


Retained executive recruiters see themselves as a client’s partner. At the outset of the partnership, retained recruiters conduct detailed interviews with key stakeholders, outline communication expectations, provide detailed information regarding how the search will be conducted, and tailor those search methods to the needs of the organization or role.

Unique database of candidates

More often than not, a company will choose to retain an outside recruiting firm, rather utilizing an in-house hiring manager exclusively, because of the complexity of the role or the organization itself. Retained recruiters have a deep pool of candidates, many of whom are not actively looking to change jobs. These passive candidates can be hard to find. Retained recruiters invest time to cultivate contacts across industry and job function. This is key differentiator between hiring managers and executive recruiters and is extremely important when searching for uniquely qualified talent or a high-level/salary position.

Full hiring cycle commitment

Executive recruiters strive to develop long-term relationships with their clients. As a result, finding the best fit begins long before the executive recruiter taps into her database and long after the placement’s start date. She will be present for the full hiring cycle, including:

Executive recruiters know hiring goes beyond resumes and interviews.

  • Working with management to develop a well-defined description of the role and company’s culture
  • Conducting an extensive search through public and exclusive databases in order to develop a list of strong candidates
  • Engaging in pre-screening activities such as phone and/or in-person interviews to further determine the candidate’s suitability and interest in the role
  • Presenting the highest qualified candidates to the client for interviews
  • Acting as a mediator between the client and candidate to ensure all issues are addressed immediately
  • Completing reference and degree checks for selected candidates
  • Aiding in the development of the formal job offer and helping the candidate accept it
  • Assisting in the candidate’s transition and implementation of the organization’s on-boarding process

40% of new hires fail and the cost of replacing him or her will far exceed a retained executive recruiter’s fee.  Investing in a hiring expert with a “partner” mindset, access to a unique database of candidates, knowledgeable across industry and job function, and has the proven track record of making successful placements (and the retention rate to back it up) will help you find new hires that will be successful and an asset to the organization.

Download your copy of “Hiring an Executive Recruiter – You Get What You Pay For”