Why choose a retained executive search firm?
Traditional recruiting methods, such as advertising and personal referrals, may fulfill most of your lower-level and middle management staffing requirements. However, they are limited in identifying executives who are not actively seeking new opportunities.
Retained executive search is the best choice when you need to find the most qualified candidate for an outside director or senior executive position. The comprehensive, sensitive and confidential manner in which these searches are conducted is especially critical when the assignment is to replace an existing executive or implement a strategic change without alerting the marketplace.
A retained executive search lets you cost-effectively and confidentially recruit senior talent from your competitors and other industry sectors. It is a selective recruiting technique that identifies candidates who would not respond to traditional recruiting methods. By identifying, approaching, and evaluating candidates based on your specific selection criteria, a retained search can identify candidates with the skills, experience, temperament and values you require.
How is a retained search firm different from a contingency search firm?
With a retained executive search, the consultant is bound by a commitment to the client to provide the best-qualified candidate, not simply to "fill a job." Retained executive search is generally recognized as the best method for finding senior level executives and filling highly specialized positions.
By comparison, contingency recruiting is usually confined to recruiting lower-level positions. The agency earns its fee by acting as a broker, placing someone from a pool of candidates who are seeking employment. This type of placement can be effective when a company is hiring several entry-level positions, for example. But this is not search, it is placement. Looking for candidates among those who are available can be done quickly but will not assure that the best candidates have been considered. Search, when conducted by a firm which exclusively conducts retained search, focuses on candidates who are not looking for a change. For them to give up a position in order to take the one we presented, demonstrates their commitment to our client and the new opportunity which lies ahead. When a company requires an executive with precise skills, human characteristics, and leadership, a comprehensive and dedicated search is the solution.
What Should You Expect from Retained Executive Search Firm?
No Limits to "Off-Limits"
It's important to understand a firm's "off-limits" policy. All ethical firms refrain from recruiting candidates from companies they are currently representing. However, some firms define "off limits" very narrowly, and impose few -- if any -- prohibitions. Such firms find it acceptable to recruit candidates from companies that have entrusted them to recruit their senior executives.
At Lasher Associates, we will never recruit - or cause to be recruited - any individual employed by one of our current clients. If our relationship ends, we will maintain this prohibition for a minimum of two years.
Parallel Processing is Unethical
Do not select a firm that engages in "parallel processing." This practice among large search firms, which entails presenting the same candidate to more than one client simultaneously, is unethical.
Lasher Associates will not present you with a candidate we've presented concurrently to another client. We will never sacrifice your interests - or our ethics - for expedience. We're committed to building a long-term relationship with you that's based on integrity and trust.
Confidentiality Can't be Assumed
Far too many recruiters breach confidentiality by disclosing information about the identity of candidates and clients. The damages resulting from such leaks can be devastating to companies and especially to candidates who are currently employed. It's critical to hire a firm that can be entrusted with private and propriety information.
Lasher Associates maintains complete confidentiality about every assignment. We will never use confidential information gained in the course of an assignment in a way that does not serve your best interests.
Diligent Referencing is a Must
Ironically, reference checking is one of the most important elements in the entire search process; and yet, many firms are too often guilty of shallow referencing. Always seek a search professional who is skilled in the art of questioning and who invests the time to pry out the truth about the candidate being referenced.
At Lasher Associates, we take pride in the thoroughness and accuracy of our reference checking. Our consultants have the persistence, skill and subtlety to uncover the relevant aspects of a candidate's character, personality, skills and experience.
Deceptive Sourcing is a Turn-Off
Some search firms use false pretenses to get past the "gatekeepers" who try to prevent them from contacting potential candidates. This deception will invariably "turn off" executives who are accustomed to professional search practices. Experienced recruiters will succeed at finding and attracting these hard-to-reach candidates while maintaining their integrity and professionalism.
We've built our reputation on an ability to successfully recruit senior-level candidates while upholding our ethical standards. That's why companies continue to trust us to recruit the most important people into their companies.
Beware of the "Perfect" Candidate
Some search firms are so eager to present an ideal image, they may overemphasize or misrepresent a candidate's strengths. This habit of presenting all semi-final candidates as "superstars" is irritating to most clients, and very few are fooled by the misrepresentation.
Because we're committed to your long-term success, we won't waste your time with candidates who are not an excellent fit. We know that leaders who don't integrate quickly into your organization will ultimately leave, at great cost to your company's bottom-line and our relationship with you.