Retained executive search means you (the client) agree to work with me, Karen Shnek Lippman (the executive recruiter), exclusively - for the duration of the search, from beginning to end.
Beginning is typically when you and I sign the fee agreement. End is the date the awesome person we hire starts working at your company.
Retained executive search takes on average, two to four months, beginning to end.
As a retained executive recruiter, I act as your "brand ambassador" for the duration of the search. I go into the marketplace on your behalf to proactively identify senior-level executives whose experience, interests, and management style (people + process) match the position (s) you need to fill.
My approach to identifying the best talent is "holistic." I do not evaluate candidates simply based on their degree (s) or the current and second most recent employer listed on their resume or Linkedin profile. I look at the whole picture - the individual and why the person has made the choices s/he/they has/have throughout his/her/their career and why s/he/they would be a great fit for your team, company culture, growth plans, and other goals. What's the 90-day vs. five-year plan?
If your search firm or in-house recruiters are taking six months (or longer) to close a search and/or produce the right candidates, the key is to evaluate what is not working.
Working with an experienced recruiter - who has been recruiting and hiring senior and executive-level talent for decades, approaches talent acquisition with "strategy," has sophisticated communications skills, and a solid understanding of general business dynamics and how org charts are structured - by job function and industry, is paramount to producing successful, timely results.
You, the hiring manager, and I (the recruiter) discuss your talent acquisition needs/the open position.
I share my knowledge of the market/position and we agree on key search parameters. These can include compensation, title, hybrid/remote options, business + other travel, relocation - if offered, benefits, desired degrees, relevant work and industry experience, management experience, search challenges (if the position was open before I came along), target companies, timeline, and the people at your company and on your team that the candidate will eventually meet with - along the interviewing process.
In a follow-up email or chat, I provide profiles of a few candidates who match what we have discussed in Step 1. We "calibrate" or make sure our search strategy is "aligned," BEFORE we begin the search. If we decide to move forward and work together on the search, we sign the fee agreement, and the real fun begins - active recruiting!
Oh wait. We first need to create a job description to share with candidates. OR I review your job description and update it to make sure we are working with accurate, clear information that a senior-level candidate needs in order to make a decision on whether to initially pursue the job (or not).
I do not randomly email job descriptions to candidates. That's not retained executive search - blasting it out there and seeing what sticks.
I send the job description to only those candidates I research and identify who are highly-qualified for the role and logistically, make sense.
At this stage of the search process, I will also guide you on company "assets" that may exist that we can leverage throughout the search process - to help attract top talent.
In a few weeks, I present you with three to five, highly-qualified candidates who are interested in the position. I have already interviewed all of these candidates at length, via phone and video.
I provide you with a written summary of each qualified candidate, highlighting the candidate's strengths and weaknesses for the open role. We decide which candidates to start interviewing and begin interviews with your company executives.
While we are interviewing strong candidates with your team, I am continually "hunting" in the markeplace for the best talent - until we find "the one."
Once you have fallen in love with one of the candidates or "finalists," and the candidate or "finalist" you wish to hire has fallen in love with you/your Company, we begin formulating the Offer.
I have negotiated complex compensation packages involving base salary, sign-on bonuses, retention bonuses, and short and long-term incentives, with the Head of Compensation at a Fortune 20 company. I have worked with Founders on more basic compensation negotiations that involve a base salary + bonus.
I am highly adept at communicating and setting accurate, market-driven compensation expectations throughout the entire search process with both you (the client) and candidates. I have worked across enough companies within the same and different industries (i.e., Big Tech vs. a SMB in the SaaS space) to understand that "one size does not fit all."
The Offer is extended and if accepted, a start date as well as other important information, is agreed upon. This information will be included in The Offer Letter.
The Offer Letter is generated by you, the client, and signed by you - and the candidate.
Once signed, the candidate, or new hire, gives notice to her/his/their employer, maybe takes a little vacation, then begins working at your company. Congratulations!!!
(If only it was this simple!)
This is the most "critical" step in the retained executive search process - where anything can and will happen.
Working with an experienced executive recruiter who has "seen it all," lowers the odds of what could be an incredible hire, falling apart in the eleventh hour.