Does My Company Need a Retained Executive Search?

Executive search firms are major assets for a company looking to hire. These firms have deep knowledge across diverse industries, huge candidate pools, and a process for placing the right people in the right positions.

For these reasons, you may be looking to engage an executive search firm to help you fill an open position—but how do you know what level of service you need?

A retained executive search is an intensive style of search that guarantees a recruiter’s top priority and best resources are focused on your company’s needs.


Retained recruitment agreements are typically reserved for open executive-level positions, with higher salaries and more sensitivity required than lower-management roles. For example, you might engage a retained executive search to fill a confidential search, such as a vice president position.

Retained search fee structures vary slightly too. Usually, you make a financial commitment to the recruiting firm upfront, with the promise of receiving diligent recruiting and scrupulous candidate vetting. This agreement allows your executive recruiter to work closely and continuously with your organization until the best candidate is identified and hired. With this often comes additional perks, including:

  • An in-depth understanding of your company, where your executive recruiter acts as a strategic partner to your business—complete with a rich knowledge of your company’s needs.
  • Interview preparation for both your company and the candidate, ensuring a productive conversation that cuts right to the essential information the interviewer requires.
  • The executive recruiter acting as a partner and liaison through the chosen candidate’s resignation process and onboarding preparation.
  • The guarantee to repeat the assignment if the chosen candidate leaves before a certain amount of time, provided the position he or she was hired for stays relatively similar.
  • A much higher level of personalized service from one retained recruiter than even a handful of contingent recruiters could offer.


Ciresi & Morek is a team of experts with extensive track records in identifying and placing the right professionals to meet its clients’ hiring goals. Want to learn more? Contact us today.

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