We are a retained executive search consulting firm.
This, quite simply, means that I have been retained by my client as a consultant to conduct a search for a particular position, evaluate candidates for them, and to help them select the best person for this position. I am paid by my client (never by a candidate) on a retainer-only fee basis, rather than a contingency basis. I am paid a substantial portion of my fee when I start each search, and am paid my full fee even if you, or no one else, is hired. The overwhelming percentage of my assignments are completed to my clients’ satisfaction, so there is little financial pressure for me to press you or the client to make a match.
Consequently, even though you are a candidate I am considering, and I desperately want you to be happy with this position if you are hired, I am not your agent, and here to serve your interests. I represent my client, and do what is in their best interests. I am essentially an outsourced human resources manager whom my client has hired to fill one senior position. My clients not only look to me to bring them superior candidates, but, like any other consultant, they look to me to provide them advice during the search process. I advise my clients as they develop the position, on the employment market for the position, and on the strengths, weaknesses, personality and overall fit to the position and the company of each candidate I present to the them.
ABOUT THE PROCESS: I normally present a panel of three to five finalist candidates to my client for interviews, all at the same time. Before presenting candidates, I will have met with all of them personally, and have thoroughly checked their references. This process can be time-consuming, so it could take as long as six weeks after I’ve met with you before you are presented to the client. If we meet, I will generally travel to meet you in your area, rather than having you make a trip to my offices.
I don’t reveal your name or employer’s name to my client until you have given me permission to do so. You can meet with me, and be assured that your participation will be kept confidential.
After we have met, if you and I both agree that it is worthwhile to continue the process, I will ask you to provide references. I will ask to speak to former bosses, as well as to colleagues and to people who have worked for you, to get a complete picture of you. Since I can’t promise that you’ll get this job, I ask you to give me the names of references who will not in any way blow your cover where you currently work. I will also ask for a complete work history, containing all jobs, even those early on in your career, and will confirm your education and other credentials.
If you are selected to be a finalist candidate, and you, as well, decide that you are interested in the position, I will act as a conduit throughout the process. I will keep you informed as you progress through the interviews, answer questions for you about the company and its people, and act as an intermediary in salary negotiations if necessary. I will do my best to help you make as informed a decision as is possible.