Making the Decision to Hire an Executive Search Firm

Making the Decision to Hire an Executive Search Firm

As an executive search firm, we understand that our current and future clients may have trouble deciding when to hire a retained search firm. This linked article by Hunt Scanlon Media is extremely interesting with strong points to consider. Per the article, when making that decision, it is crucial to evaluate the significance of the role, the challenge of finding strong candidates, and the importance of a trusted and effective search process.

Another consideration we would add is for confidential searches. These are often conducted to replace a high-level executive that is retiring or taking on a new role inside or outside of the company; when an employee is still in the role but underperforming; or when a company is exploring moving into new markets or lines of business. A normal job search would set off alarms for current employees, the individual being replaced, customers, and even competitors. A third-party, retained firm ensures that a confidential search is handled professionally and, of course, quietly.

The article also mentions a few common misconceptions about executive search firms. These include that the internal team can conduct the search just as effectively, a retained search firm is too expensive, and an outside firm slows down the process. Another misconception not addressed, “If the search firm’s candidate is not successful in the role, we are out the money and the candidate.” Search firms often include replacement clauses in their contracts and retained firms frequently have longer guarantee periods than less expensive contingent firms.

At CA Search Advisors, we view the relationship with our clients as a partnership. We strive to manage each search from the client’s perspective, carefully considering organizational structure, compensation needs, and business goals in seeking out high-impact executives. Let us bring the best talent to you!

To understand the difference between contingent and retained executive search firms, please check out our article here.



Amy Bauer, Co-Founder and Managing Principal


Katie Becker, Co-Founder and Managing Principal