Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When is Retained Executive Search the Best Answer?

In-House Staffing Saves Costs: One outcome of the financial crisis is that more companies have developed in-house staffing and hiring capabilities to save costs. In-house recruiters are essential when you need to hire large numbers of employees at junior levels. These days recruiting specialists can take advantage of new technology, paid databases and internet job search engines (the Chinese equivalent of Monster.com is 51job.com) to find mid-level employees also.

When Should You Use Retained Search?: Companies continue to engage retained search firms like DHR International when the position requirements are demanding and filling the position is time consuming. In these cases, the costs of having your in-house team find candidates exceeds the cost of using retained search. Instances when you may need retained executive recruitment are:

  • When the search is confidential. When you are replacing someone who is still in the job or you are hiring for a confidential project like a new product launch, an outside search firm can keep your company’s identity secret from candidates until the final interview round.

  • You need to fill a senior level role where the candidates must be treated with kid gloves and may need to be “sold” on the position.

  • You want to hire from your competitor where a direct approach would be inappropriate…and possibly perceived as an illegal violation of anti-trust law.

  • The requirements for the role are unusually demanding or technical. One of my recent searches was for an experienced CFO who speaks Mandarin, Hindi and English.

  • When the search is in a new market – for example, you seek a General Manager for your new China operation and your recruiting expertise is in the United States.

  • The role requires new skills and is outside the expertise of your recruiting specialists.

  • You are filling a position in a country like Japan or Korea where recruiting is difficult. Persuading candidates in these countries to move from one company to another may require perseverance and discretion.

  • Your time is limited. A good retained search firm usually has a deep database so they can start vetting candidates right away.

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