In executive search, consultants are generally retained on the exclusive basis by the client. This is because in order to search for the most suitable and talented candidates within the time constraint provided by client, it is necessary to effectively go through an extensive search process which includes thorough research, interview, analysis and evaluation of potential candidates. Since various consulting activities are required prior to introduction of candidates to a client, retainer contract which typically asks for scheduled retainer fee payments over the course of assignment is preferred over contingency base contract.
One of the characteristics of retained search is high success rate. Elements which contribute to success are thorough interview with client regarding specific requirements for the position, development of search strategy based on our expertise, and introduction of interested candidates who are successful at their current positions and not in the job-seeker category. Retainer contract also allows the search firm to fully commit its resources, time, and effort to client’s assignment; such commitment provides great advantages over contingency search.