executive search contingent or retained glendon rowell just

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					Executive Search:Contingentor Retained?

GlendonRowell Just imagine you are the General Manager of the proverbial "widget" company. Your you widgets very popular, are andsellvery well. Why?Because havea very good,effective, program. The main reasonfor this is you have an outstandingly managed marketing marketing team. cometrueryou cometo *ork some Mondaymorning, andon yourdeskis Next,a nightmare a letterof resignation from your super Regional Marketing Director. His letterpolitelystates that he not only will resign,but alsohe rvouldlike to be released promptlyas possible, as certainlyin less than 30 days. He warts to get moving because is joining a larger, he pafi competitive, widgetcomparyto betheirGeneral Manager, another ofthe world. in If you are lucky. or better yet, you have initiated good shategic human resouces planning, you havereplacements development readyto fill his position. In some companies, "buildingbench this strategy executive of succession development called is strength". You recallthat subordinate the Regional to MarketingDirectorare two capable Managers. plomptly,the newsis not all good. One of the executives While their files are delivered knows the countries and marketsin the northemportion of your region,while the other part. And, on l'urtherconsideration, is knows the count es and the marketsin the southern it possible bothmightbe still be a bit inexperienced theresponsibility. they for prornote Recognizing now you can'teffectively that fron within,youthenbecome hopeful of quafiers'humanresources cometo your rescue. After contacting that corporate head can them,the newshereis not goodeither: they really don't havesomeone who both hasthe you need, is presently and skillsthat available reassignment. for Obviously, next placeyou're going to have to look for your new regionalmarketing the director someothercompany is r;r'here your industry.Most likely the executive need in you is with one of your competitorc- To find the right executive for your team, preferably provenin dle "widget" world,you will obviously someone goingto needoutside help. This means usingthe seNices a recruiting of firm. Consultants find executives companies need who for in very widelyin tems all whattheydo, how theydo it, andhow they charge theirwork. Reputedly the top of thc pile, at least for at professionally, the executive are search consultants. You will quicklylearnthatexecutive search consultants providea varietyofall search modes to meeta client'sneeds. The most fundamentaldifferencein the spectum of executivesearchconsultantsis between the onesthat provide their servicesoL a contingektbasis.and thosethat do what is called a retainedsearch.The basicoperationalsplit between two is that the former, the contingent the firms do not get paid any moneyuntil they lill the position. The retained firms havea fee policy that includesa retainer, a commitment or fee, that is payablebeforeany work is

undefiaken.Many retaincd firms also collect interim fee installments,before the searchis is almost wholefeeis paidbeforeanyone hired the filled,to thepointthatsometimes employers feel offee slrategies. Some to aDd There advantages disadvantagesbothrypes are that they do not want to risk paying a rctainer in casethe searchfails. Theseemployen fum quality candidates search a with the contingent usuallyseemsatisliedwith whatever not. But, sometimes delivers. On the other hand, most multinational corporationsare the regular usersof retainedsearch professional search that to Theirexperience seems haveindicated they get a morc dedicated, qualifications. with superior ones process, thatshould indced delivercandidatcs, one a\ioms"you g(-twhat world, users ofsearchareviclimsofthe opposing in Obviously, search you paid for" and"you buy what you canafford". and a aspect findingyourself new executive, that of two a\ioms alsoapplyto another Those low you will pay. Theyrangefrom the ridiculously to the statosphericYou may is the l'ee while the higherthe on basis, find it odd thatthe lower levelfee firms operate a contingent you on fee the more likely the firm is retained.Depending the tlpe of executive needyotl the validcorrelation between levelsofthe feea mightkeepin mind thatthereis a statistically In creativity initiativeoftheir candidates. other and and fi1mcharges the intelligence. search possibly higherqualitycandidate firmsdo find a different, $ords,thehigherfee,retained consultant? using a search Now we get to the nitry-gdtty:Are you cuaently considering process. mightfactorin thefollowing: you Well,in yourdecision matedalis the same. After all. how nuch wdttenpromotion consultants' Almostall search unique put fi1m's"caringattitude," "supposedly a clevercopywdter into some variation cans satisfied" clients? process", historyof"supremely and selection world, and be sureto be in fiom you peers/friends the business Always seekreferences includesvague and-in this case-that specific. Don't settle for sweepingstatements, level,andhow longit was Ask whatkind of search done,at whatmanagement testimonials. firm again?And, ifthe firm oneof ask took. Especially ifyour liiendswouldusethatsearch rcally a contingent werethe candidates 1'ee, of workedon the basis your liiendsrecommends firm, to your friend by reports submitted, the contingent well qualified?Werethe candidate or pithy candidate-analltical-preparations consultant-searcher, ofthe the client,tailor-made, just unembellished wrote? copies ofwhat the candidate was really It is also especiallyimportantfor you to ask: "Was the chosencandidate successful?" you are Also, very definitelykeep in mind that when you engagea searchconsultant, nameheputation almost any searchfi1m means of engagingthat person,that individual. The candidates you, to of excellent little or nothingin the actualprocess findingandpresenting particularly problematical MNC's who are for (This is sometimes here,and right now. the in directed usesomespecificfinn, everyu'here the world. ObvioLrsly, peoplediffer to who takes mustvary.) Also.directlyasktheperson placeto place, qualityabsolutely so ftom work? Thereis at leastone your search he will be the onewho actuallydoesthe search if

very laxge,slobal firm where the consultantwho takes the se.rch never talks to the client agaml To get the best seNice out of your search consultantj make them understandthat they themselves will, in effect, becomepart of your executiveteam. They are an extensionof your company,youl widget team, ard in this case,virtually part of your widget marketing stafl It is also wise to rememberthat executivesearchconsultants,sometimesknown as "head hunters," do not, and cannot "steal" people - they can, and do, make executivesawarc of new opportunities, they can't actually offer a job. Only the client can do that. but In thebestofall search worlds,you andyou company, develop enduring will and relationship Everytime you haveanexecutive you with yoursearcher: need, l.:now exactly whomto call. (GlendonRowell was the Mdnaging Pafiner for Asia of BoydenAssociates 25 yeats, and for is now the Fouhdet and ChabmanofSearchBahk Execut^'eSearch,Inc.)

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