About Me; the Head Hunter

Retained Search

Engaging a specialist head hunter to carry out a search exclusively on a retained fee basis Usually an initial payment is made to retain the Head hunters services then a portion of the fee is due on presentation of accepted shortlist (usually at the point that interviews are confirmed) final payment is normally due on acceptance of the job offer by the candidate.

Advantages

a. This is the perfect solution for recruiting sensitive senior level positions the search is targeted and is carried out in an extremely confidential manner

b. A Head hunter is able to target high profile individuals often holding key positions in competitor organisations where it would be too sensitive for your organisation to approach them directly, and the applicants themselves are often more comfortable applying via a third party rather than submitting a direct application

c. The Head hunter would spend time taking a full and in-depth brief from you ensuring a full understanding of the type of candidate you are looking for.

d. The candidates impression of your organisation and the role itself will be much better as the Head hunter is able to provide extremely in-depth (but non sensitive) information to the candidates they are screening once they have established interest

e. By paying a retainer fee to a Head hunter you are securing their focus on finding suitable candidates quickly and efficiently, they would normally work to strict timeframes agreed with you to complete each stage in the process

Disadvantages

a. You need to make a firm financial commitment to the Headhunting firm when engaging them by paying the retainer fee which is due prior to the process starting

b. Fees for professional Head hunting firms are usually higher than those of standard Recruitment Consultancies

Exclusive Agreement

Engaging one agency to exclusively work on your assignments

Advantages

a One point of contact means your time is freed up as you only need to give the brief once and answer one recruiters questions prior to them beginning the search

b. You will most likely have more flexibility in terms of fees depending on the level of the position, for example you could ask the agency to recruit the lower level positions on a contingency basis (ie, payment on acceptance of job by the candidate) and for the more senior and sensitive roles you could pay a retainer for them to Head hunt candidates, you may even be able to agree a semi retained deal where the agency wont charge an initial fee but instead will just charge a portion of the fee (normally one third of the anticipated fee) once a satisfactory shortlist had been presented and interviews confirmed

c. You may even be able to agree with the recruiter that you will give them exclusivity for one month after which time if they haven’t filled the position you would also open to role up to other agencies

d. By working in this way you can really partner with the agency and involve them with as much or as little of the process as you wish. When working so closely with the end employer in this way it is not uncommon for the recruiter to sit in on interviews with the employer to further assist in the screening process right through to the point of the offer being made

e. By involving the recruiter more in the complete process they are able to rapidly increase their understanding of your business, culture and your thought process as to which candidates are suitable or unsuitable. The better the recruiter understands your business the more likely they will present you with highly suitable candidates much quicker

f. The agency you decide to appoint on an exclusive basis is likely to be well reputed with a good track record when servicing their clients, they most likely already do business with you and have performed well to date

Disadvantages

a. You could miss out on potential candidates that other agencies may have already identified

Selected Agency Panel – Engaging two or three specially selected agencies

Advantages

a. It’s easier to manage just two or three agencies and is much less time consuming

b. You have the ability to build a strong working relationship and the recruiters at the agency will be able to gain a good understanding of your business culture and the best fit candidates for your organisation

c. You can select the preferred agencies based on their proposal and will then be able to make a much better decision as to which agencies can best service your business

d. The agencies who take the time to prepare a formal proposal will be fighting hard to win your business and the ones you decide to appoint are likely to be well reputed with a good track record when servicing their clients

Disadvantages

a. The pool of candidates who are seeking work remains the same so you will sometimes receive duplicate CVs sent from different agencies

b. You could miss out on candidates that non panel recruiters may have already identified

Large Preferred Agency Panel – There are a vast number of companies who think it makes sense to work with as many agencies as possible and try to pin them all down to the same fee structure which is generally a very low fee with a take it or leave it attitude.

Advantages

a. To a point you will be able to dictate the fee that agencies charge, they will either accept your fee or not be able to work with you

b. You will have many agencies actively looking for candidates for you, so in theory you should have a quicker turnaround? (some organisations use 10 or more agencies just to recruit one position)

c. You may be able include specialist agencies in the panel to recruit for specific job sectors such as Supply Chain and Logistics

Disadvantages

a. Increased workload for your in-house recruiters, each agency will need to be briefed on the role and all will have questions so you will likely be answering the same questions a few times over.

b. Regardless of how many agencies you use the pool of candidates remains the same so you will be seeing the same CVs sent from different agencies

c. Its much harder to build a good working relationship with external recruiters when they are just one of many working with you, this contributes to slowing the process as its harder for them to get a good understanding of your business and the culture within the organisation and hence provide the best fit candidates quickly

d. The external recruiters understanding of the role might not be as clear as it could be because you probably wont have time to give proper in-depth feedback to the them as to why certain candidates were suitable or unsuitable for the role, this will slow down the process because if the recruiters don’t know why they missed the mark on certain candidates they are likely to continue to send you similar people

e. The agencies that tend to agree to these kinds of arrangements will normally have agreed to a similar deal with other clients and its likely they will adopt more of a scattergun approach by quickly screening candidates and sending out vast numbers of CVs to the clients in the hope they make a successful placement (remember they are racing against the clock as their competitors will be talking to the same applicants)

f. Specialist agencies tend to come at a price, if they are a true specialist its unusual they will agree to work with you as part of a large panel of suppliers on the same terms as the generalists

g. Everyone including your clients and competitors will know when you are recruiting each and every position, if this happens often it can give a bad impression of the company putting off potential applicants as you could be deemed as a hire and fire organisation (Although on the positive side they could see it that you are achieving tremendous growth, as long as market intelligence also backs this up!)