Hire C-level candidates with a retainer fee agreement
Hire C-level candidates with a retainer fee agreement

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Finding and hiring suitable candidates to fill your company’s C-level positions is tough. But you can’t let the positions stay vacant for long as it will affect your business adversely and could even cause a dent in its market reputation. If you plan to work with a headhunting agency for executive search, opting for a retainer fee arrangement will be a wise decision. 

What is a Retainer Fee Arrangement?

A retainer fee refers to an upfront fee paid by you (the client) for a headhunting agency’s professional services for a particular period of time, which can be reassessed and adjusted as necessary. Thus, you can call a retainer fee similar to a down payment or initial fee for future services of the headhunting agency.

 This fee guarantees the commitment of the headhunting agency you hire. A retainer fee arrangement is usually used for expert-level positions. An agency working on a retainer typically invests more time and effort to find candidates best suited for your company’s open roles than other arrangements (success fee or hybrid, for instance) and remains involved throughout the hiring process. 

3 Reasons Why Retainer Fee Wins Against Success Fee When Hiring C-Level Candidates

1.      Thorough Search to Find Top Talent

With a retainer fee arrangement, headhunting agencies are incentivised to invest more time upfront in understanding the ideal candidate profile, your specific hiring needs, and company culture. This will facilitate a more targeted search to reach passive candidates who might not be actively applying but have the desired experience and skill set. Reaching out to such top talent proactively, even when they aren’t looking for a job change, and enticing them can give you a noticeable edge in today’s highly competitive hiring market.

Additionally, a headhunting agency working on a retainer will focus on a more thorough assessment of prospective candidates than its counterparts working on a success fee where they get paid only when a candidate suggested by them is hired. By involving senior researchers and consultants to handle your company’s specific candidate search, a headhunting agency on a retainer will ensure consistent focus and continuity throughout the process, thus helping you find top talent.

2.      Getting the Right Fit

When hiring for C-level positions, you need to get both the job fit and culture fit right. Since the retainer model encourages a longer-term engagement between your company and the headhunting agency, it helps the latter take a deeper dive into understanding your company culture, values, and strategic goals.

At the same time, the agency will also use its time and resources judiciously to conduct in-depth research of the competitor landscape and industry to find and evaluate candidates beyond their CVs. Starting from reference checks to in-depth interviews and personality assessments, various evaluation techniques are likely to be applied to find candidates who would be a good fit for the open role and your company culture.

Unlike success fee arrangements, headhunters on a retainer aren’t solely focused on a quick placement to earn their fee. Consequently, they can prioritize quality over quantity. For you, this means getting a smaller pool of highly qualified candidates who are a strong match for both your company culture and the requirements of the open position.

3.      Preferred by C-Level Candidates

C-level candidates prefer a more targeted and discreet job search experience than their lower-level counterparts. They prefer to get the most relevant opportunities (in terms of salary and benefits package, company culture, potential career path, etc.) without letting their present employers know. That’s where a headhunting agency on a retainer can help.

Most top-tier roles aren’t advertised on public job boards. Rather, they are handled by headhunters who specialise in executive search. Since headhunters engaged in finding candidates for high-profile, critical positions invest time to get an in-depth understanding of their client’s business and hiring needs as well as the candidate’s specific career goals and their ideal company culture, they can find matches where both the parties win.

Additionally, headhunters on a retainer have a streamlined process where they handle most of the legwork, including initial outreach, communication with potential employers, and the scheduling of interviews. This frees up the C-level candidate’s time to focus on their present role and prepare for interviews with the most relevant opportunities.

Final Words

Hiring C-level executives no longer remains a tough challenge when you have an executive search firm on a retainer fee as your partner. By helping you to find top talent using their thorough search and in-depth understanding of your hiring needs and company culture, your headhunting firm can facilitate getting people on board who are the right fit for your job requirements and company culture. 

To meet your executive search needs, contact us at InHunt World today!

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