Retained Executive Search

We specialize in Retained Executive Search & Head-hunting for the Board and Top level, C-Suite positions e.g.:

  • Board Members/Independent Directors
  • Managing Directors (MD’s)
  • Chief Executive Officers (CEOs/CXOs)
  • Executive Directors/Functional Directors
  • Finance Directors/Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)
  • Chief Corporate Counsel & Company Secretaries (CCC & CS)
  • Director Human Resources/Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) / Chief People Officers (CPOs)
  • Marketing Directors/Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs)
  • Directors Technology/Chief Technology Officers (CTOs)/Chief Information Officers (CIOs)
  • Chief Investment Officers (CIOs)
  • Director Operations / Chief Operating Officers (COOs)
  • Presidents/Executive Vice Presidents (EVPs)/Sr. Vice Presidents (SVPs)
  • Other senior functionaries for niche roles or specialist functions


Retained Executive Search Process

In retained search, the client exclusively engages and retains us for assisting them in hiring suitable top-level managerial personnel. Before accepting  a retained search mandate for any position, we thoroughly discuss all aspects with the client’s senior management, including the industry scenario,  client’s culture,  prospective candidates’ profile, deliverables, challenges, client’s expectations from the prospective candidates, target industries, etc.. Our team also carries out a preliminary research to determine the feasibility of our being able to find suitable candidates. We accept an executive search mandate only when we are reasonably sure of the feasibility of our being able to close the position; and we make sure that we do provide the most suitable candidates to the client for them to be able to make selection.  Once we accept a retained executive search mandate, we agree on a timeframe and milestones with our client for closing the position.

We earmark our best-suited consultant exclusively for the particular assignment. Read more. We discuss and finalise the job specifications and the ideal candidate’s profile with the client. A brief write-up on the job profile is prepared without the company’s name or identity; and the same is got approved from the client. During the entire search process, we update our client periodically on the progress. Our team applies multi-pronged search methodologies (industry mapping, internal database search, confidential referrals, headhunting, etc.). We reach out to the passive candidates, who are good but not looking out for a change; and convince them to consider the opportunity.

Telephonic interview and consultations are held confidentially with the potential candidates briefing them about the opportunity and gauging their initial interest without revealing the identity of the client company. Our consultant prepares a long list of prospective candidates which s/he filters down based on the pre-set objective criterion; and discusses the same along-with her/his comments with the principal consultant, and the list is pruned by picking up the most promising candidates, who seem to prima facie match the selection criterion and the cultural aspects. Then synopses of such initial shortlisted candidates without their identities are shared with the client to know the client’s initial reaction and to gauge if our search is heading in the right direction. Based on the client’s feedback, we fine-tune the search, if required, and interview the promising candidates by revealing the client’s identity with the client’s permission. Our consultant conducts structured interviews using diligently prepared specific questionnaire. Sometimes, the psychometric tests are also administered. After proper evaluation and benchmarking, a final shortlist of the most suitable candidates is prepared considering all important aspects, and is sent to the client along-with a comprehensive information dossier including our comments on the specific insights gained during our interviews.

A meeting of our principle consultant is set-up with the client to discuss the profiles of the shortlisted candidates; and know the clients’ view.

We coordinate the candidates’ interview with the client (often at a discretely chosen location); and where required, we  assist the client in structuring the interview and questioning process to being out the most relevant aspects of the professional expertise, leadership style, behavioural and personality traits of the candidate. Where desired by the client, we also participate in the interview meeting.  After the interview, we hold consultations with the client and the candidates to know about their reactions and mutual comfort. We also assist our clients in scientifically evaluating and comparing the candidates. Once the client shortlists a candidate for selection, we assist our client in the remuneration negotiations with the candidate, while managing mutual expectations and providing the appropriate information and counselling the candidates about their concerns or misgiving if any. Simultaneously, our consultant continues the search to have a viable back-up candidate to meet any eventuality. After the client makes an offer, we remain in touch with the selected candidate to see that s/he accept the same. We keep in regular touch with the candidate during the notice period until s/he finally joins.

The entire search and hiring process is managed discreetly with the utmost confidentiality. We also keep in touch with the client and the candidate for sufficiently long time discussing their mutual perspectives during the performance period while the candidate settles down and starts performing to smoothen out areas of disquiet, if any, from either side. We honour our obligation to provide an alternative should the need arise. Our approach is essentially to build mutual bond between the client and the candidate, and help them succeed.


Advantages of Retained Executive Search

Though a more time consuming and pricier, the advantage of retained executive search to our client is that they are assured of the position being closed, as a senior specialist consultant is exclusively assigned for the particular search assignment, and the entire search process is orchestrated and overseen by the firm’s principal consultant. The search efforts are very focused, intense, and discreet. The multipronged search methodology is adopted with Industry mapping, networking and headhunting playing major roles. We reach out to the passive good candidates. Well-structured personal interviews are conducted with the candidates by our principal consultant to get deeper insights about the candidates. A well-researched dossier with important information on the shortlisted candidates is presented to the client. We also help our clients in interviewing, evaluating and comparing the candidates in a scientific manner, and arriving at the selection decision in an objective manner.

The search fee is linked to the milestones. Our team is fully committed, and makes all out efforts to meet the milestones and timeline agreed for the search assignment with the client. Where necessary, more consultants are roped in to the assignment for speedier execution. And in the interim, the client is regularly updated on the progress. The whole process is much intense, and the possibility of eventual placement is very high.  Our work on the back-up candidate continues in parallel to meet any eventuality.  Thus client is able to focus on their strategic plans and rest assured of the satisfactory outcome of the search endeavour and a suitable executive finally joining; and they don’t need to undergo any suspense or anxiety about hiring the right talent. We are there to help you on every step and in every respect.