March 12, 2018 – As the executive search sector continues its shift beyond pure-play talent identification, recruiting firms have taken a more innovative approach to working with clients. For many, this has included everything from creating expanded service offerings to offering value-based pricing models. Flexibility, above all else, reigns supreme.
While large search firms have offered a myriad of talent offerings for years, they’ve more or less kept their traditional fee structures intact. That’s provided an opportunity for boutique firms to move in and fill a widening gap, especially in the area of pricing reinvention.
In response to increasing market demand for greater flexibility, transparency and value, Chicago-headquartered executive search firm TalentRISE has launched FlexSEARCH, an à la carte menu of strategic services and flexible pricing terms for retained executive search.
New Search Offering
“Our reformulated search offering is designed to help create optimal value at every stage of this critical process by allowing clients to buy our candidate identification expertise, search methodology, tools, insights and leadership consultation,” said J. James O’Malley, partner and executive search practice leader. “These can be purchased either as a whole or as distinct components with flexible, predictable pricing,” he said. “Simply put, it’s all about enabling clients to find, attract and engage the right senior-level talent in the most efficient and effective way.”
TalentRISE’s FlexSEARCH service continuum includes:
Research and Candidate Development – This service, billed hourly or on a fixed-fee basis, is designed for clients who prefer to execute senior-level recruiting internally, yet require the research, intelligence and name generation capabilities and expertise. Deliverables include comprehensive market research, name identification and development of a shortlist/slate of candidates. It is typically delivered within 30 to 45 days.
Talent Attraction and Assessment – A retained search service employing a targeted recruiting approach for senior-level executives aimed at high-caliber, hard-to-attract candidates for positions within the client’s organization on fixed pricing spread across three equal payments. That fee is based on an agreed percentage of total first-year compensation and is dependent on the complexity of the search. Includes the firm’s leader assimilation process, said TalentRISE.
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Leader Assimilation Process – One-on-one professional coaching and consultation to mitigate risks associated with senior-level hires within their first 100 days. This leadership onboarding program shortens start-up time, accelerates learning and improves productivity for new executives during the first weeks and months after accepting a new position. This programmatic consultation is conducted in conjunction with a full retained search engagement at no additional cost to the client or can be delivered independent of a formal search on a fixed-fee basis.
TalentRISE leverages a nationwide network of leadership coaches to deploy its distinct methodology within a specific time frame involving the new hire, the individual’s supervisor, peers, HR leadership, the CEO and others with whom core relationships may need to be developed.
TalentRISE serves a wide range of clients, including Healthscape Advisors, First National Bank, Duff & Phelps, Grant Thornton, VF Corporation, Accretive Health, Dohmen Life Science Services, First National Bank and Urban Partnership Bank.
Recruiters on Flexible Pricing
“The transitioning fee model is the fastest changing trend in recruiting and it highlights the importance of flexibility as we build long-lasting business relationships with our clients,” said Robin Levitt, president of Encino, CA-based 4D Executive Search. “Flexibility has always been one of the most effective cornerstones of my practice. It’s the one thing that has allowed me to build client partnerships that span decades.’
Today, clients’ changing needs and non-traditional business structures have made catering to their specific preferences a necessity. “To stay flexible, we currently offer contract, contract-to-hire, retained, partial-retained and hourly search solutions,” said Ms. Levitt. “There’s a gaping hole in the market for this.”
According to Jorg Stegemann, CEO of Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, some clients have challenged the decades-old retainer-based payment model. Their preference: lower the risk and operate on a contingency basis. “In the past, retained search firms could say, ‘Pay me one third now, the next in 30 days, and the last in 60 days even if you have seen no candidates. Plus 20 percent administrative costs, of course,’” said Mr. Stegemann. Today, he said, “clients challenge this – and they should. They ask: ‘Work for a flat fee; link the second retainer to the invitation of at least two candidates; or add services such as onboarding.’”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media