Monday, 07 July 2008 18:00

Report of Why Retained Recruitment Searches Can Go Wrong

Image As a software, e-commerce or internet company, you may have decided to retain the services of a niche, specialist or large headhunting firm in the past.  Some of these companies promise a short list of your dream candidates within a month - the very candidates who may have been so elusive to you, via your own network or online adverts.

However, a surprising number of assignments can go wrong leaving the technology company or “client” financially worse off and with no hire and ultimately feeling they have burnt fingers.  Intrinsic Executive Search, a leading Pan-European Headhunting firm, whose owners have recruited in the technology space since 1996, have recently completed some research to pin point some of the reasons and to offer guidance to companies who may be considering retaining a Headhunting  firm.


1-       WHO DOES THE DELIVERY?  The sales person you meet, will in most cases not actually carry out the headhunting.  Some sales people specialise in nothing else but winning new retained business before handing the delivery over to a colleague.  This can work well, but make sure you meet the delivery team first and qualify that you are not dealing with inexperienced headhunters hidden away in the back of their office!

2-       TOO MANY RECRUITERS INVOLVED IN PROCESS: Some search firms engage a Project Manager, Researcher and Headhunter on one assignment.  From experience, the more recruiters involved on one search, the more fragmented it can become and the chance of success can be reduced. 

3-       WORK LOAD:  Taking on more business than you can deliver is not a good strategy.  Before retaining a search firm, ensure they are not over worked and spread too thinly.  We believe it is better to turn business away than offer a poor service.

4-       NON-HEADHUNTING: We have heard stories of search firms, not actually headhunting, but purely contacting existing contacts from their own database.  If you are sold a search that involves pro-active sourcing, make sure you get it.  We provide reports to show the work we carry out.


Finally, to ensure success, we would recommend prior to instructing a search firm, communicate your job requirements extremely clearly and limit future changes.  This is because some search firms will re-invoice a new retainer fee if you change the job specification.  Also, be aware that cancellation fees can apply if you decide to cancel the search half way through the process.


About Intrinsic Executive Search Ltd

Intrinsic Executive Search Ltd is a leading European Pan-European Executive Search Firm specialising in the identification, attraction and retention of Vice President, Director, Senior Sales, Pre-sales, Channel, Marketing and Board Level personnel for enterprise software and e-commerce related companiesSince 1996, the Directors of Intrinsic Executive Search have worked closely with hundreds of small-medium sized enterprise software vendors, assisting them with their European senior hiring.  The company’s geographical coverage to include the UK, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux and Southern Europe. With headquarters in Surrey, United Kingdom the company also has further offices in mainland Europe.



For further information, please contact:

Ben Watkins                                                                        

Intrinsic Executive Search Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)1932 8282825                                           




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