It is generally acknowledged that there are two types of search professionals that “sell” their services to companies and organizations that want or need to have a position filled and do not have the internal capabilities to do this with their internal teams or executives.
The first type is called Contingency Search, which is basically a search person offering a number of resumes and support service for a technical professional level position usually above $50,000 or higher base pay. This external search professional usually has built a reputation in a particular arena and can readily attract candidates with their connections, reputation and solicitation efforts. No loyalty to anyone but is only compensated if a company hires a person, who they have submitted the candidate’s resume to the company. The fee for Contingency Search is a fixed 20%. Candidates are only contacted by the search person if they are of interest for a particular search. The company takes responsibility for all hiring activities and the search person may or may not be directly involved beyond the resume submission.
Meanwhile, Executive Search services (sometimes referred to as Retained Search) usually focuses on more senior level individuals at a salary base of minimum of $100,000 or more likely today at $125,000 or higher. An Executive Search professional charges 35% of base compensation plus expenses. The search professional has extensive discussions with the hiring company to focus on exactly the type of talent they are seeking. They spend time pre interviewing all candidates and are involved in coaching candidates for company interviews and stay involved even after the hire. Usually there is a performance retention segment to the agreement that insures at least from 1 month to 1 year retention of the candidate.
These two search models (contingency & retained/managed) are dramatically different and compete with each other in certain circumstances. This is not to be confused with Talent Acquisition Sourcing or staffing companies which rely on technology systems that are fee based and the company’s internal staff selects candidates for interviewing. These services vary from job posting boards to LinkedIn to other services with or without third party involvement and may be heavily driven by technology.
At Miles LeHane, we offer multiple support options in a cost-effective approach that is tailored to meet your specific search needs. We have our full service traditional Retained Search offerings along with segmented search support which we call Managed Search when a full open search is not required. Our Managed Search services fall between a full Executive Search but is more than a Contingency Search service. We customize a list of services that are based on Executive Search and let the client decide which services they want to control and implement and which we will do independently, and which services will be done collectively. Think of this as a menu of search services at which all items on the list would be equal to a full Executive Search and the fewer items would be equal to a fee similar to a Contingency fee or maybe even less. This provides a level of client control and involvement, along with acquiring expertise which they do not have internally.
Collectively these traditional and enhanced services help insure the three-point landing of right person, right experiences and right cultural fit, resulting in success.
The multiple steps will be done in collaboration with the client designated person. At Miles LeHane, we listen to you to learn about your search needs. We add value to your search by exploring your definition of “what success would look like” when we identify your ideal candidate. We take the time to learn about your organization and culture. This assists in locating the right person with the right skills.It is valued to gain approval on process and materials utilized well in advance. It is also important that the final decision maker in the client organization had “signed off” on the criteria of success and the process. It is not in anyone’s best interest to have the final outcomes derailed because there was not an agreement on process at the beginning.
The following are steps that are included in our fully Retained Search approach or selected segments for a Managed Search process customized to meet your needs.
Our comprehensive approach yields a higher success to bringing you the best talent to meet your needs.
This process is typically 3 months on average. 1/3 of the time is spent defining the position/search firm selection and internal corporate decisions for the hiring company. 1/3 is spent posting/recruiting usually open for 30 days, and then 1/3 on interviewing and selection driven by everyone’s schedule.
Each candidate’s resume is reviewed by 3 different consultants to determine eligibility. The top 10 are then selected and reviewed by the client. After the client reviews, the candidate pool is then narrowed to the top 5 to receive two separate telephone/Skype interviews and then the final 3 or 5 are brought in for an in-person interview. The final 2 are brought back for a final selection/decision interview. Additional steps may be inserted to include profiling of the top 3 or 5 plus background checks and reference checks all integrated into the process before an offer is extended.
In general, they are treated exactly the same as external candidates for the full process to maintain fairness and equity. Since much is already known about them the search professionals are looking at abilities for the new position objectively from their current roles. The internal candidates will also go through the process of selection and if “dropped” from the finalist list they may still receive a courtesy interview.
The search firm usually reviews salary data and geographical salary conditions when accepting the search assignment. The posting will typically have a published salary range for full disclosure. If not, then salary comp ratios are reviewed and finally the candidates will also provide information on salary ranges. Other organizations can be benchmarked as needed.
Orientation is also called on-boarding. That support can vary by depth and time. Usually a 1-month period with phone/Skype or in person discussions with the company and the new employee are conducted by the search firm. The company may also have their own on-boarding/orientation program. On-boarding is usually disclosed in the recruitment with the final selected candidates and is integrated into the company’s process.
A client organization is guaranteed that Miles LeHane will provide acceptable candidates until the position is filled or is closed. The process previously mentioned contains deliverable outcomes depending what services are actually contracted under the Managed Search list of options.
This is rare but the reason why is fundamental to the process restart. It will be assumed that the process was well balanced, and that the candidate made a personal decision to withdraw. Then it would pick up at the posting and selection stage and very well may include prior candidates who were active in the original search. If necessary, we would go back to the clarification stage of “defining success” and the process would be re-implemented.
At Miles LeHane we use a team approach. This typically includes a Project leader, staff support, a Search Consultant and an Interview Consultant. Each person has a specific area to handle and all will have involvement with client and candidate communications. We realize this is a people business and all people like to be treated respectfully and with transparency. Your reputation is important to us.
Search takes two separate skills; one is the quantifiable technical skills of the search process and then the other is the intuitive insights to candidates and the company leaders making the hiring decision. Sometimes this is called the soft skills of effective search. This is precisely why at Miles LeHane we have at least 4 or possibly 5 different people involved. Each brings their personal genius or competencies to the search process and ultimate candidate selection.
This is key to sourcing and selecting qualified candidates as well as focusing on the best “position-person” fit. The initial phase of the process is learning, exploring and clarifying what success in the best candidate would look like! This is where the MLC Team approach is to the client’s benefit as we are able to bring the best search consultant based on the project requirements.
When you place your search process with Miles LeHane exclusively, you create a partnership between both organizations with a focus on bringing in the right talent for your specific needs. We expect to deliver open and transparent search services driven by the customer. We are focused on fairness and ethics. We are transparent on these issues with our clients and at the same time need to honor their respective management culture.
This is a very difficult issue. Trust has many definitions and can easily be defined many ways. For example, confidentiality is part of trust. Running a “public” search and then maintaining confidentiality is sometimes very difficult. Search firms focus on trust with the client organization because they hope to have repeat business. Managed Search offers the client more assurances of trust since they are involved in certain segments of the search process.
Miles LeHane offers a service guarantee with each Managed Search assignment. Included in all our searches are profiling and a 30-day on-boarding activity. The profiles allow us to better understand the candidate and how they will integrate into the company. On-boarding may be basic or extensive with a focus on a successful launch into the position.
This varies as we are selective in the searches that we accept. Usually only a few at any one time. Our search consultants are typically focused also on leadership development.
Our average total fees for a Managed Search are typically up to 25% base compensation plus expenses, but we usually negotiate a fixed fee based on the services contracted. Expenses vary depending on client location but are usually around 10% of fee. Typically, 1/3 of the fees are due up front at the time of signing the agreement, 1/3 due for interview candidates, and the remaining 1/3 upon candidate acceptance or search is closed.
Fees and expenses are usually very conservative, and travel is pre-approved according to the companies travel policy. Reimbursements will be issued as needed at actual + 10% administrative fees.
Miles LeHane will meet with the client at no charge to determine if there is a best fit for the search parameters. All travel is determined by the client and we follow the client travel policy. We must be present at the final interview steps and have participant/candidate travel covered and consultant travel reimbursed.WHAT "DEAL BREAKER" POLICIES WOULD THE SEARCH FIRM FACE WHEN SEEKING TO RECRUIT THE CANDIDATE YOU SEEK?
We will not agree to any conditions that either violate good business practices and ethics or legal areas. We also realize that at this level a company is free to hire the candidate they want as these are leadership and high-level technical professionals. Most labor law/policies around hiring do not apply above $100,000.
“Dr. Miles is that rare top-level executive who combines subject matter expertise, a keen and curious intellect, a sense of history, and management science in the pursuit of excellence in all matters related to Human Capital Management and Performance!”
Hector Velez, COO Vector Talent Resources
“It’s rare to find an expert whose insights are revolutionary and whose counsel is practical. But Dr. Miles is admirably and thankfully up to the task.”
Bill Crigger, President Association of Career Firms, North America
At Miles LeHane we take the time to learn about your organization and culture.
Our goal, and yours, is a three-point landing: the right person - the right experiences - the right cultural fit.