CMA Services

Retained Search, Modified Retained Search, Contingency Search, Operational Reviews and Executive Evaluations

In the recruiting industry searches are typically conducted using retained, modified retained and contingency search models.  Understanding the differences between these models is critical in determining which level of service is needed for a particular search. CMA engages in retained, modified retained and contingency searches for both professional and executive-level search assignments.

Retained Search

A retained search is preferable in cases where a company has a pressing executive level need that requires a candidate who will hold key leadership responsibilities, and whose services are integral to overall organizational success.  Given the strategic importance of these positions, there is often a degree of urgency and/or confidentiality that accompanies this type of search.  Retained searches are given priority status in terms of the level of consulting talent assigned to conduct the search, and the time and resources that are dedicated to the project.

CMA takes great care in working with a client company to formulate a clear and objective outcome-driven job description.  Furthermore, using collaboratively derived criteria, CMA carefully identifies and screens potential candidates based on their interpersonal styles, attributes and work histories in order to insure the greatest potential for “a culture fit” and positive organizational impact.

The fees for a retained search are typically higher than in contingency assignments, usually 30-33% of the candidate’s first year’s annual compensation, given the level of energy and resources that a search firm invests in sourcing quality candidates.  These fees are usually paid out over three set time periods (1/3 upon signing of agreement, 1/3 when a selection group is forecasted and the final 1/3 when the search is completed) as previously established “deliverables” occur.

The advantages of a retained search are significant.  First, retained searches take precedence over contingency assignments due to the mutual commitments that are involved in the search process.  A client company is essentially securing a commitment from the search firm to prioritize the search.

How can we help you?

Contact Corporate Management Advisors today for the next step in your executive search.

Modified Retained Search

A modified retained search offers several benefits to both the client company and the search firm, in that many of the strengths of the retained search model can be captured while at the same time reducing the financial risks for both parties.  In a modified retained search, the fee is typically divided into two parts.

The first part is paid at the beginning of the search and is typically one fourth of the anticipated search fee.

The last part (remaining three-fourths of the search fee) is paid when the search has been successfully completed.   While a client company will not get all the benefits of a retained search using this model, the results are usually more satisfactory than a straight contingency search. CMA offers customized services for specialized search assignments tailored to the needs of individual companies.

Operational Reviews

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Executive Evaluations

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