retained search

Our retained search and selection process.

Our retained search service is preferable in cases when a company has a mission-critical or highly confidential vacancy, requiring candidates to hold key leadership responsibilities and possessing the right experience to meet company-wide objectives and success. We seek to understand each of our client's strategic goals, the specific criteria and competencies needed to meet these goals, and the culture that new executives need to add to and embody.

What is a retained search agreement?

A retained search agreement, or retained search, is a highly personalised, high-touch recruitment model often used to source and hire for senior management, executive and niche roles. The term originates from the billing model used in this type of search, which is typically 1/3 of the fee upfront, 1/3 upon candidate presentations, and 1/3 upon placement.

While retained recruitment comes with a greater up-front cost versus contingency recruiters, it’s easily offset by the financial benefits the right candidate will bring to your organisation over the long term. An effective new hire will drive innovation, increase revenue and lead the company into its next stage of success. Making the wrong hire for such an important role will drag the organisation down, and in worst case, cause it’s downfall.

Why choose retained search?

    • Deep focus, understanding and attention to detail.
      The recruitment process is made up of a number of stages, each stage being as crucial as the other. It’s important that this is done right. Therefore this takes time and effort, more-so when working on senior or hard-to-fill positions. Retained recruiters do not just use databases, or adverts, but instead make use of their access to additional networks and research techniques to identify and approach passive talent.


    • Improve your access to talent.
      If you use traditional contingency recruiters, you will receive mostly active candidate profiles, most of which can be found on shared platforms that recruiters across the country have access to. Whilst contingency works well for junior roles, we recommend against it for senior positions due to the lack of time, resources and incentive contingency recruiters are met with.In contrast, a retained search is much more detailed and will include multiple avenues of search, approach, testing and interviewing. As well as the active contacts we already have, we will also search predominantly for passive candidates using headhunting techniques. This is where you will most often find the best and most suitable talent to meet your business objectives.


    • We remove the stress and burden of filling mission-critical positions.
      Retained search goes beyond just searching for the right candidate, in the hopes for a fee at the end. A retained recruiter must be able to confidently work their way through the recruitment process and handle any issues that may arise throughout the process. We will also keep you informed at each stage of the process via our bi-weekly reports. In this manner, whilst you remain informed, it’s not your problem to resolve any of these issues; they have been outsourced to an expert.


    • Lower your risk of bad hires.
      The key focus of a retained search is to deliver an exceptionally high quality of shortlist. You’ll be working with highly successful recruiters, with a high placement success rate. Given the stakes of making a senior hire into the business, it’s critical that this is done first time to avoid the associated costs and damage caused as a result of a bad hire.


    • The best, not the fastest.
      Retained search assignments are not competitive situations, which means we’re not in a race against other consultants to complete the search. Therefore more time can be taken to ensure the very best and most qualified candidate is found, interviewed, tested and presented – greatly benefiting your company in the long-run.


    • Bespoke processes.
      Retained search requires a unique approach for each role and business. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it’s about determining what your business needs and to build a bespoke search strategy to match.


    • You are already a paying client.
      Unlike traditional contingency recruitment models, once you enter into a retained search assignment, we are already fully committed to your business and ensuring you make the best hire, regardless of what needs to be done. This results in more feedback, better communications and real-time updates.


  • Demonstrating that you are serious about this hire.
    When you retain Victoria Recruitment, you are entering into a formal business relationship. We then become an extension of your image and reputation, working to safeguard your name, protect confidentiality and work diligently to honour our commitments. This will further be reflected upon our approach to potential candidates, given them that peace of mind that this hire is incredibly important to you.

The process.

1. Client Consultation
Our first task is to meet or have a discussion with any relevant stakeholders or managers involved in your recruitment process. This is to develop a search and selection strategy and to establish mutually agreeable timelines for the search. We will also want to discuss the requirements of the position, including reporting relationships, responsibilities, objectives, characteristics, compensation and benefits. 

2. Candidate Development
Victoria Recruitment undertake a variety of methods in identifying and developing candidates for a role, including an aggressive outreach relative to diversity, equality and inclusion. Our preferred method is to reach out to knowledgeable and well-placed industry sources to obtain the names of individuals who could be qualified for the role and secondly, through research, identifying individuals who are not currently seeking employment and who would have the desired skills and experience.

3. Interviewing & Psychometric Testing
Our interviewing process consists of three parts:

A) Review and analysis of a candidates resume and other supplemental materials, to determine initial qualification for the position and business.

B) Meeting or telephone conversation with qualified candidates to further determine best fit against the key criteria of the position. Interviews will be based on ensuring that a candidates behavioural attributes and core competencies are thoroughly explored and validated. We will focus on technical skills, cultural add, and management/leadership ability.

C) We offer extensive leadership psychometric assessments with all of our executive placements, which is specifically designed against the core criteria as discussed in the first Client Consultation meeting. This will allow you to determine how well candidates may fit into leadership roles and hire only the best-fit talent.

4. Candidate Presentation
A final shortlist will be delivered to the client for their consideration, and for second stage interviews. This is done using a candidate profile which summarises the candidate’s education, career history and current situation. This profile will also include our assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, and a leadership psychometric assessment report.

5. Offer Management & Conclusion
Following presentation of the candidates, we will support your business in the coordination of interviews and facilitate the delivery of the Offer of Employment to the successful candidate. Further, we will advise regarding market compensation data, and assist with any unique onboarding issues. 

6. Retention
Victoria Recruitment does not believe that our obligations to our clients are over when a hire is consummated. We regularly contact any candidate as a result of the search, six months after the search is completed and have discussions as to how they are finding things. We will report back to you with our findings and observations. This can at times become a critical task in the search process, as frequently, minor misgivings and problems can be resolved and a course correction can be plotted. 

Experts in financial and professional services recruitment.