Elusiveness is not a quality any company is looking for in a key hire. Yet, that’s precisely what many come across in large measure before the typical search process turns up a suitable candidate. Beyond the frustration comes significant amounts of wasted time, money, and energy—all of which combine to drain life from the effort long before a given position is filled. Other times, the most promising leads simply vanish into thin air.

“Poof!” Not unlike cornering a camera-shy aberration of nature, as the lead-in to this article suggests.

And yet, the process doesn’t have to be such a shot in the dark. Rather, a more refined approach from a retained search perspective is far more likely to pinpoint the applicants that stand out colorfully against the standard wall of gray.

In a recent blog post from The Good Search, contributor Krista Bradford writes of the value a retained search relationship brings to the table, particularly as it relates to “understanding what makes someone successful at [a] company” with regard to “management style and corporate culture.” On those fronts, the number of submissions is far less important than finding the right one out of hundreds.

At CarterWill Search, we know that can be a pretty tough nut.

In retained search mode, our approach to identifying top talent involves evaluating what your needs are and what success looks like across your industry. During the interview stage, we gather feedback and manage expectations, serving as trusted advisors throughout the entire recruitment process. By conducting competency interviews and drawing out the details from proprietary questionnaires, cultural assessments, and our own deep market knowledge, we can help HR leaders find “the purple squirrel” of any shade.

Depending on the yearly salary for the placement in question, we’ll negotiate a percentage for a mutually acceptable service fee—usually segmented into thirds with the first installment corresponding to the start of the search, the second linked to the first in-person interview, and the third due within seven calendar days of job start date.

Searches of this nature are kept confidential—squirreled away from the eyes of the public—and potentially, from current employers of candidates who might look askance at the sight of a prized employee advancing his or her own interests. Likewise, candidates themselves are not informed of the company name until they’ve formally committed to the prospect.

Of course, not every job search requires the same delicate balance on the tightrope.

There’s also work on a contingent basis—wherein—we will go on the hunt for a more common breed of managerial or director-level talent (say in the $50K-$150K range). If that approach is more in-line with your objectives, we will bring the same amount of passion to the pursuit, only without the starting fee at square one. In this scenario, our customers only pay a small percentage of annual salary for placement once they meet their match out of a strong slate of potential candidates.

After all, every organization needs its share of ordinary squirrels as well.

CarterWill Search can help you get cracking.

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