Regardless of the size of the search firm you select, there will only be 1-2 people at the firm dedicated to getting your search completed. A large search firm will tout significant infrastructure and internal resources that can be applied to search execution. In reality, large firms are collections of individual contributors and only 1-2 people will allocate significant time and energy to your search. Splits of “source of business” and “execution” fee credit between offices create disincentives to bring on additional staff to assist in search execution.
Only a large firm with significant resources can reach the right candidates. Bannerot Partners has access to all external databases, association membership lists, directories and public news sources that global search firms rely upon as the basis for their internal databases. The larger the firm and greater degree of specialization in a specific function or industry, the higher likelihood that your candidate pool will be restricted by both contractual off-limits and similar searches being conducted by other members of the firm on behalf of your competitors.
Compensation programs put in place by large firms require search teams to execute 10-15 searches simultaneously to reach their annual billing targets, limiting their focus on your search. Bannerot Partners deliberately restricts the number of searches taken on at any given time to ensure quality standards are maintained throughout the search process.
A contingent recruiter can do the same work that a retained search consultant can do and there is no financial risk to me. Contingent recruiting and retained executive search are mutually exclusive business models. They are to retail as Wal-Mart and Neiman Marcus, respectively, and you can expect the same levels of service. A contingent recruiter will shop a “most placeable candidate” to multiple hiring authorities to maximize the likelihood of sale; this is effective for “commodity” skill set hires, generally below $100k. A retained executive search consultant will partner with you to personally seek out the most qualified, affordable and interested person for your key role; this is necessary for leadership roles exceeding $150k. Bannerot Partners does not engage in contingent recruiting.