Meeting Room

Executive Search: it's not just for executives...

Choosing to work with a headhunter is not about the seniority of the role you need to fill; it's about the importance. Sometimes there are roles that would be 'nice to fill', and many people could fit the bill. Then there are roles that are 'essential to fill' and very few people have the skills, experience or ability. Retained Search is for the latter.

Our Retained Search process is all about securing the very highest calibre of candidate through targeted and proactive attraction and assessment. Regardless of your company size and whether you're hiring for board level appointments, sensitive hires or tricky technical roles, we know how to help. 

The Elemental Way...

The Brief...


This is so much more than a job description. We'll get to know everything that matters to you about the role, and we'll target and assess all candidates against the information gained at this stage. The brief will include:

  • Essential & Desirable Skills and Experiences

  • Team Configuration

  • Working Practices

  • Cultural Attributes

  • Personality Traits

  • Target Companies

  • Compensation Boundaries

  • Project Timelines

  • Interview Process

We can also advise on areas where the offering can be strengthened to maximise the roles' appeal to potential candidates


The Market Map...

Based on all of the details we've discovered from our brief, this is where we map out and rank all of the possible candidates for your role.

Potential candidates are scored against the hiring criteria, along with other key performance indicators. They are then sorted into order from most to least likely to succeed in your role. 

The market map is continuously updated throughout the search, so that you can see at any stage and in real-time which candidates are progressing in the process. 

Via your market map, you can also let us know which candidates you particularly like (or not). We can use this information to focus our approach efforts in the next stage. 

The Approach...


In the 21st Century, identifying candidates is not the most challenging thing. The challenge is compelling those candidates to engage with your opportunity. 

Typically, less than 5% of your target market is actively looking for a new role. So approaches will more often than not be to individuals who are happy in their current employment and who are being well looked after. 

This stage is about directly approaching your ideal candidates and presenting your value proposition in a way that encourages them to take the next step in the process. 

Candidates interested in progressing will move onto the next phase: The Assessment...

The Assessment...


The depth of assessment conducted before you hire goes a long way to predicting how well or otherwise a new employee will perform in the long run. 

We understand that this stage is crucial to achieving the very best results for you. 

While you will also conduct your own interviews in the next stage, you will do so with a comprehensive dossier on each candidate, giving you valuable insights into their strengths, weaknesses, traits and attitudes. 

In addition to our full behavioural and competency based interviews, you select the additional assessments that mater to you, including:

  • Numerical Reasoning

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Logical Reasoning

  • Situational Judgement

  • Personality Assessment


The Delivery...

Candidates who have passed all of the stages are presented to you, each with a complete dossier of information designed to make your own assessment easier. 

But our support doesn't end here. At this stage we will:

  • Co-ordinate all interviews

  • Manage feedback to candidates

  • Consult on offer negotiation

  • Design bespoke interviews (if required)

  • Manage the successful candidate throughout their notice period

  • Assist with candidate onboarding

This stage is all about mitigating risk for you and easing your load, as well as ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible for the candidate. 


The Timescales...

From our initial briefing meeting, to having candidates in front of you for interview takes 6 weeks. The timeline looks like this:

  • Day 1: Briefing and Project Kick-off

  • Week 1: Research and Market Map Creation

  • Weeks 2-3: Candidate Approaches

  • Week 4-5: Candidate Assessment

  • Week 6: Candidate presentation for client interviews 

From there we will help you to move your own interview process forward efficiently, to maintain valuable momentum. 

On average, from kick-off, our assignments take 8 weeks in total to obtain a signed offer acceptance from your selected candidate. 


The Price...

Traditionally, search firms the world over operate a 3 tranche payment model, charging at kick-off, shortlist delivery and eventual hire. 

We think this places too much risk on you. In the event that no hire can be made, you'd have already paid 66% of the overall fee. That's no good for you and it incentivises the wrong behaviours in the search firms too. 

We have a much simpler 2-payment model that looks like this:

  • Retainer: From just £2,000 (excl. VAT)

  • Balance: On successful delivery of the assignment

Our total Retained Search fees are 22% of basic salary only. Our retainer is 20% of that figure.

An example...

  • The Role: Principal Software Engineer

  • The Salary on Offer: £75,000

  • The Retainer: £3,300 (excl. VAT)

  • The Balance: £13,200 (excl. VAT)

We also include an industry leading 12-month Free Replacement Guarantee on all Retained Search placements. So you can hire with confidence. 

Learn More About Retained Search...

+44(0) 1382 238 988