Executive Search Firms
What are retained executive search firms, and how can they help job seekers with their career search?
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What are retained executive search firms, and how can they help job seekers with their career search?

Retained executive search firms work to hire senior-level executive job seekers when filling career openings (salary over $100k per year). They also work under exclusive contracts with the client companies who hire them. This means executive search firms will never recommend a candidate to more than one client at a time, nor will they charge fees to the job seekers for whom they help find a new career.

Retained executive search firms sometimes review resumes submitted by job seekers looking for a new career, but more often these head hunters will approach individuals who may not even be looking for a new job. Their goal is to identify the best candidate for a particular job, the one who is most qualified to meet the challenges that a senior-level executive position will present. They identify these candidates through diligent research, background checks and networking – not through resume submissions.

How can retained executive search firms help job seekers with their career search?

If you want to work with executive search firms, it is important to start network with them before you are looking for a new job. Job seekers who wait until they are ready to make a career change before contacting executive head hunters may be in for a surprise - retained search firms rely largely on candidates with whom they already have knowledge of and a relationship with. This means it pays to build relationships with executive headhunters before you need them.

So how can one make oneself know if they have waited until the last minute to contact executive search firms? One of the best ways for job seekers to become known quickly is to register with as many recruiting career search directories as they can. National directories work best, and it is also important to register with international ones as well, which are easily found online. This will raise your visibility with leading head hunters worldwide in a very time-efficient manner.

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