Smith Hanley | Find Needle in a Haystack


If you are indeed looking for a needle in a haystack, it may be time hire a “specialized” retained recruiter. Here are the reasons why.

Last year recovering from surgery I got an SOS from a client for help on a search. Wanting to help but not being well enough to commit to a retained search, I remembered a candidate I had been proactively trying to reach just days before my surgery. Knowing she could be perfect for this role, putting my retained hat on, I reached out to her. What happened next was amazing! I watched the client interview, fall in love and hire that candidate within a few short weeks. It was like watching a retained search cycle on an Olympic fast track.

This was more than a lucky shot but indicative of what differentiates a Retained Search from Contingency Recruitment:

1. Retained search saved this client many hours of executive time screening and interviewing. The hallmark of a good retained recruiter is presenting a small slate of targeted candidates. It is about quality, not quantity.
2. The role required a tailored mix of hard and soft skills to fit a senior executive role combining traditional and emerging competencies for future challenges – a key reason why companies hire ‘specialized’ retained recruiters like Smith Hanley Associates.
3. The role defied easy definition. Success in the ideal candidate responding to an ad, being on a job board or finding one through keyword search could not be counted on.
4. Low probability that there are candidates with this desired competency mix sitting in any recruiter’s database, especially given candidates at $200K+ are used to being sourced and sought out.
5. Given the criticality of the role the company was not willing to settle for any partially qualified candidates they identified through external sources and internal referrals but wanted only ‘the’ most qualified candidate.

With our ‘finger on the pulse of the market’ and an ability to ‘proactively’ know where to tap for that hard to find ‘Next Gen’ and best in class talent, Smith Hanley’s Specialized Retained practice will:

1. Position and sell the client to discerning and passive senior executives. We will get them excited about the opportunity, bring them to the table and enable an exploratory conversation and dialogue.
2. Make a dedicated effort and not stop until the position is filled.
3. Fine tune and find the best talent for a good mutual fit, taking into account nuances of client culture and unique issues related to each role, emerging practices and competitive scenarios.
4. Offer an independent, experienced third party screening focusing on functional and subject matter expertise as well as soft and communication skills.
5. Help assess internal candidates against external shortlist.
6. Provide a very high degree of confidentiality to all stakeholders.
7. Act as a go-between to help persuade an executive to leave a desirable position for a better opportunity and help negotiate terms of the move to create a win-win for both.

For Senior and Executive Search in the fields of Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, Strategic Consulting, Technology and Research using Data Sciences, contact Sharad Dabral at [email protected] or 203.255-1300.


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