The warning signs that you may need a retained executive recruitment service

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A retained executive recruitment search is a significant investment. However…

If the cost of not finding the right candidate is higher than the cost of the role search itself, then you need to consider investing in the services of a retained executive search company such as Barron Williams Executive Search.

A search for senior executives and C-level positions is simply too important to not go out to a specialist retained search firm. 

We are talking about the people who are the critical difference, the ones that will make or break your organisation. 

We can mitigate the risk of finding the right fit for your most senior hires. 

Operating on an exclusive, client-focussed basis, we work on a limited number of briefs at any one time. 

We will find the right candidate for the role.

We have access to a vast network, many of who aren’t actively on/in the market.

We engage at every stage of the process, from defining the role brief to onboarding.

We tailor our service to support your organisation and specific role brief requirements. 

Why do organisations need retained executive recruitment?

By retaining Barron Williams for your executive search, you’re gaining the benefit of our experience and recruitment knowledge. 

Why exclusive?

We only work on a small number of clients so we can dedicate substantial resources (and therefore costs) to your brief.

Still unsure?

There’s a number of warning signs that indicate that it might be the time to consider the need for hiring us on a retained basis: 

Rapid Growth and/or Recent Investment

Is your organisation going through a period of rapid growth, private equity investment or an injection of venture capital? You will need leaders who operate effectively in you organisation as it will be, not what it was.

It can be incredibly difficult for the exec team to devote the time and focus needed to recruit the necessary talent in the midst of such dramatic change. 

We can support your business through this period of flux, and most importantly, identify the talent needed to deliver on strategic objectives. 


We’ve worked in partnership with small, family run organisations, blue-chip multinationals, and everybody in between. 

The structures might be different but their core needs are often the same. 

The key is working with the problem-owner and understanding those needs.

Larger organisations might have the personnel to manage all or part of the hiring process, but we can still support them in a number of ways that add validity and reliability to key hiring decisions. We tailor solutions to ensure high quality results.

SME’s on the other-hand, they often don’t have the internal recruiters available to lead such a search process, and that is where we can add significant value by effectively managing the process as well as the search.

Losing Your Star Players

Competition for talent is high, so you need recruitment expertise to find, attract and engage the right people.

Then you have to keep them.

If your top executive talent is delivering, then you can guarantee they’ll have gained the attention of others.

You need to stay one step ahead and look after your talent to retain them. 

However, when you do lose a key exec, we can help you.

You’re looking for someone different

Maybe a previous hire hasn’t worked out? 

Maybe you want to look out of sector? 

Strategic move into a new sector? 

There’s a number of reasons for looking for somebody ‘different’. 

A fresh approach, change of direction, or maybe just the need for somebody with a background or skillset new to your organisation.

If you have an important search in which you are seeking that unique hire, then using retained search will help. 

We can identify individuals that could bring a fresh perspective to your senior team, potentially helping to broaden knowledge, expertise and outlook.

Internal Hiring Not Working

If you have the talent in-house, then hiring internally is often the fastest and easiest solution to filling a role. 

The opportunity for promotion can inspire. It sends out the right messages to your people.

Employee engagement will drop quickly if they feel there’s no room for career development in the organisation.

However, will that deliver the best (right) talent every time? 

Not all organisations have the systems and procedures in place to deliver a robust succession plan? 

Searching externally provide a benchmark as well as introducing a broader selection of strong candidates, along with the opportunity to bring new ideas, talent and personality to your exec team. 

By partnering with a retained executive recruitment firm you’re bringing in impartiality and perspective to the process.

Internal Search Team Not Working

You’ve all the resources in place? Maybe you’ve given an internal search team the tools and budget needed but they’ve still failed to find the right hire?

Time for a fresh pair of eyes?

Let us take a look at the market for you with a thorough search.

A professional approach that will guarantee discretion and diligence is essential in finding the right candidates, wherever they may be hiding.

Time Critical

Whenever a search is taking too long, then it may be time to call in the cavalry?

We understand that time-to-hire is critical, especially if you’ve just lost a key member of your exec team. 

Somebody once said to me, “If quality of hire is the king of all recruitment objectives, then time to hire is queen”. 

Inefficiency in your recruitment process can be costly.

A long drawn out search is a frustrating experience for all involved. 

It happens sometimes, for good reasons, but should be avoided wherever possible.

A retained recruitment search with us is not about simply reducing time-to-hire, and more about efficiency of process. 

A tailored approach with defined timescales and key milestones keeps the client informed and involved at the appropriate times.

Our objective is to reach those that aren’t actively looking but best fit your brief (as well as those who may be active in the market).

Political Pressure

Organisations, regardless of size, are political animals to one degree or another. 

Positive or negative, you simply can’t avoid it completely, especially in large organisations. 

Power dynamics among colleagues can have a negative impact on the search process.

Managing expectations and balancing priorities is sometimes easier in the hands of an independent adviser.

Our role is to provide expertise, as well as high quality process.

By utilising a retained senior executive search firm, you’re minimising the organisational politics and allowing us to focus on the matter at hand.

If Discretion Is Key

For organisations that need to hire a replacement where there is some sensitivity, then we can offer some much-needed discretion and impartiality.

Similarly, you could be looking to recruit top executive talent from a competitor or a firm in your supply network, and would prefer not to approach people in your industry direct?

In this instance, the confidential, discreet approach that a professional search firm can provide is invaluable.

We will ensure high professional standards at all times, and ensure that any approach is made in a manner which protects both your and our brands.

Lack of Diversity

I recently read an interesting article on that examines why a lack of diversity is hurting many businesses.

They quote the results of a McKinsey report that highlights that “companies in the top quartile for racial/ethnic and gender diversity were respectively 35 and 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians”.

Not all candidate backgrounds are well-represented at the senior level, and a retained executive recruitment firm such as Barron Williams can help make the process fair for all involved.

The absence of diversity and inclusion in recruitment limits access to the best talent. 

Working on your behalf we can conduct a full impartial search that ensures equal opportunity for all.

In a nutshell, if that next hire has to be right, then please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

Barron Williams

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