Retained Search


What is Retained Search?

A retained search is where the Client retains the search firm to conduct the search. This includes market mapping, candidate search, selection and onboarding assistance. The search firm typically uses a team of consultants, project managers, and researchers to conduct this search. The search is commonly structured in a 3 tiered goalpost framework but can be customized to fit particular search requirements and Client needs. Following these 3 goalposts the search firm invoices the Client roughly 1/3 of the agreed upon rate.


When is a Retained Search Recommended?

C-Level or High-Level Stakeholders

• Production Site Head
• Head of Sales
• Country Manager

Highly Specialized Searches in Niche Markets

• Medical Doctors into Pharmaceutical Companies
• Searches targeting the direct competitors' executives

Searches Where Market Mapping is Necessary

• Detailed research, analysis, and industry intelligence
• Target list of active and passive candidates
• Bespoke compensation packages

High-Level of Confidentiality is Needed

• Replacement of executive
• Various negative outcomes if search becomes public


Retained Search Process & Timeline

Kickoff Meeting

Kickoff meeting with HR and/or hiring manager. Discuss position specs, updated stakeholder expectations, business plans and all timelines.

Market Mapping

Research & market mapping. Apex creates a target long list of companies and Candidates. This becomes our working list with the Client.

Consensus Meeting

Consensus meeting with Client on priority targets, deduction to short list. Additional market insights discussed and assigned at client request.

Candidate Assessment

Apex finalizes Candidate assessment on qualifications, and prepares assessment and CVs to be sent to client.

Interview Process

All necessary rounds of interviews will be held. Client to provide initial feedback within 48 hours of interview unless otherwise agreed upon.

Offer & Reference Check

Offer and reference check. Apex to manage the process.

Ongoing Assistance

Offer accepted. Ongoing assistance to Client and Candidate to ensure success moving forward.

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Discuss if a retained search is right for you

Apex delivers strong profile and highly skilled candidates that match the job description requirements. Their candidate know how, network and experience helped us to initiate contact and integrate the candidate into our company. We are very happy with the candidate selected by Apex. K.K. consulting service. Thank you for the professional recruitment consulting service throughout the selection and follow up. We really appreciated it and strongly recommend Apex.

APAC Head of Supply Chain

Global Healthcare Company