Society provides a full range of search, selection and recruitment services. Our exact approach is always tailored to the needs of the specific client in question.
But why use a retained search firm in the first place? Well, it’s worth remembering that there are actually two types of candidate: active candidates and passive candidates. Active candidates have made a conscious decision to find a new role. As such they will be looking at job adverts and networking furiously. Passive candidates are much more elusive. They’re usually busy people, currently giving little thought to their next job move. Public advertisements and contingent recruitment firms only succeed in accessing active candidates. A retained executive search firm like Society can add value by reaching out to passive candidates as well.
Through a process of creative research, patient courtship, and persuasive advocacy, we are able to help you move beyond appointing only ‘the usual suspects’. We can cast the net as widely as you want, unconstrained by sector or geographical boundaries. And what all this effort delivers will be a larger, higher calibre, and more diverse field of candidates for you to appoint from.
Full Executive Search
A full executive search approach is unquestionably the best way of making high quality senior-level appointments. When doing a full search, we pride ourselves on gaining an in-depth understanding of the role and your organisation. Our thorough grasp of the brief allows us to be compelling advocates on your behalf to potential candidates, securing their interest and excitement in the face of many competing opportunities. You also benefit from our experience of running rigorous and robust processes, and our insights in terms of candidate assessment.
A full executive search typically consists of the following stages:
- we take an in-depth briefing from you in person, seeking to understand as much about your business and the role as possible;
- we conduct an extensive headhunt, making use of both our existing networks and creative research;
- we interview a longlist of suitably qualified candidates on your behalf and make recommendations as to who should be shortlisted;
- we help you to organise all the logistics of your own face-to-face interviews;
- we assist you with taking up references and conducting any final salary negotiations with your preferred candidate.
Our fees for a full executive process are usually based on 28% of the role’s anticipated gross salary. However the exact figure is usually open to negotiation. Crucially, we believe in agreeing our fees up-front. This gives you complete clarity about the costs involved. It also means that we can act with your best interests at heart during any salary negotiations with your preferred candidate.
A full executive search process typically takes between 8–12 weeks from commencement through to final appointment; however this can usually be shortened if necessary, and we are always happy to agree timescales up-front. Where a client is recruiting for more than one role, there can sometimes be efficiencies and economies of scale. We are very comfortable running multiple appointments at the same time.
Particularly for mid-level roles, we recognise that a full executive search approach may not always be affordable or appropriate. For clients who are in a hurry, or on a tight budget, we have therefore developed our ‘research-only’ model. This is a quicker and lighter touch process in which we still conduct a pro-active headhunt, but you then progress straight to a shortlist. In other words, we bring good candidates to the table, and then you take them forward to a successful appointment under the stewardship of your own in-house HR team.
A research-only process typically consists of the following stages:
- we take an in-depth briefing from you over the phone;
- we conduct an extensive headhunt, making use of both our existing networks and creative research (this is sometimes undertaken in parallel with a public advertisement);
- at the conclusion of the research phase, we sift all the candidate CVs and produce a preliminary grading;
- we then send you all the candidate paperwork electronically;
- you confirm which people you wish to take forward to interview, and we turn down any unsuccessful candidates;
- you progress straight to formal interview with your chosen shortlist of candidates.
Typical costs for an assignment of this nature range from between £8,000 to £14,000 GBP. Our fees are always agreed up-front. There’s no additional fee payable upon the appointment of your chosen candidate, and our fees don’t vary in relation to salary levels. Furthermore, there are no additional fees to pay in the event that you choose to appoint more than one of the candidates we introduce to you. This can make a research-only process a really cost-effective way of building up a team.
Searches are usually spread out over around four to six weeks, however this can usually be shortened if necessary, and we are always happy to agree timescales up-front. Where a client is recruiting to more than one role, there can sometimes be efficiencies and economies of scale. We are very comfortable running multiple appointments at the same time.
We look to form long-term partnerships with our clients and will therefore frequently help them on other projects. These might include:
- conducting salary and benefits surveys for a specific role, gathering together data from an agreed set of comparator businesses;
- mapping the organisational structure of an agreed competitor (or a specific team within it);
- running specially designed assessment centres to make sure you get the best results from your formal interview processes;
- delivering an enhanced reference check on appointable candidates, including verifying their academic and professional qualifications;
- conducting internal benchmarking exercises to help you identify existing talent or plan for organisational restructures.