A staffing company that handles recruiting for executive and high compensation positions. Retained searches are very high-level positions or hard to fill positions. Common positions that are put out on retained search would be the C-suite: CEO, CFO, CIO; and this is where they pay the firm upfront. The client pays them a third of the fee up front when they accept the retainer, and then pays another one-third of the fee after a particular number of candidates have been submitted to the client, and then the last one-third of the fee is paid if the client fills the retainer. The agency will be paid two-thirds whether the client fills the job or not. Retained recruitment firms, also called executive search firms, are used by companies trying to fill senior-level positions. The company pays the recruiter a portion of the fee upfront, with the rest due upon hire of a suitable candidate. Retained recruitment firms typically come up with a long list of potential candidates, including passive candidates (those who are not actively looking for a job), and then narrow this pool down to a strong shortlist. It’s normal for the hiring process for a CEO to take around 90 days, sometimes longer. The advantage of hiring a retained recruiter is that they are highly motivated to find you a suitable candidate. By paying a retainer fee, you guarantee the recruiter’s time and attention. Executive recruiters also have extensive networks of highly qualified candidates, increasing your chances of finding the right person, and reducing the risk of a bad hire.