top of page

Retained Search
Where Priority Meets Top Talent


PMG’s dedicated Retained Search team delivers best-in-service recruiting with an industry leading satisfaction guarantee. With exclusively partnering with our firm, our dedicated team prioritizes your search for the best candidates.

While many agencies require a full retainer payment upfront, PMG believes performance should be earned.  Therefore, PMG provides this level of service dedication on a partial-retainer basis where the balance is not due until candidate acceptance. We trust that you will be satisfied with our delivery.

Young Business Colleagues

Why Retained Search?

For nearly 20 years the PMG team has taken pride in building an extensive network of accomplished candidates across numerous industries and locations. Our seasoned recruiters are well-connected with a thorough understanding of the market and forward-looking trends. We can help you locate the best candidates much faster than traditional reactive recruiting techniques. 

And as you have experienced, today’s candidate supply & demand has changed tremendously post pandemic and you cannot afford to lose a 5-star candidate to your competition.  PMG’s retained model provides a fully dedicated team to ensure timeliness and to maximize your ROI while providing an industry leading guarantee.  Our team’s proactive and collaborative approach goes beyond expectations to ensure each candidate has the skills, accomplishments, and experience.   
There is nothing more rewarding than shared success. You can rest assured you have selected a trusted partner to deliver a stress-free search.  

Work with PMG Search Today
Upload File

Understanding Retained Search

What is retained search?

The retained search model is best used when organizations need to fill specialized, confidential, or critical leadership talent roles, typically at the Director to C-Level. In this higher-end service model, companies work in close partnership with one retained search firm on an exclusive basis for the duration of the search, or an agreed-upon minimum “exclusivity” period. When looking to source and recruit new candidates, retained search firms primarily target “passive” candidates—or those who are employed at specific target companies—not actively seeking a new employment opportunity. A typical retained search can take anywhere from 45-180 days to complete, depending upon the position level, industry, and location. The timeline can be longer—when compared to targeting only candidates who are actively engaged in a job search—because the firm must identify and engage prospective passive candidates to consider the opportunity.  Typically, this is more of the right fit rather than the speed of hire.

The benefits of using PMG’s retained search model:​

Rather than leaning on pools of currently active job seekers, PMG leverages our database and network of highly qualified, passive candidates and focuses heavily on referral networking as a primary strategy.

By leaning on PMG’s expert knowledge of the marketplace, our specialized recruiters target and engaging top-accomplished leadership talent employed by key competitors and similar goals.

PMG will assign a dedicated team committed to fulfilling your hiring needs. This team will conduct regular search progress status updates to ensure mutual accountability for completing the search promptly and effectively.

PMG’s retained recruiter team performs a deeper, more in-depth vetting of the candidate’s qualifications and skill set to gauge how this individual would align within your organization and specific team. This will ensure that the qualified candidates presented for consideration meet—and often exceed the position’s requirements.

To ensure the process is continually refined throughout the search, our retained recruiters strive to remain connected to your organization through weekly or bi-weekly check-ins and status calls. These discussions are designed to provide information and recent market intel that may shed light on below-market compensation or resistance to some aspect of the employment opportunity presented.

PMG acts as an authorized extension of the organization’s HR or in-house recruiting team by representing your company’s brand and value proposition. Much thought and consideration is given to candidate messaging and how to best highlight your organization’s unique value proposition.  PMG will handle more of the search process’s heavy lifting and technical aspects, allowing you to focus on the candidate’s team and cultural alignment during the interview process.

When would I use retained search?

When filling a critical senior leadership hiring need at the Director, VP, and above level, you should consider using a retained search firm to ensure the greatest return on investment if:

The search is confidential, or is a revenue-impacting critical leadership role in which you want to minimize the risk of a hiring mistake.

You need a dedicated recruitment partner that is accountable and focused on filling the search within a specific timeline.

PMG retained model provides a full 12-month replacement guarantee. You can expect to pay between 25% – 35% of the total first-year annual base and incentive compensation, including any sign-on bonus paid upfront. This longer guarantee period provides an added sense of security, one that is crucial when either a new role has been created or when unknown hurdles to success begin to impact the candidate’s on-the-job performance. When engaging PMG executive retained search team, be prepared to pay upfront for services—typically 1/3 of fees are due upon start of the search, 1/3 are paid within 45-60 days, and the remainder of the balance is compensated upon successful candidate offer acceptance.

bottom of page