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Retained Search Services for Executive Positions


Companies prefer to use our retained search services when a filling director and executives in higher positions need a candidate who will be expected to assume key leadership responsibilities.

With retained search, the goals include urgency and confidentiality given how vital the position is to the company’s overall mission and high-level strategies that reinforce the brand and speak to shareholder interests.

As a result, the selection process immediately becomes a top priority that requires a seasoned and trusted search consultant who can dedicate the time and resources to identify and present the most suitable candidates. We also include industry standard assessments and compensation reviews as part of our retained search services.

Our Approach

For starters, OCG diligently shapes an objective job description with the client’s guidance. Together, we define what outcomes are expected from the executive in his or her strategic role. We also develop with the client specific criteria, which we use in the screening process. We look at everything from interpersonal styles, problem-solving skills, depth and range of work experience, and more. Ultimately, we need to ensure that the most suitable candidates will all be a “right fit” for the company.

Culture, for example, is an essential part of the selection process. The job description alone can never adequately convey what supports the culture or how it plays out among different preferences, attitudes and personalities. Based on the nature of the position and sensitivity for corporate culture, we spend time on-site at clients’ offices and facilities. We’re able to better understand clients’ needs in those environments. It’s also a good opportunity to interview the people who will be most affected by the new hire (including supervisors, direct reports and board members). We always need to ensure that the candidate understands how the company operates structurally and culturally.

Benefits of Retained Search

  • The process underscores how serious everyone is about the position and the investment in long-term success. Think of OCG as an extension of your business.
  • Potential candidates get to know the company; the process helps clients demonstrate their commitment to the position and the process.
  • It’s comprehensive, reflecting our insights and analysis as well as a company’s participation throughout different critical stages.
  • We include time for proper interviews and assist clients with negotiations.
  • You can monitor our progress through weekly reports and dashboards so you’ll be aware of the caliber of the candidates and where they are in our finely tuned screening process.
  • Searches are guaranteed for one year.

Retained Search Fees

  • OCG’s a retained search fees are determined by the candidate’s total cash compensation (first year’s annual compensation – base and bonus).
  • Typically, the fees will be paid over three time periods (1/3rd when we start, 1/3rd at 30-day mark, and 1/3rd when the preferred candidate accepts the offer.
  • We don’t add admin fees.


Sometimes a modified executive search (also called a “container” search) makes the most sense. It works out well for our clients and OCG. Modified Executive Search offers several benefits to the client company in that many of the strengths of the retained search model can be captured while at the same time reducing the financial risks for both parties.  In a Modified Executive Search, the fee is typically divided into two parts.  The first part (“container”) is paid at the beginning of the search and is typically one third of the anticipated search fee. The last part (remaining two thirds of the search fee) is paid when the search has been successfully completed. 

Our Approach

Essentially, we can accelerate the process while still identifying quality candidates. OCG and the hiring company both demonstrate their commitment. Based amount of up-front fees, our client reinforces that filling the position is an urgent matter and that their business is dedicated to making that happen. For OCG, we share risks as well with this approach (timing of payments) and do everything to ensure that the search yields high quality candidates.

We achieve outstanding results, in part, because of the amount of research we conduct about each client. We get a firm handle on their goals as well as the issues that they confront and resolve. For example, we spend time on-site with our client to gain a deeper understanding of the business. It’s also an opportunity for us to conduct interviews with direct reports, peers and those who will oversee the new hire. At each critical stage, we touch base with corporate HR/hiring manager to streamline the process and keep everyone involved and informed.

Benefits of a Modified Executive Search

  • Six-month guarantee.
  • It’s a shared-risk model for OCG and clients.
  • Guarantee at least three qualified candidates.
  • Includes comprehensive services, including interview support.
  • Industry standard assessments and a compensation analysis are available for an additional fee.

Modified Executive Search Fee Structure

  • We charge an upfront fee – 1/3rd and we require exclusivity.
  • Final remaining balance payment will be due when the candidate accepts an offer.
  • We don’t add admin fees.

Mark E. Little

Managing Director, Executive Search

Mark has over 32 years of corporate and third-party retained search experience. His corporate experience includes over 13 years at National City Bank (now PNC). An accomplished talent acquisition executive with an outstanding record of growth and execution.

Energetic multi-tasker that delivers outstanding results while building strategic partnerships. He has earned the reputation as a passionate, customer driven recruiting professional focused on delivering strategic, timely recruiting solutions to his clients.
Mark has worked with a wide range of clients from large publicly-traded companies to small privately owned business. His areas of focus/expertise include: Finance/Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Operations, Human Resources.

Recent completed/representative projects: Chief People Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, VP Sales and Marketing, Corporate Controller, Senior Director Financial Reporting, Tax Director, Vice President Total Rewards.

This service is brought to you by OCG in association with its affiliate Organizational Consulting Associates LLC.

(216) 410-2966 Contact Us Today

OCG is a compensation consulting firm. We are comprised of a select group of professionals with significant experience and diversity, specializing in effective executive compensationboard compensationsalary administration plansIRS Intermediate Sanctions (Compensation Code Section 4958 and 4941) and much more.

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