Search Options

 Steele Executive Search offers full search packages and/or custom services . We offer you the freedom to tailor our services to fit your needs. If you have a need or an idea but do not see it displayed here, simply give us a call and you will find us willing to accommodate!


Classic Retained Search

Retained search is the service most preferred by our clients. A retained search is a financial commitment from you securing our services in the most aggressive and exclusive manner. One third of the total fee is paid upon contract, the second upon a mutually agreed upon milestone and the final payment after the successful conclusion of your search.

This type of search involves everything defined in our custom search menu and much more, bringing you through to a successful close.

Our exclusive arrangement will always be the most expeditious way for you to fill a particularly senior and urgent need. One of the unique features of this choice is that every candidate you receive is yours exclusively until such time as you decide against their candidacy.

The initial four to eight weeks of any search is when the most energy and time is committed on our part. Conversely this is when communication and interaction with you is most important.  Clarity increases with strong communication and what starts as an amorphous vision becomes a firmly defined target with each CV viewed and each follow up discussion.

We take our cue from you whether to lead aggressively or to step back as the process unfolds. We will be happy to meet each candidate but we typically do a great deal of reference searching and triangulation of opinions and comments via our network.


Exclusive non-retained

This type of search involves an exclusive arrangement between you, the client, and SES. With a minimal initial financial investment and a larger end commitment, this option remains the same as the classic retained search in all aspects. We have found this to be popular with smaller businesses that cannot risk the up-front financial responsibility but require the same diligence and attention in the search.



This is a great option for junior positions where there is no urgency to fill the position yet it is important to find the right person. The beauty of this choice is that, while you get the same intuition and experience that we put into every search, you pay no fee until the candidate has accepted the position. However, we cannot always accommodate this type of search depending upon our availability and resources.


Custom Services

We have broken down our classic search into a series of steps which, when isolated, can be chosen individually or collated to create a unique package for you and at a fraction of the total cost. This is, in essence, an à la carte menu!

  • Meeting your executive team via telecom or in person insures we understand the unique nature of your company. Once a deep understanding has been established we encourage follow up meetings/conference calls to tighten up the details and nail down the range of cost to company: salary and bonus, relocation, stock, etc.
  • Compose a position description that projects the essence and the substance of your needs. We work on graphics and wording to give you a position description with the most visual and intellectual punch possible. This can be used as tear sheet to email to potential candidates or as a template for magazine advertising.
  • Identifying the top candidates represents the initial effort of any search process. When we forward a CV to you, you will find attached information on the candidate’s strengths based on past knowledge, informal reference checks and a summary of in depth conversations with the candidate. The goal is to produce a cadre of excellent candidates from which you may make a successful choice within 4-6 weeks. We fully inform all candidates as to the parameters of the position and prepare them for the next steps in the process. This eliminates most surprises at the end.
  • Schedule interviews and/or offer potential alternatives. Following the initial phone screens, we act as a  soundboard against which to bounce thoughts and ideas, helping you to  triage top candidates. Reducing the prospects to two is ideal; this  allows the company to focus their attention and energies toward the next round of interviews, out of which one candidate will emerge as the favorite. Through discussion, we will assist you in deciding which candidates go into a back burner file and which to bring in immediately.
  • Advise next moves following interviews on candidate fit to be most effective.  An open option at this stage is to request our professional assistance in closing and our advice as to which candidates might be the best choice. Throughout the whole process we build rapport with candidates through a debrief process. These conversations give us valuable insight that help us maximize the probability of choosing and closing the best candidate. SES can help navigate these tricky waters and educate both parties to the best path forward.
  • Reference checking has a tremendous impact! Reference checking can be the deciding factor between two excellent candidates. Our amazing in-depth reference checks at this stage will make the difference between a great hire and an unfortunate situation. Checking references is the second most impactful and time consuming part of the hiring process. This is the make or break point. Do you get the best fit and the highest integrity employee or do you fill your business essential needs with someone who at best is average and at worst is a drag on your company and a constant cause of stress. Read MoreIt happens to everyone at least once and the question is “How did  this happen?” Likely a reference wasn’t willing to share the negative issues for fear of reprisal. There’s a great deal of skill involved in hearing what is NOT being said as well as what is spoken. So much can be learned from the hesitations, the tone of voice, the things not volunteered; as experienced listeners,  we dig deep and probe further. We not only talk to the ‘reference list’ but we look at the publications, we search our databases for connected individuals whom we know and trust, we go the extra yard to hear the whole truth. This requires following thread after thread of information, transforming fact finding into an art form; weaving opinion and fact together with professional intuition and finally coming up with the total picture. Imagine all this valuable information in your hands, allowing you to make the best decision! Everyone wants to hear the good, the bad and the ugly, right? Here, at Steele Executive Search that is what you will get!
  • Compensation and Benefit Analysis is at your fingertips. A quick call to SES can provide you with up to date information regarding compensation and benefits arming you to make a compelling and successful offer on your own.
  • We can help you put forward a ‘soft’ offer to your favorite candidate. You need to know which offer will most likely be accepted by your top pick, before you make that offer. We can discuss soft numbers in detail and walk through potential objections.You run the risk of losing potential candidates if you become mired in lengthy, unsuccessful negotiations. This becomes even more of a problem if you have two or three close candidates and you run less risk of losing all of them by tying yourselves up in long negotiations with the wrong first choice candidate.
  • Walk candidates through potentially difficult issues early and firmly. The unsuccessful negotiation situation mentioned above could have been smoked out early in the process. Such obstacles as counter offers, family crisis, dual careers problems, and relocation concerns are not insurmountable if discovered and addressed early on. With years of experience handling even the most bizarre issues (just ask us for some stories), we are able to talk our candidates through situations which, without being addressed, become deal killers. There’s no absolute  guarantee anywhere, but 95% of all issues simply need to be heard with empathy and addressed at an early stage.
  • Negotiations that make it work! Sometimes even with rapport building, pre-closing negotiations are necessary. You need an advocate helping you through rough spots and educating the candidate when he/she is asking for the impossible. While we have great concern for the candidates, we are the voice for you, our clients. Often negotiations mean we push back on our candidates to help them break through a difficult decision. Through it all, our intent is a successful conclusion for you!

Please call us with your ideas and allow us to design a proposal

that is in line with your needs!