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| 2 minutes read

Why you should be thinking about embedding executive search capability into your TA team

Here at AMS, organisations approach us every day about all-things-talent.  Right now, week in, week out, the most common question is: 

“Can AMS help us reduce our agency spend without reducing the quality and key delivery of senior hires across our organisation?” 

It’s nothing new. Many talent professionals have asked us this question over the last 20 years.  It’s just that now we have a new solution.  

Executive search vs. contingent support 

Until now, when it comes to senior hires, organisations have had few choices. They might approach traditional search firms for retained executive staff. Or they might go for contingent support.  

Executive search is a premium service. Businesses can expect an exceptional placement record, a deep network, a specialist search solution and confidence in key hires. It’s also expensive. The most rated executive search firms charge a hefty amount, and this doesn't always guarantee a successful placement either.  

Contingent recruitment is the opposite of this. Lowfees are a win for cost efficiency. But there’s potential compromise with candidate experience, company reputation and you are typically working with that ‘market specialist’ who graduated from university last week.  

How is embedded exec search different? 

This involves lifting the methodology, market specialism and deep networks of the executive-search world and delivering it to clients in-house. AMS have recently built a global research centre of excellence to support our executive-account teams. And we’re pleased to report that, on average, we can save clients in the region of 20–30% on their agency costs over four years. All while maintaining a successful placement percentage of 95%.

How does embedded executive search change the game? 

Other than reducing costs, every single piece of data collected during an embedded executive search mandate – talent mapping, market mapping, competitor intelligence, salary benchmarking, candidate feedback etc. is owned by the client. That’s an enormous increase in the volume of talent clients have access to. And it gives a new dimension to their succession planning. Because these talent pools become next year’s placements, saving even more in agency spend, a further 10–15% to be precise.  

Can AMS embed the complete executive search experience? 

No – and nor do we want to. Some search companies are so well networked and have such deep market expertise that we aren’t aiming to compete with them at Board, C-level and niche searches. Our solution supports clients with senior-level hires (C-level-1 down to director). We’ve built specialisms across industries such as healthcare and life sciences, pharma, energy, industrial, engineering and financial services. And we have horizontal expertise in corporate functions, technology, sales and marketing, and research and development (R&D).  

For more information, or you just want to learn more and talk to the executive team, please reach out to Jack McConnell-Sharp, Executive Search Lead (


ams, future of work, leadership, talent acquisition, talent retention, cws