Find Top-Rated, Certified Executive Search Specialists

The Clockwork Network has the best retained executive search firms, vetted and ready to start.

Find the best Execuitve Search firm, the first time.

Choosing the wrong search firm to make your executive hire can be a costly mistake. Lost search fees are only the tip of the iceberg. Choosing a firm that doesn't operate your industry or doesn't have experience hiring the role you need will take longer and represents a lost opportunity for your company.

The Cost of Failure

The Clockwork Network has hundreds of the top retained executive search firms. We verify their area of specialization to ensure they have experience doing the work you need. Get started today to find the best search firm for your hire. There is no cost and no obligation.

Find an Outperformer!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Clockwork Network (CWN)?

CWN provides a free service to assist companies in identifying, evaluating, and selecting recruiters for their retained executive search needs.  

Using a vast trove of data and industry-leading analytics, we identify recruiters with the most relevant experience for a company’s search needs. We also confirm each recruiter’s interest and availability before presenting them as a potential best fit.  We typically identify and suggest between 3 and 5 recruiters to a company for their search.  

CWN also assists companies with the recruiter interview and selection process based on our recruiter evaluation criteria and pitch review process.

How do you make your recommendations?

We look at our proprietary data analysis engine that compares performance information across over 40,000 projects and hundreds of search firms to find recruiters that have demonstrated a proven track record in quickly placing quality candidates for retained searches.  

We focus on identifying recruiters that perform above the industry averages in completing their projects with a successful placement and faster than the industry average.  

If you would like to learn more about our industry-leading analysis and metrics, check out our industry reports here.

What does the process look like?

Once we identify the top performing recruiters for your specific search needs, we verify their search experience and contact them directly to confirm they are available for your search and interested in taking on a new client. 

We present between 3 and 5 recruiters to your company and explain the pitch and evaluation process to assist and advise on selecting the best recruiter for your needs.   

In the evaluation, we focus on comparing the quantifiable skills and abilities of each recruiter while also capturing the company’s impressions and feelings about the fit of the recruiter with their team. Once each recruiter has been reviewed, we help your company decide on the best recruiter for the search.

What does “track record of success” mean?

In order for the Network to work, we need to refer to firms that have demonstrated an above average placement rate and time it takes to finish a search on projects relevant to your needs. That number is determined as a percentage of the total number of projects across all of the CW Network that match your specific search project criteria.

Do you help us negotiate with search firms?
No. We focus on identifying the most qualified recruiters for a specific search. We do not engage in contract negotiation or project pricing for your company with search firms.
Do you recommend contingency search firms?

We currently do not recommend contingency firms. We only recommend firms in the CW Network that perform retained search. 

This sounds too good to be true. How do you get compensated for this great service?
There is a fairly standard practice of search firms paying finder fees for projects that are brought to them for consideration. We receive compensation from the recruiter you end up engaging with for your project.
How long does this selection process take?
Once you fill out our intake form, we’re able to provide our recommended recruiters in a few days. The time it takes to select your preferred recruiter from this short list depends on your availability and the time it takes the recruiter to prepare and present their pitch.  We keep track of your evaluation notes and impressions throughout the process to make your selection as easy as possible at the end of this process.
What happens if my company doesn’t like any of your recommendations?
If none of the recruiters we present to you for a project meet your needs, we will research and identify up to 6 additional recruiters for your review.
Do you guarantee your recommendations?
Yes. We are confident that the firms we recommend are well-suited to perform the work for the companies we match them with. Of course, many things in search are beyond the control of both the search firm and the company, and sometimes searches don’t work out despite everyone’s best efforts.

Knowing this, if a firm that we refer is unable to close a project with a placement or internal hire, we will review the prior recommended recruiters and identify additional recruiters that are qualified to conduct your project.
If a firm isn't in your analysis recommendation, does that mean they aren't good?
Not at all. There are many reasons why a firm might not surface in our analysis. Some examples:

  • They may not be a member of the Clockwork Network;
  • They have not conducted a statistically significant number of searches that match your specific search project; or
  • They focus their work on other types of search projects.

Insights to get you the best results for your key hires

The Outperformers is the Clockwork Network blog and is a fantastic resource for helping you fill your key hires. Topics include:

  • Best practices for filling key hires
  • What to expect when working with a search firm
  • Using data to find the best retained search firms
Read Our Blog

Free Download - Executive Search Industry Benchmark Report

This industry report provides a common understanding of what great executive search looks like based on real data. You'll learn:

  • How to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of executive search projects
  • How long executive search projects should take and the likelihood of success
  • How various factors, like industry, location, and job function, can impact performance
Download Now