Do you have the resources to run the search internally?
Do you have staff experienced in running searches in this area?
Do staff have firsthand, professional knowledge of the field in which you are searching?
Is confidentiality particularly critical?
Is the fair and objective handling of the candidates critical?
Are you confident you can tap into national and professional networks and find the best person for the position?
Are the position description, salary, and responsibilities current in terms of the market?
Can you ensure a sufficiently deep and diverse pool of legitimate candidates for the position?
How you can benefit from using a search firm:
Consider both direct and indirect costs of conducting a staff-managed search, from replying to inquiries to recruiting potential candidates. These tasks take your staff away from their regular responsibilities.
A professional search firm knows how to find exceptional candidates regardless of market conditions or competitiveness of the profession.
Professional search firms have firsthand knowledge of the field.
Going outside your institution for search expertise brings objectivity to the process and encourages a wide range of candidates, who might not otherwise apply, to engage in the process. This may combat a misperception that the outcome of a search is predetermined.
I appreciated the trust and transparency developed. There are so many stakeholder personalities to navigate that having a partner in this process was tremendously beneficial.