Why does executive search cost so much?

    A search process for a single executive will cost your company $110,000 according to Korn Ferry’s 2022 annual report. That’s a lot of money but then the stakes are high.

    Executives set the strategy of the business and the cost of a bad executive could be the business itself.

    Would spending $200,000 lead to a better outcome? Have you ever asked your executive search partner how their search would change if you paid them twice the amount?


    Where does my $100k go?

    Your search team will comprise a lead consultant, an associate and some support from a coordinator. A typical process lasts three to four months and your hire is one of eighteen other placements that the team will complete that year.

    The main beneficiary is the lead consultant who takes home around $60,000 of the entire fee, which gives them a salary of $1 million per year.

    The associate will earn around $5,000 from the placement and the remaining 20-30% is profit to the company.

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    Price vs value

    Your lead consultant will be working on six placements at any one time so you will have a sixth of their attention, which works out to be around three weeks of full-time work.

    $60,000 for every three weeks of work.

    At this point, you’re probably wondering if you are in the wrong business…

    Why does a BERG executive search cost so much? (but half as much as everyone else)

    These hires are critical to your success and so we employ only the best and ensure significant focus

    We know how critical this hire is to you and so we always prefer to overstaff these projects, spending as much time as necessary to understand your business, and your needs and to canvas every single relevant superstar - not just the small minority that is both in our network and actively looking.

    In order to find the best, we also need the best and so we pay our team significantly above similar salaries in our home city.

    All told the delivery of this service costs $40-$50k. If you feel that price is indicative of quality, we would gladly invoice the sum of $100k, but we prefer to find you three candidates for the same amount of money.

    We also know how tough it is to spend a fortune of a retained search fee before you’ve even met a single candidate, so we ensure that an invoice is charged after success is shown.