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Geoff Votta

Geoff Votta is a retained search consultant with O’Neill Consulting Group, a leading boutique retained search firm based in Providence, Rhode Island. His experience includes leading national executive level recruitment efforts for Fortune 500 clients in the following industries: CPG, Food Service, Industrial Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Heath and Wellness. With an unprecedented track record of success in Supply Chain/Manufacturing Operations, specifically TPM/Continuous Improvement talent development at both the corporate and local level, he is quickly becoming an industry leader in all things LEAN. His unique straight-forward approach and ability to quickly diagnose management teams to identify gaps has proven to be a key differentiator for him in his career. He is focused on bringing a higher quality retained search product to organizations unfamiliar with the lower overall cost and greater ROI of the boutique retained search industry. For more information about him and O’Neill Consulting Group, please email him at

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True Cost of Ownership: Contingent vs. Retained

Geoff Votta
Apr 28, 2010, 5:52 am ET

Search is expensive, exponentially so relative to the level of talent that you are seeking. A failed search is expensive; even more exponential is that cost relative to its particular need.

Let’s talk through this one. You just made a hire. For the sake of round numbers and because it is too early in my day for me to break out my Ti 89, let’s call this person a manager making $100,000 plus 15% target bonus.

Since this manager is a “specialist” and you are a busy HR leader who doesn’t have the time or resources to conduct this search internally, you called in a headhunter. And by the way, I love this term. It is so aggressive, and whenever someone asks me “oh, so you are a headhunter?” I beam with pride. I have the image of some primitive tribal warrior with shrunken heads strung around his neck. But I digress.

When you were choosing to use a third party for this search, how did you evaluate that talent? keep reading…