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Executive recruitment and search

To address executive and senior leadership talent needs, executive recruitment and search, and talent acquisition advisors work in partnership with executive search firms and hiring managers, utilizing internal executive search resources, to identify candidates for job openings.

In 2019 UC Systemwide Talent Management and Systemwide Procurement completed an Executive & Specialty Search Firm public Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting over 330 search firms to participate. The 37 selected search firms and 3 internal search resources provide a higher level of Executive & Specialty Search Services with enhanced terms and conditions that better meet UC location search needs and help reduce the overall search firm spend for locations and the UC system. Existing five-year UC Master Services Agreements (MSAs) are valid January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2024.

Search firms who would like to receive a notification when the next Executive & Specialty Search Firms public RFP is open (anticipated late 2024 – early 2025), may submit their search firm contact information to be added to the UC Executive & Specialty Search Firm RFP Notification List.

Visit the UC Systemwide Procurement Services Systemwide RFPs to view current systemwide bid solicitations and applications, and UC location procurement websites.

Benefits of using UC UC-approved search firm and UC internal location resources

  1. No additional RFP is required
  2. Reduced search firm fees (majority of search firms) discounted from industry average
  3. Discounts for multiple hires, internal hires and UC volume pricing
  4. Enhanced search firm accountability to meet UC search requirements before final payments made to search firm through UC-focused 1/3 payment schedule* (majority of search firms):
    • 1/3 — Search Engagement
    • 1/3 — Candidate Presentation
    • 1/3 — Candidate Acceptance

*Improved accountability in comparison to standard industry payment schedule of 1/3 fees payment at search engagement, 60 days and 90 days, regardless if search payments are met.

Resources for UC locations

Access the UC Executive Recruitment and Search Resources — for UC Locations to find resources available to UC employees; UC location login credentials are required:

  • To identify a list of search firms to contact for an upcoming search using search criteria filters — login and select UC Approved Search Firm Resource Guide
  • To search UC historical executive recruitment searches by UC approved search firms — login and select Search All UC location Current and Historical Searches

To review current UC-approved specific executive search firm Master Services Agreements (MSAs) — login to CalUsource and search by firm name.

How to use search firms

UC-approved search firm or internal search resources

UC Procurement policy requires that each UC search engagement includes a Recruitment Engagement Statement of Work (SOW) that identifies specific search service details, deliverables and timeline that both your location and the search firm approve and sign. The UC-approved search firm Master Services Agreement (MSA) is the governing agreement with service levels, requirements, terms and conditions that apply to all search firm engagements with UC, but it does not provide the specific details for each search that are required to ensure the search firm’s search services meet the UC location’s specific search requirements, expectations and timeline.

UC-approved search firms may propose, and locations may accept, search SOWs that include more favorable pricing, guarantees and off-limits terms for UC than what is stated in the search firm MSA. Other changes to MSA pricing terms for each SOW are not allowed.

Search firm without a current UC Master Services Agreement

If a UC location is exploring use of non-UC approved search firms, per UC policy, the location must follow the UC Small Business First (SB1st) policy for total search firm spend up to $250,000. The SB1st policy calls for all UC non-construction contracts and procurements between $10,000 – $250,000 to be awarded to a Small Business (SB) or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) using an informal solicitation process, wherever applicable (with some exempted categories). To make an award, only one quote is required for purchases below $100,000; only two quotes are required for procurements between $100,000 – $250,000. (Refer to the UC Small Business First (SB1st) policy webpage for details, exemptions and waiver information.)

If total search firm spend for the specific search is anticipated to exceed $250,000, the location must complete a new RFP. UC locations may invite search firms to participate in the RFP with other approved and non-approved search firms. To be considered for that search, a UC approved firm must agree to participate and submit a full RFP proposal responding to the location specific RFP requirements. If a UC approved search firm is awarded the search, the firm will not need to complete a new UC agreement with the location, as their current MSA will be used. For all UC engagements, the search firm will need to submit a Recruitment Engagement – Statement of Work (SOW) with specific search service details, deliverables and timeline that both the search firm and location approve and sign before the search firm commences work.

Resources for UC-approved executive search firms and UC internal search resources

The Search Firms resources provide UC approved Executive Search Firms with UC organizational information and Master Services Agreement compliance responsibilities and requirements.

  • Access to search firm’s Search Status and Update Form and Search Firm Dashboard; search firm’s primary contacts approve access to these resources
  • Overview of the UC organization and locations, search-related UC policies and UC location contacts

Search Advisory and Hiring Committee Best Practices eCourse

Through the Search Advisory and Hiring Committee Best Practices training eCourse, UC hiring managers and their partners can explore: the important roles committee chairs and individual committee members play in making a successful hire; best practices for many stages of the search/hiring process, from forming a committee through interviewing candidates; strategies and techniques for ensuring equity through identification and management of biases that may influence search or hiring efforts; and laws and UC policies and procedures that govern hiring practices. (30 mins.)

Search Advisory and Hiring Committee Best Practices eCourse
Learn more about the eCourse and find links to access it.

Search Advisory and Hiring Committee Best Practices Resource Library
Includes links to laws, policies, studies, reference materials and other resources complementing the topics covered in the eCourse.

UC Employees

This eCourse is recommended for UC employees serving on staff search advisory committees. UC locations may require search chairs and committee members to complete the training via the UC Learning Center.

Note: UC location-specific procedures for recruitment procedures and requirements may differ; please contact your UC location central human resources for more information.

Search Firms

This eCourse is also available publicly, at no cost, outside the UC Learning Center.

Completion is required for all UC approved search firm team members working on UC engagements, prior to conducting any search on behalf of the UC. Search Firms without a current UC MSA may also be required to complete the eCourse as part of a UC search engagement.

To access this eCourse, visit Systemwide Talent Management eCourses and select Search Advisory and Hiring Committee Best Practices.

To ensure record of completion, each search firm team member, upon completing the required eCourse, must individually submit their information through this eCourse completion online form. No certificate of completion will otherwise be provided.