Questions new clients ask us

Questions new clients ask us…

How does Vista Executive Search operate as a recruitment agency?
We are not a typical recruitment agency. We are specialists in search led selection for mid to senior positions.

The term Executive Search can be misleading as we hire people from all aspects of the business from sales, operations, finance, technical, and general management. For the model to work for both parties, we recruit for positions with base salaries of €75,000 and upwards.

The biggest difference to the High Street recruiters is that we operate on a retained an exclusive basis and you affectively get a semipermanent team of recruiters until the role is filled. If candidates approach your company directly or even internal candidates show an interest in the role, they should all be directed to us. We will evaluate them, interview them and rank them accordingly.

We meet with you to understand your company culture, vision, business strategy and, of course, the role you need to recruit. We do not farm CVs and adopt a ‘spray n’ pray’ strategy. When you hire an Executive Search company we search the entire agreed market or talent pool in Ireland or further afield.

We will present twelve sample candidates for mutual discussion within two weeks of commencing to make sure that we are both on the same page. We will give you a weekly update and present to you normally between three and six of the best candidates, in our opinion, that are within your budget, can do the job and are interested in working for your company.

What are the benefits of choosing Vista Executive Search?
The Executive Search methodology is proven to be the most successful type of recruitment over ‘no foal, no fee’ recruiters and the DIY ‘friends and family’ option. It takes a couple of weeks longer but the candidate fit is substantially higher. If you don’t want to waste time and money on substandard hires and want to recruit the right person first time for your mid to senior appointments, Executive Search is a robust and highly successful method of recruitment. But finding the right Executive Search company is vital.

We have helped our clients find highly skilled, culturally aligned, and high performing  employees since 2016. They have enabled our clients to improve, strengthen and ultimately add value to their company. Our business model is to become a trusted advisor to our clients as opposed to a transactional supplier.

One of the side advantages of using the Executive Search methodology is you gain invaluable market intelligence by us searching the whole of the talent pool, which is usually a large part of your industry sector.

What Industries do Vista Executive Search recruit for?
We do consider mid to senior level roles within all sectors, and over the past nine years have recruited in multiple industries including ICT, software, telecoms, transport, health, medical devices, education, retail, manufacturing, media, finance, eCommerce, engineering and many others.
How long will it take to find a candidate?
All senior appointments can vary depending on the role that you are hiring for, and how niche the sought skill set, or experience might be. Other factors which also impact will be salary and location. All our recruitment assignments are project mile-stoned for a period of usually between 4 and 8 weeks through to our delivery of a candidate shortlist. Thereafter the client interview stage and subsequent, offer, reference checks and employment contract stage will usually be another 4 weeks. In summary assignments usually last between 2-3 months and occasional drift to 4 months if they run into the peak summer or Christmas holiday periods. If a hire is urgent, we could provide a more flexible approach focused on introducing candidates as we find them. Key to timescales is the initial briefing meeting. Collaboration with our clients has proved to be the most important factor when ensuring the successful delivery of an Executive Search project.
What happens if we are unable to find a suitable candidate?
In the rare case that a suitable candidate cannot be found after the interview process has completed, we will move to a watching brief. Our experience is that normally waiting for about 6 to 8 weeks means that new talent comes onto the market, that wasn’t there during the original period. Similar to you our client, we have a vested interest in completing the assignment fully as we will not receive our final payment until such time. 96% of our retained searches were delivered successfully last year.
What additional services do you offer?

We assist employees who are placed into a situation where they have to leave employment within the company. This is similar to our career coaching program but also helps people to get into the right frame of mind after a redundancy. Over an eight week period we will meet the person twice in person and twice online and guide them to create a career plan and make sure their LinkedIn and CV profiles and interview skills are optimal.

Talent Mapping
This is effectively asking us to look at all the relevant talent in one or more countries in a particular industry with a particular skill set. You receive details on usually around 80 to 100 good quality candidates. No approaches will be made to these people and this is a market intelligence gathering exercise only.

Career Coaching
Over an eight week period we will meet the person usually three times in person and once online and guide them to create a career plan and make sure their LinkedIn and CV profiles and interview skills are optimal.

Salary Surveys
We will use a combination of economic data, multiple published salary guides and our own knowledge of candidates existing packages, to present you with the market expectations of salaries for multiple positions.

What is your pricing structure?
As a true consultancy service, we recognise each customer is unique so we will never try to fit you into a rigid, one size fits all fee structure. Our fee is an agreed percentage of usually the base salary and the fee is set in advance. In certain situations our fee may be measured on the total package including any bonus or commission and thus will be flexible.

We’re committed to being always transparent when it comes to fees. There is rarely any additional costs and if they are, they must be approved by you in advance. These may be additional travel or meeting room hire costs etc.

Typically all Executive Search assignment fees are split into three stages, usually 33% per stage:

Research Stage Fee: Invoiced at the start of an assignment.
Interview Stage Fee: Invoiced on submission of an agreed candidate shortlist (Usually 3-6 candidates).
Appointment Fee: Invoiced on a signed employment contract.

How long have you been in business?
Vista Executive Search was established in 2016 by Bob Hoffman, founder and Managing Partner. As a past CEO of the Sales Institute of Ireland, Bob was always a people person with a career spanning nearly 40 years. He was approached by an executive search company due to his excellent and authentic style in networking. Shortly afterwards, Vista Executive Search was founded.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Our culture often has people saying that we are not like ‘normal’ recruiters. We do not ‘sugar coat’ our candidates or clients. In particular, clients are impressed when we highlight candidates’ weaknesses as well as their strengths. We are renowned for not using ‘corporate speak’ in our communications and both candidates and clients remark on the very personal manner in which they are treated.

We have three groups of competitors:

Firstly companies who recruit themselves. An external recruitment fee has to be weighed up against the internal overheads of your own staff doing this. Unless you have an established internal HR and recruitment team, this usually involves the ‘friends and family’ option. This is generally recognised as the least successful way to hire good long term talent.

Secondly, we compete against High Street recruiters who operate a model known as Contingent recruiting which is sometimes referred to as ‘no foal, no fee’. This leads to you hiring a supplier that you do not pay and after two or three weeks they move on. It is no surprise that the term contingent actually means ‘by chance.’

Finally, about 15% of recruiters operate in the Executive Search space which means on a retained and exclusive basis. This takes a week or two longer to deliver and costs a bit more than Contingent recruiters but is widely acknowledged as the most effective way to hire the best fitting people to fill your vacancies.

Do you offer any guarantees or warranties?
Historically executive search companies, including us, would offer a six month warranty that if a candidate left during this initial period that a suitable replacement would be sourced at no additional cost. Needless to say there are terms and conditions to this warranty. If the candidate’s role has been substantially changed from the one that they were hired to do, the warranty would not apply.

The workplace environment since Covid has changed significantly and the principle of a six month warranty still stands as our default position but in certain industries and in certain types of positions, we reserve the right to offer the warranty at an additional cost.
Having said that, for us, the traditional recruitment model of offering a discounted price on a sliding scale, does not work for you, the client. Essentially, this means you have paid money out on a candidate that has not performed as expected and you’re ultimately left with the same problem – an unfilled vacancy for a much-needed senior member of your team. So to repeat, the principle of a six month warranty still stands as our default position.

Can you provide references or testimonials from past clients?

We would expect any potential new client to want to take references including speaking to our current or previous clients. We can arrange this for you.

What is your turnaround time for delivering services?
We take a project mile-stoned approach to all of our recruitment assignments. This means we listen to your needs and will then be honest with how long we think it will take us to provide you with a qualified candidate shortlist. Our target is to deliver a shortlist within 4 to 8 weeks, but it does depend on the complexity of your brief to us.
What is your cancellation policy?
In the rare event of a client cancelling a retained service for any reason, before client interview stage, 50% of the full fee will become due as outlined in our contract. If during or after the client interviews commence, the project is cancelled, 75% of the fee is due.
Are there any hidden fees or charges that I should be aware of?
We’re committed to being totally transparent when it comes to fees. You’ll never find any hidden costs or surprising extras because we work with you from the outset to agree on fees that accommodate and accurately represent your requirements. Mostly our fees only involve a recruitment fee. We sometimes ask for you to invest in specialist advertising, but this is pretty rare.
Do I have to pay for this service?
Yes, our Executive Search service is paid for.

All hires are different and, therefore, we usually bespoke our fee structure to take account of this. There are no hidden costs and fees are split into three:

Research Stage Fee: Invoiced at the start of an assignment.
Interview Stage Fee: Invoiced on submission of an agreed candidate shortlist (Usually 3-6 candidates).
Appointment Fee: Invoiced on a signed employment contract.

Where are you located?
We are located in the heart of Dublin on Harcourt Street with a satellite office in Blackrock on the south side of the city. We always visit our new clients wherever they are based in Ireland, to better understand their business and their culture. As many of our clients are international, we also operate remotely, and can assist you whenever suits, any time and any place.
Do you hire outside of Ireland?


Increasingly we are doing more business outside of Ireland either for Irish companies looking to hire in other markets or international companies looking to build a management team in advance of their arrival into Ireland.

In 2022, we became the Irish partner in the Kennedy Executive Search global network of independent boutique executive search companies. This has greatly transformed our business and we are now exposed to best practice and emerging ideas from our colleagues in 15 other countries. In addition, we now have a greater ability to carry out cross-border recruiting assignments.

You can see more about Kennedy here:

Kennedy are located in Europe, USA, and Latin America with offices in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Denver, Dublin, Frankfurt, Ghent, Gothenburg, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Monaco, Munich, Paris, Prague, Salzburg, Sao Paulo, Warsaw and Zurich.

What is your success rate?
We have a 97% success rate over the past eight years in completing the Executive Search assignments we are retained to recruit. The other 3% is usually where a client changes their mind and no longer wants to recruit the role. In 2023, this incompletion rate has increased to 6% due to a distorted market with increased uncertainty on both the candidate and client side of the market.
Where can I find your case studies?

We are very proud of our case studies and you can examples of recent assignments that we have completed here:

Executive Search

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’ – Steve Jobs

Executive Coaching

‘Everyone needs a coach. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.' Bill Gates


‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent’ – John Donne.


Why should you spend money assisting people who are leaving your company?