Retained Executive Search

Merito Group’s experienced team of executive recruiters prides themselves on being able to efficiently identify talented people from all types of backgrounds in a timely manner to meet any client’s expectations. Whether it’s a sensitive confidential search requiring a broad consensus-based decision-making process, or has just really been a tough role to fill for any number of reasons, the Merito Group team has the market know-how to fill your role quickly and within budget.

Why It Makes a Difference

A retained search is often an optimal choice – particularly in a tight labor market. Candidates take the process more seriously when they know we’ve been retained to assist you in your search. We prepare a full color information package, with your branding approval, for each candidate we approach. This additional information impacts candidate engagement and enthusiasm.

Whether your team needs to replace an under-performing executive, is seeking an experienced lead to conduct a company turaround, is looking to hire for a new role “under the radar,” or simply requires discretion due to the nature of the role– Our retained search process includes optional additional confidentiality measures including offsite interview facilities and required NDAs from candidates.

Additionally, with a retained search, we conduct weekly reviews on our progress by conference call which increases transparency with all decision makers involved and helps us better refine our recruiting efforts on your behalf resulting in more efficient delivery of the best candidates.

Our Retainers Are Non-Exclusive and
Offer a Cancellation Option

Our retained agreements all include a cancellation clause in case you find someone on your own or through a personal referral.
Should you find someone on your own efforts, you can engage them in the process being conducted on your behalf for screening and consistency, but it’s not required. Many clients still prefer to have referrals fully vetted, but some are under tight budget constraints so while we ask for exclusivity on your behalf when searching, we understand the real-world scenario of receiving a qualified referral on your own.

Recently Completed Searches

Chief Executive Officer

Privately held Modeling & Simulation Services company supporting commercial and federal clients with headquarters near Vienna, VA

Confidential search to replace an existing CEO for a privately held company going through major corporate restructuring which required extreme discretion. The Merito Group screened and presented 6 candidates and one was selected and hired within 3 weeks.

Chief Science Officer

Regulatory affairs firm specializing in orphan drug development in the Washington D.C. Metro Area.

Engaged to recruit specific individuals with technical expertise necessary to lead all aspects of FDA and EMA approval processes for company with team of 20+/- professionals. The Merito Group screened and presented 3 candidates and one was selected and hired within 2 months.

VP of Operations

National restaurant group with offices near Washington D.C. which operates and owns a chain of well-known dining establishments.

With a profile celebrity chef known for being demanding, we provided 6 candidates and one was selected and started within two weeks of acceptance of an offer. The Merito Group was able to assist the client with creation of best practices with respect to recruiting, interviewing, and closing high demand candidates for positions that are not usually performed within standard working office hours.

Corporate Controller

Cybersecurity company serving Fortune 500 and federal government clients with offices in McLean, VA.

Confidential search to replace an existing employee in a company with 30% plus year-over-year growth. This was a difficult situation with a well-liked but underperforming senior executive, which required extreme discretion. The Merito Group presented 17 candidates, 8 were interviewed, and one was selected within 3 weeks.

Chief Medical Director

Regulatory affairs firm in the Washington D.C. area working directly with FDA and EMA.

Merito Group conducted a nation-wide search for an experienced IND/ODD leader. After identifying 4 potential candidates, 1 was selected and hired within 7 weeks.

Middle-level Operations Manager

One of the largest privately held companies in the US with division headquarters in Arlington, VA.

The Merito Group was brought in after an 8-month internal search had not proven successful. We needed to facilitate agreement amongst several key stakeholders who could not reach agreement about the necessary skills and experience to make a quality hire for the role. After reaching 100% consensus agreement, The Merito Group presented 11 resumes, 5 candidates were interviewed, and one was hired. The client was very thankful for the workshop to facilitate the key stakeholders in order to achieve complete agreement so a hire could be made expeditiously. Ultimately, the client received an internal transfer from another part of the country so they invoked the cancellation clause on the project but were ultimately satisfied because without the workshop to obtain decision-maker consensus, they would not have been a able to make the hire they did.

Chief Financial Officer

Technology services provider supporting federal and commercial clients with offices near Chantilly, VA

Search to find a financial executive with turnaround experience to position this technology services provider for sale. The top 3 candidates presented were interviewed and one was selected within 3 weeks. The company was successfully sold 2 years later.

Sr. Director Of Regulatory Affairs

International drug developer with offices in U.S., Japan, and Europe.

The company needed an acute/sub acute spinal cord injury treatment SME without NDA restrictions who had a previous track record of recent success leading FDA clinical trials phases 1-4. Merito Group sourced 8 qualified candidates, 2 were chosen for initial interviews and 1 was hired.

Corporate Controller

Global non-profit serving veterans, military, and federal contractors near Falls Church, VA.

Retained search to replace a retiring, long-standing executive team member in which culture played an important part in the selection process. The Merito Group presented 5 candidates, 2 were interviewed, and one was hired in 10 days.

Biotech Business Development Executives

International regulatory affairs consulting firms with offices near Washington D.C.

Merito Group conducted a nation-wide search for 2 experienced BD people with biotech and pharmaceutical sales experience to represent two different companies internationally. Within 8 weeks, 2 candidates were selected and hired by the 2 separate companies out of a pool of approximately 7 qualified candidates.

Vice President Of Human Resources

High touch DC-area based political relations and PR firm with international reach.

The Merito Group identified and presented 20 individuals, 11 were interviewed, then the job was placed on hold due to a corporate wide hiring freeze that was put in place mid search.  Once the hiring freeze lifted, an offer was immediately made to the top choice candidate. By that point the candidate had 2 offers and accepted the other, so a second candidate was selected and accepted the offer.   Overcoming the major challenge of the hiring freeze mid process was a large hurdle in order to keep candidates interested and not perceive the freeze as company instability.  In addition, the client has a traditionally long hiring process that involves many stakeholders as well as use of an assessment tool. The Merito Group was able to suggest re-ordering the sequence of events to be more efficient for the interviewing teams and candidates thereby shortening the search process by several weeks.

Federal Program Manager

Nuclear regulatory services provider headquartered in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Retained search for a federal program manager with a TS/SCI clearance to oversee programs with the Department Of Defense, Department Of Transportation, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Regulatory Affairs Technical Writer

FDA, EMA, Regulatory affairs consultancy near Washington D.C.

Fast-growing startup biotech consultancy firm hired 3 candidates over the course of 2 years for specialized training program requiring Master’s degree or higher education and 3 years of related experience. For each search, 4 candidates were interviewed and 1 was hired.

Internal Auditor

International multi-billion aviation services company with North American headquarters near Reston, VA.

Difficult search requiring a trilingual candidate fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English for an international company. 4 candidates interviewed and 2 were selected and hired within 6 weeks.


Subsidiary of Fortune 500 publicly traded international company with offices in Washington D.C.

The Merito Group sourced, screened, and delivered 11 candidates, 6 were interviewed and one was hired. The retained search model saved the client $10,800 over industry standard contingency rates for similarly situated roles.

Vice President of IT

Middle-market national company with headquarters near Vienna, VA.

Because this person was a replacement for someone who was in over their head, retaining the remaining staff reporting to this person was essential to meeting the deadlines for the projects underway. The replacement was selected, hired, and 100% of the 14 person team were still on board and were more effective and efficient after 9 months of working with the new VP.

Executive Director

National membership organization with thousands of high-profile members and offices in Washington D.C.

The Merito Group sourced, screened, and delivered 4 candidates, 1 was interviewed and hired in less than a week. This executive increased the development efforts of the organization tripling its fundraising and sponsorships in the first 18 months.

Copyright Merito Group LLC © 2020

Copyright Merito Group LLC © 2019