How to Buy Professional Search Firm Services

This commodity covers services provided by professional search firms to executive-level search committees. Typically, such committees seek to fill positions at the level of Associate Vice Chancellor and above (for campus positions) and Associate Vice President and above (for University of Colorado System positions).

Professional search firm services include, but are not limited to: developing a recruiting plan; developing a qualified candidate pool; compiling relevant candidate data; conducting reference checks; providing an objective evaluation of candidates; recommending a salary range for the position; and, arranging and facilitating interviews.

Procurement Options and Procedures

  • $5,000 or less: Your Procurement Card, or A Department Purchase Order (DPO)
  • Above $5,000: A PO Requisition, or An SPO Requisition
In order to obtain: Your purchasing agent needs (in addition to the approved SOW)
  • Services over $5,000 and up to $25,000: All written documentation regarding the procurement. This may include a quote, statement of work, or email messages/letters of correspondence.
  • Services over $10,000 that are not bid: All documentation described above, plus evidence that what the University is paying is fair and reasonable.
  • Services over $25,000: See section titled Engage a Professional Search Firm.
For federally funded purchases
  • Over $5,000: See section titled Engage a Professional Search Firm.
  • Over $5,000 that are not bid: All written documentation regarding the procurement. This may include a quote, statement of work, or email messages/letters of correspondence. In addition, evidence that what the University is paying is fair and reasonable.

Procedure to Engage a Professional Search Firm

The University conducted a Request for Proposals (RFP) process in the Spring of 2013 in order to create a list of approved professional search firms for use by search committees, for any campus of the University, in the recruitment activities of officers and other high-level administrators. Responses to the RFPs and collateral marketing material submitted by each of the firms is kept at the Procurement Service Center and is available for viewing by any interested search committee.

Please follow this procedure to engage a search firm:
  1. As individual search projects are needed, a request for a response, giving specific details of the scope of the project and timetable for the search shall be prepared by the search committee. The firms shall be given a time period of at least two days to respond to such a request. Such response shall include an indication of their willingness to be considered, ability to meet the timetable, proposed search strategy, and cost.
  2. The search committee shall supply the document to at least three firms (more if so desired) on the approved list. This may be transmitted to them by Fax, Email, courier, mail, or any other means so desired.
  3. The search committee shall select the most appropriate firm for their search, based on the responses received.
  4. The search committee shall send all responses and a statement detailing the basis for their selection, along with a Purchase Requisition, to the Procurement Service Center for issuance of a Purchase Order and a formal contract if required. Formal contracts are required if the University is to pay more than $150K. No work can begin before a Purchase Order (PO) is issued and the PO will not be issued until a fully executed contract is in place if so required. Please be aware of, and allow time for, the contracting process to take place.

The Procurement Service Center keeps a file of information regarding search firms. Search committee members are encouraged to provide feedback regarding search firm performance for this file.

Please make the Procurement Service Center aware of any information that may be outdated regarding the approved list (e.g. contact names, phone numbers, etc.).

The list of Approved Search Firms is valid until May 1, 2018 or until another RFP process is conducted, whichever comes first.

Approved Search Firms

Note: This list of Approved Search Firms is valid until May 1, 2018 or until another RFP process is conducted, whichever comes first.

Action Staffing Solutions

Loveland, CO
Contact: Robin L. Fischer
Ph: 970-667-4202
Fax: 970-667-1036
Email: robin@myactionstaffing.com
Cost: 8-11% depending on salary

Allen Austin Global Executive Search

Houston, TX
Contacts: Jim Davenport and Wendy Johnstone-Burt
Ph: Jim - 713-355-1900, x138; Wendy - 713-355-1900, x110
Fax: 713-355-1901
Email: jdavenport@allenaustinsearch.com; wendyj-b@allenaustin.com
Cost: 28% + expenses

C Suite Consulting Group

Colorado Springs, CO
Contact: Terry Pickett
Ph: 719-532-0190
Fax: 719-532-0190
Email: terry@csuiteconsultinggroup.com
Cost: $19,500 per search

Diversified Search

Philadelphia, PA
Contact: Dr. Kim Morrisson
Ph: 215-656-3546
Fax: 215-568-8399
Email: kim.morrisson@divsearch.com
Cost: 33% + Expenses, $50K min.

EFL Associates

Leawood, KS
Contact: Jan Asnicar
Ph: 913-234-1561
Fax: 913-458-5522
Email: jasnicar@eflassociates.com
Cost: 33% + Expenses
Also offers less than full search services

Greenwood/Asher and Associates, Inc.

Miramar Beach, Fl
Contact: Jan Greenwood
Ph: 850-650-2277
Fax: 850-650-2272
Email: jangreenwood@greenwoodsearch.com; Bettyasher@greenwoodsearch.com
Cost: 33% +Expenses

Heidrick & Struggles

Atlanta, GA
Contact: Ellen Brown Landers
Ph: 404-682-7313
Fax: 404-577-4048
Email: elanders@heidrick.com
Cost: 33% + Expenses, $75K min

Helbling & Associates, Inc.

Wexford, PA
Contact: Thomas J. Helbling
Ph: 724-935-7500, x103
Fax: 724-935-7531
Email: tomh@helblingsearch.com
Cost: 35% + Expenses

Korn/Ferry International

Washington, DC
Contact: Paul Hsun-Ling Chou
Ph: 202-955-0941
Fax: 202-822-8127
Email: paul.chou@kornferry.com
Cost: 33% + Expenses

Merritt Hawkins

Irving, TX
Contact: Brett A. Bryner
Ph: 469-524-1492
Fax: 972-983-0804
Email: brett.bryner@merritthawkins.com
Cost: 30%

Parker Executive Search

Atlanta, GA
Contact: Dan Parker
Ph: 770-804-1996, x101
Fax: 770-804-1917
Email: dparker@parkersearch.com
Cost: 30% + Expenses

RPA, Inc.

Williamsport, PA
Contact: Kate Nolde
Ph: 800-992-9277
Fax: 570-321-7160
Email: email@rpainc.org
Cost: 33% ($42,500 minimum)

Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates, LLC

Monterey Park, CA
Contact: Alberto Pimentel
Ph: 323-260-5041
Fax: 323-260-7889
Email: a.pimentel@storbeckpimentel.com
Cost:  33% + Expenses ($55,000 minimum)

Wheless Partners

Denver, CO
Contact: Mike “J.R.” Wheless
Ph: 303-886-8949
Fax: 303-481-8266
Email: MWheless@WhelessPartners.com
Cost: 33% + Expenses ($55,000 minimum)

William Spelman Executive Search

Webster, NY
Contact: William Spelman
Ph: 585-787-9742
Fax: 585-486-1659
Email: bill@wspelman.com
Cost: 30% + Expenses ($24,000 minimum)

Witt/Kieffer

Oakbrook, IL
Contact: John K. Thornburgh
Ph: 412-209-2666
Fax: 630-990-1382
Email: johnt@wittkieffer.com
Cost: 33% + Expenses, $60K min.

Purchasing Agent

David Turner

Voice: 303.764.3422
Fax: 303.764.3434
Email: David.Turner@cu.edu