Access Ambition specialises in providing candidate search solutions to values-led clients, ranging from small charities to very large and globally respected trade associations. We offer extremely competitive fee rates for both permanent and fixed-term appointments.

We provide search consultancy services to our clients in two different ways, however; with differing fee structures attached to each of them. Each search takes the form of either a contingency campaign or a retained search.

Each type of campaign has its merits, with contingency perhaps being a better approach for standard jobs with long established role profiles and/or volume vacancies; and retained search being the ideal model for more bespoke roles with high levels of responsibility attached to them.

The ultimate choice as to which type of campaign and corresponding fee structure to opt for is one taken by our clients following a detailed discussion with our consultants.

All fees chargeable by Access Ambition to clients are agreed in advance and expressed as a percentage of the remuneration package on offer to the successful candidate.


Contingency campaigns are less intensive, generally involving advertising the role and some headhunting on behalf of our clients, as well as the shortlisting and submission of candidates we believe meet the role requirements.

As the name suggests, fees payable to Access Ambition are contingent upon us identifying and introducing a suitable candidate whom goes on to be successfully hired to a vacant position.

Our standard contingency percentage fees are as follows:

  • 15% where the remuneration package is below £30,000.
  • 5% where the remuneration package is between £30,000 and £59,999.
  • 20% where the remuneration package is above £59,999.


With a retained search, Access Ambition consultants work closely with the relevant senior managers, chief officers, or Board members to guide the recruitment process from inception right through to a successful conclusion, taking into account the key strategic needs of the organisation.

Retained searches are much more intensive than contingency campaigns and involve us partnering with

a client in a more formal way, working with them from the initial identification of the organisation’s need right through all the stages of development for the role, and may include: completing skills’ matrices, agreeing with the client potential candidates to be headhunted and then reaching out to them on our client’s behalf, and assisting with interview panels at the assessment stage.

Access Ambition recommends retained searches for all organisation-critical roles (such as Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer, and key Director posts etc.)

Our standard retained search fee is 21%, charged as follows:

  • 7% Initial Retainer (“Retainer Fee”)
  • 7% Fee upon Submission of an Agreed Shortlist (“Shortlist Fee”)
  • 7% Fee upon Appointment of the Successful Candidate (“Completion Fee”)


Call us today on 020 8133 4684 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation concerning any recruitment needs you may have (we are also content to have a full and frank discussion regarding budgetary pressures your department may be subject to concerning any recruitment campaign).

Alternatively, email to request a copy of our Terms of Business.

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