Building Gurus FAQ's


What Types of Positions Do You Recruit For?

We work exclusively with building product or building material manufacturers or distributors to find  sales, management, leadership, and executive talent. Our favorite searches involve driving top line sales revenues or profit and loss accountability.

Our placements include:

General Management

  • General Managers
  • Division Managers
  • Site Leaders
  • Regional Managers (VP level positions)
  • Branch Managers

Sales, Marketing, and Business Development

  • Vice President of Sales
  • Vice President of Marketing
  • Director of Business Development
  • Director of Sales
  • Regional Sales Manager / Director
  • National Accounts Sales Manager
  • Sales Managers
  • Marketing Managers
  • Channel Sales Manager
  • Sales Reps / Account Managers
  • Technical Sales Representatives
  • Product Specialist / Manager
What's your track record?

Rikka’s been recruiting in the building products industry since 2001. She enjoyed the boom and survived the bust. She’s placed over 500 building products professionals with a less than 1% replacement rate and her last replacement was over a decade ago.

How long does a search take?

As with most things, many factors come into play that can make or break a search’s timeframe: compensation, location, requirements, re-location factors, hiring manager’s availability, etc.

We strongly encourage you NOT to start a search with us until you are ready to GO!

Our 21-day sourcing cycle is built for speed. You should have your first candidates to interview by the end of the second week and have 5 qualified and interested candidates to consider by the end of the third week. Our clients are frequently able to extend offers around 30 days from the start of the sourcing cycle. We strongly encourage you to select interview dates and times for week 3 and 4 at the time we start the search to ensure everyone has blocked off time on their calendar and the process can move quickly once you start seeing candidates who can hit the ground running.

Here is how you can set your search up for a faster time to hire:

  • Sense of urgency from the client
  • Competitive compensation structure
  • Realistic expectations
  • Prompt and helpful communication from the decision makers
  • A swift interviewing and selection process without unnecessary delays
  • Overall desire to locate and hire the best possible candidate
  • Working as a team with the recruiter

Searches that meet this criteria can be interviewing candidates 2-3 weeks from the start of the search and onboarding their new hire in 4-6 weeks.

There are also many factors that can prolong searches:

  • Poor communication or lack of feedback from busy decision makers
  • Compensation structure isn't competitive in the current market
  • Reputation issues that the company or manager may have in the market
  • Job description that gets changed mid-stream
  • Lack of urgency to schedule interviews or fill the position

Since we are heavily pay-for-performance, we make every effort to ensure a good fit and that we have a solid shot at closing the search before collecting an engagement fee and starting the sourcing process.



What types of searches don't you work on?

We only take on searches we feel confident we can close. We will discuss your search requirements, the compensation range, and your budget to make a joint decision if we are the best resource for your hiring needs. Don’t worry, we’re okay saying we aren’t the right “guy” for the job. Because of the time and effort we’ve put into building relationships with executive, general management, and sales talent we rarely take on any searches with a total compensation of under $80,000. We also don’t work on straight commission or 1099 roles.   

I had a bad experience with a different recruiter, how do I know you’ll be any different?

You don’t. But we take pains to ensure everyone knows what they’re getting into before we start a search and we rarely lose a customer. Ultimately, you need to do your due diligence and decide. The last thing you want is for me to “talk you into” trusting me and getting burned again. I’d encourage you to check out our testimonials, case studies, and my LinkedIn Recommendations.  You can also check out our blog and other resources to get a taste of my style.  If it seems like a good fit, schedule a discovery session to ask any other questions you have about working with us.

Are there any reasons why you wouldn't take my search?
  • If we get the sense the fee makes your heart pound and it’s more of an investment than you can/should make right now (hint: we get this vibe when you ask for a discounted engagement fee or an extended guarantee period).
  • If your role is not for $80K+ total compensation
  • The role isn’t for a sales, management, leadership, or executive role.
  • We don’t think we’ll be able to close it
  • Your compensation/expectations aren’t in alignment for the market
  • Disagreement among decision makers about what the ideal hire looks like for the role + key aspects of the role
  • You’ve been burned in the past and you’re exceptionally gun-shy about hiring or working with a recruiter again.
  • It’s outside of our area of expertise.
  • We don’t feel like what you want in a recruiting partner is a good fit for what we look for in our clients. We want to be your trusted partner, not someone who sends resumes over to see what sticks.
Why the $100K+ building products executive focus?

Our Founder Rikka started recruiting in building products in 2001. After nearly 20 years recruiting in the industry, she’s emerged as an expert and so have many of her long time industry connections. It was natural that our focus would evolve from sales reps to sales leaders and executives.  But after placing nearly 300 sales reps, they still have a soft spot in her heart, so she still works them on occasion.

Why we don’t work on searches under $80K

We believe in educating and empowering you and your team to develop the in-house resources you need to consistently find and hire the under $80K talent you need – without a fee. We provide free resources and paid consulting and advisory services to help you develop the in-house resources you need to consistently and confidently fill your mid-level positions. But when a position is important enough to pay over $80K, we believe it’s important enough to ensure you’re seeing the best in the market, not just the ones that apply to a job posting or reply to an InMail.

Where are you located?

The Building Gurus team is located all around the US.  Rikka is based in Moorhead, MN right across the river from Fargo, North Dakota – in the heart of the Midwest. Just like our team, our clients and searches are located throughout the United States. Due to the advances in technology we can work from virtually any location effectively.

Fees &

What is your fee structure?

We are an engaged search firm. That means we are comfortable on a pay for performance schedule, but also respect and value our time and expertise. You pay an upfront engagement fee to secure our time, focus, energy, and resources. When we deliver the right person, the remainder of the placement fee is due.

Typically the entire placement fee is 25% of the expected first year’s compensation. The engagement fee required to start the search is around 15% of the anticipated fee, with a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $7,500. In cases of very difficult searches the engagement fee can be up to 25% of the expected fee. However we haven’t had a situation like that yet, so plan on $7,500 being the max engagement fee.

For example:

$175,000 position ($140,000 base with $35,000 in incentive compensation likely to be earned)

  • Anticipated total fee of $43,750
  • Engagement fee would range from $7,500 to $10,937.50

It would likely break down to:

Engagement Fee: $7,500 (Flat engagement fee, unless search is unusually challenging)

Placement Fee: $36,250 ($43,750 – $7,500 = $36,250)

Total Cost: $43,750.00 (25% of the expected compensation)

So a $100,000 package would have a $25,000 total cost, and a $200,000 package would have a $50,000 total cost.

When are your fees due?

With Engaged Search,the engagement fee is due before we begin to work on the search. The remainder of the placement fee is due within 5 days of the start date. If you don’t hire, hire an internal candidate, or another candidate that we didn’t refer to you, the remainder of the placement fee isn’t due.

Why should I pay an engagement fee? Aren’t there a lot of recruiters who will do it on a contingency basis?

Yes, although the ones with solid industry experience willing to work on a contingency basis are few and far between now. If you can find a contingency recruiter you know, like, and trust who can deliver the people you need, by all means – use them. Rikka was quite successful as a contingency recruiter for years. However after working thousands of searches, we realized that we prefer to work with companies that are fully committed to hiring and want someone to make their hire a priority. The best way to determine if a client is “serious” about hiring is to require them to make a micro-commitment upfront.

We invest in tools, training, and have spent years building our brand so we can quickly connect you with the best talent in the industry. We prefer to partner with companies that appreciate our expertise and investments and are willing to put some skin in the game.  

Can I get a discounted engagement fee?

No. To be honest, if $3,000-7,500 seems like a lot of money to you, you shouldn’t probably work with a recruiter. $7,500 is about what a $15,000,000 business makes per business hour. If your new Executive Hire improves your net profitability by even 1%, you’ve already got a 3x ROI on your investment.  

Can you extend your replacement guarantee?

That depends. Will you let us decide who to hire, how to compensate them, who their manager will be, and how they will be onboarded? Oh, you don’t want to give up all that control? When you ask a recruiter to extend their replacement guarantee, you’re asking them to insure you for failures that have nothing to do with the recruiting process and are almost entirely out of the recruiter's control. If you’re not confident you’ll be able to determine whether the person is qualified or not with in 30 days, let alone 3+ months, you may not be clear enough about what they need to do to succeed.

Will you take my search for under $80K? I’ll pay the 25%.

Sorry, but probably not. We spend a lot of time, energy, and effort finding, engaging, and nurturing our target candidates. Working on searches outside our area of focus means we can’t deliver the level of speed and quality we pride ourselves on.  That being said, it doesn’t hurt to ask and we may be able to refer you to someone who can help you.

What if we hire a candidate from Building Gurus and the candidate is terminated?

First off, we want you to be sure – all-in when hiring a candidate. So if you’re not sure, don’t hire. This mindset is another reason our replacement rate is so low. In fact, our last replacement was over a decade ago. But in case you need to terminate the candidate for poor performance, you’re covered by our replacement guarantee for 90 days.  Our replacement guarantee means we will run a full sourcing cycle again to ensure you see the best in the market to select the replacement.


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