With this type of headhunting the recruitment consultant places an advertisement in the appropriate newspapers and/or online media in order to attract those candidates that are currently actively looking for positions. The recruitment consultant will usually make a pre-selection of fitting candidates, conduct preliminary interviews and help with the final selection of candidates (see Recruitment with Advertising Search ).


Recruitment or Headhunting is often seen as a contingency fee activity. This is often used for lower level positions. In this sort of search, the headhunter will often simply pass CV’s on to the client, leaving it up to the client to conduct the first interviews, establish a short list, get references, make a final selection of candidates, negotiate a compensation package and finalize the employment contract. The activities of the recruiter are limited to sourcing candidates. Consequently the fee of the recruiter tends to be lower than that of the Executive Search Consultants. See “Contingency vs. Retained Search” for advantages and disadvantages.


Executive Search tends to be performed on a retained fee basis. The executive search company not only sources candidates but conducts the interviews, gets references (if desired) and helps the client throughout the hiring process. It is important to note that in a retained search you are paying for the time and expertise of the search firm. You have employed the firm to conduct the entire recruitment effort from beginning to end, until the candidate has started working. (see Recruitment with Direct Search). While Executive Search is often used for higher level positions, it is increasingly being used to help recruit hard-to-find staff in Germany.