Terms and conditions

The following terms and conditions apply to executive recruitment procedures:


The overarching goal is for the client to be completely satisfied with all aspects of each project.

We endeavor to achieve this goal through our across-the-board quality orientation. Our processes, our commitment, and our professionalism ensure that the ideal candidate – the candidate that will promote the success of your organization in the medium and long term – is recruited for each position as expeditiously as possible. To this end, we have developed an all-in solution.

We keep our entire process transparent for the client from the outset and thus enable him to keep tabs on the progress of the recruitment project as it unfolds.

Although we do everything possible to find candidates that ideally meet the mandated qualifications, it should be noted that we can only offer you candidates that are available and that have expressed an interest in the position offered. At the same time, we also attach great importance to formulating the job qualifications in a realistic manner from the very beginning.

With a view to saving you time, we go to great pains to offer you only those candidates that meet the mandated requirements to the full, or nearly so. And while it is of course up to you which candidate you ultimately recruit, we also feel that it is our professional responsibility to provide you with every support in making this decision. We want our performance to be assessed by the extent to which the candidate recruited by the client from our shortlist achieves success in his or her new position. In so doing, we try to ensure that each client is offered the genuinely optimal candidates for each position. This of course also includes rendering every assistance throughout the entire contract negotiation process and the subsequent integration of the recruited candidate into his or her new work environment.

We make a point of providing our clients with all relevant available information concerning the short-listed candidates, based not only on the information provided by the candidates themselves, but also on information derived from the candidate’s work environment. We do this in order to minimize the risk that the client opts for the wrong candidate.

We have also built a series of steps into our process that largely rule out the possibility that a candidate may make false statements concerning his career path. As it is of course difficult for us to verify a candidate’s statements concerning his compensation in previous positions, we normally take these statements on faith. We indicate to the candidate, however, that any false statements in this regard are bound to come to light sooner or later.

All our transactions and all communication with our clients are subject to the strictest confidentiality and absolute discretion. In order for us to carry out our mission strategically and successfully for a given client, it is essential that we be given full information – which will of course is kept strictly confidential.

By the same token, we expect our clients to keep strictly confidential all information provided by us, particularly when it comes to candidates we recommend.

We also feel that openness needs to go hand in hand with confidentiality. We go to great lengths to ensure that all executive search processes are conducted in as transparent a manner as humanly possible. In view of the tremendous responsibility that we shoulder vis-à-vis the candidates we look at, who in most cases will be abandoning a long and successful employment relationship, it is vital that each client provide us with updated information concerning any matter that may have a direct or indirect impact on the position to be filled.

We have developed a close-knit communication framework that is comprehensively described in our company profile, portions of which are set forth on our web page, www.comites.com. We strictly adhere to the timelines defined there. Any deviations therefrom are announced in advance, insofar as possible.

Fee structure; contractual conditions

We are convinced that the methodical nature of our executive search process enables us to achieve outstanding efficiency and optimal outcomes in carrying out recruitment projects for our clients. Indeed, we have such great confidence in our capacities in this regard that we key our fees to the client’s assessment of our achievement of the mandated objectives. Our fees are also keyed to the client’s assessment of the job performance of the candidate recruited by us during (as a rule) the first six months or year of employment. This in turn means that payment of the client’s fee does not fall due unless and until predefined performance milestones have been reached. The client feels that the quality of the new recruit’s achievements meets or exceeds his expectations.

Insisting on keying our fees to the client’s assessment of the quality of the defined milestones implies that our fees fall due in full only if our placement meets or exceeds the client’s expectations.

One of the building blocks of our methodical executive search process is that we always set aside ample resources for each project from the get-go, with a view to ferreting out, contacting, and evaluating potential candidates as quickly as possible, as well as to ensure that we obtain all available information concerning each such candidate.

The fee we normally charge shall comprise 33 percent of the first year’s annual compensation (i.e. total cash compensation = fixed salary + target -and/ or guaranteed bonus) of each candidate that concludes an employment contract with our client for the relevant project.
The detailed agreement concluded with each client shall supersede the general terms and conditions stipulated in the present document in each case.

Our fees are calculated in accordance with strictly defined project results or milestones. As a rule, these project results or milestones are described in our individual offers; you will also find them described in our company presentation.

In cases where a client hires a candidate that we brought to the client’s attention at the client’s behest, our total fee will amount to 33 percent of the first year of the candidate’s total cash compensation, whereby 25 percent of this compensation shall normally be payable on conclusion of the executive search contract and the remaining 8 percent at the end of the first six months of the candidate’s employment by the client. This 8 percent balance shall only be payable insofar as, in the client’s view, the candidate’s job performance meets or exceeds the client’s expectations – including cases where no formal agreement concerning a specific formal project was concluded.

The full 33 percent fee of the candidate’s initial year’s total cash compensation shall also be payable in the following cases:

In cases where our client recruits a candidate – in addition to the short-listed candidates – in the immediate temporal context of a specific project.

In cases where our client within 18 months following the completion of a project recruits a candidate who had been identified and assessed for this specific or any other project for the same client via a personal interview with a Comites recruiter and subsequently pointed out to the client , verifiably, in writing or by oral communication.

All of our fees indicated here and in our company presentation are subject to VAT.

Incidental expenses are normally billed to the client based on the relevant invoices and receipts, unless otherwise requested by the client. These expenses are based on our travel expense policy (see Annex II). However, expenses can instead be based on a cost allowance that is simply added to the fee.

A handling charge is added to incidental expenses that are based on invoices and receipts. This charge comprises either a lump sum amount, or a percentage of our fee (normally 5 percent).

Our minimum charge for any given executive search project is contingent to the service package the client has chosen, but is no less than € 35.000. In the absence of a specific project contract, each such project is governed by the terms and conditions above.

If our fee is not paid on time, we shall be entitled to suspend the project until the relevant payment is effected. Any such suspension will be notified to the client in writing, usually via e-mail.

Any instance of Comites GmbH foregoing, in its discretion, suspension of a project prompted by a client’s having failed to pay our fee shall under no circumstances mean or be construed to mean that we have implicitly decided to forego payment of our fee.

Should any individual provision hereof be or become void, illegal or unenforceable, the validity of the remaining provisions hereof shall in no way be affected. The place of jurisdiction hereof shall be Munich.In case a candidate placed by us gets promoted or changes position in a way to raise his total cash compensation by more than 100%, within the first 12 months after taking up work in the new company, we will accordingly raise our fees ex post. These will then amount to a lump sum of 25% of the total cash compensation granted the candidate at the time of the adjustment of compensation, – in essence, fixed salary plus target bonus/ guaranteed compensation. In practice, such an increase in fees may for instance ensue, if a candidate was originally placed as a supervisory board member and then takes office in the executive board.

Comites GmbH • Jacobistraße 2 • 81927 München • T +49 89 945485-30 • info@comites.com