A Contingency Search by definition means that the search firm will only collect a fee if they find and place a suitable candidate for the position in question. This type of search may or may not be structured contractually with the client company and it is 100% "back end" loaded. This arrangement begs the question as to whether the search firm actually has such a "client" given the absence of any stated or written commitments for exclusivity.
In a contingent search, the search process is usually less structured and less about a precise candidate "fit" and more about getting potentially qualified candidates in front of the client so that the client can make his or her own final assessment. Often candidates in such searches are drawn from a search firm's existing database. While these methods can certainly uncover good candidates it is not as comprehensive as the 2 approaches above. Please contact us for more information.