Columbia Consulting Group has a dedicated team to address the recruitment needs of German, Austrian and Swiss companies doing business in the U.S. and abroad in their language. This team has a proven track record of success in attracting the best talent to our clients.  We do not just focus on the skillset of our candidates, but their fit within our client’s corporate culture.

All companies have a vested interest in attracting the top talent in their industry; however, for German, Austrian and Swiss companies with divisions and subsidiaries in the United States, there is the additional challenge of bridging “cultural” issues.

German, Austrian and Swiss products and services are known throughout the world for quality and excellence.  However, the large well-known firms make up less than ten percent of the companies in the German-speaking business world.  Most of these firms are small to medium-sized businesses, often family-owned – or Mittelstand – who encounter “transnational-cultural” issues while attracting quality talent to their organizations.

The large companies will have few German speaking executives in the actual operations of their U.S. Divisions and many tend to have an American business culture; however, we work with quite a few firms, who prefer to maintain and blend their business culture with the American business culture. The areas where we see differences, while seemingly insignificant, have a major impact on the talent recruited in the U.S.

Interfacing with key executives in the U.S. confirms those issues and concerns, spanning items from differences involving formality vs. informality, such, as using titles, addressing individuals by first or last names, the distinction between Freund (friend) and Bekannter (acquaintance), to some of the following:

  • Americans are more pragmatic and goal-oriented, and concentrate on getting a positive result as quickly as possible without paying much attention to minor issues. Germans tend to discuss all topics in detail to make sure everything is settled and agreed to.
  • Americans tend to be more flexible regarding careers, with a willingness to change jobs or even careers, as well as, relocate to other cities. Germans maintain job security and loyalty based upon their work ethic and history. The difficulty of laying off people in the U.S. compared to the German speaking countries is completely different due to social policies.
  • Americans typically look more to practical experience and work track record than to education and academic background than most Germans.
  • Humor in business is different, Americans see it as an attempt to lighten the mood and most Germans see it as misplaced or inappropriate. Germans place great importance on being serious in business meetings.
  • And more pressing matters encompassing items like one’s approach to making decisions, the gathering of information before making a decision, dealing with change, and risking taking are all areas to evaluate when recruiting top talent.


Columbia Consulting Group (CCG) is a medium-sized, retained executive search firm, successfully offering a wide range of solutions in the recruitment of senior executives, , interim management service, as well as market studies and analyses. Our structure allows us to adapt to the dynamics and individual needs of our clients.

  • Our fee is 33.3% of the 1st year’s projected compensation as retainers, admin and travel expenses. Flexible based on project.
  • Exclusive until completed. Multiple firms would be redundant financially and there would be a mixed message in the marketplace.
  • A dedicated team of two consultants is assigned to the project until completed. Original targeted research conducted.
  • Direct communication with the clients and the candidates is integral to our method. While in-person is the preference, travel for interviews will only be carried out with prior client consent.
  • Often, these search assignments are for C-Level, a matter of confidentiality or “difficult to fill” key executive positions.
  • We typically recommend 3 to 7 highly qualified, prescreened and ranked candidates to our client within 3 to 6 weeks, depending on client/candidate availability.
  • We guarantee any individual hired through our assistance for a period of one year, as long as the position does not change. The only charge would be for expenses and any incremental fee involved.
  • Psychometrics assessments are utilized.
  • In the other sections of our website there are useful articles and business tools that could be of value to you in exploring the use of retained search for your business in the U.S.