Executive Search and C-suite recruitment

What sets us apart as an executive recruitment agency is our focus on specific areas. Our executive recruiters have deep knowledge in product management, product design and UXmarketing and eCommerce giving our executive recruitment agency a distinct edge when it comes to headhunting C-suite roles.

Unlike other executive recruitment firms, we already have a network of candidates for each search, so there’s no need for lengthy discovery processes. This means we can quickly provide high-quality shortlists for C-suite executive search projects without ever compromising on quality.

Our executive recruitment agency is always on the lookout for talented individuals in senior leadership and C-level roles, whether they’re actively searching or not. This makes our search and selection process one of the fastest and most effective in our field. 

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When would an executive search firm be beneficial?

An executive search firm would be beneficial in the following scenarios:

  • your executive vacancy is time critical. Either you are nearing a product launch, a launch into new territories or your competitors are gaining market share. Or a current executive is leaving the business and you’d like to ensure there is an effective handover
  • you require specific domain experience from your next hire. You have the highest chance of success of attracting and engaging the best talent in the market using a specialist search firm who have already built contacts and knowledge in the domain you require – and know how to sell your business, your pipeline, your objectives
  • your in-house talent team are under-resourced. We often find this, meaning the search for an executive takes 2-3 times longer than it needs to
  • your vacancy has been open for a while. A long hiring process create a loss of productivity, increased employee stress and have an impact on the bottom line, but it can also damage the perception of the brand within the candidate network. Our headhunting methods result in securing quality candidates who might otherwise never read your vacancy advert. 
Discover more about how to choose an executive search firm here.
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Marketing Executive

C-suite Executive Search

We specialise in C-suite executive search. These are the senior management and C-level roles we recruit for on a contingency or retained basis.

Find out more about our interim executive recruitment services.

Interim executive recruitment

— Interim Chief Product Officer

— Interim Chief Marketing Officer

— Interim Product Director

Interim Marketing Director


C-suite Executive Search: why us?

  • We have a 100% Executive Search placement record
  • We have 20+ years recruitment experience
  • 81% of happy employers return to us within 1 year
  • We have 4.9 stars from Google reviews
  • 35,000 candidates are already on our talent management system
  • Permanent and interim executive recruitment agency 
Executive Recruitment
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Retained Executive Search: Chief of Growth & Strategy

‘The outcome of working with Intelligent People as a recruitment agency was very successful – we ended up securing a great candidate. I’m sure we would not have found this candidate through our own recruitment methods of job ads, so utilising an international executive search firm to headhunt for us, find the candidate and sell them on our business, was definitely the best strategy..” Seth Weinberger, Chapter One

Read full case study


Executive Search Case Study

Employer: Seth at Chapter One

C-suite Executive Search: Chief Marketing Officer

“We really liked that Intelligent People had a defined recruitment process: preparation, sourcing, approaching and engagement, selection and screening, shortlist, interview, and offer. The process was thorough and gave us a good feeling from the outset that Chris and his team knew what they were doing. ” Andrew Watson, Goodfellow

Read full CMO recruitment case study


Andrew Watson

Employer: Andrew at Goodfellow

C-suite Executive Search: Chief Commercial Officer

‘I would absolutely recommend Intelligent People to other businesses. In fact, I’ve already told several people about them when they needed help with recruiting at various levels. If I ever need assistance with finding B2C executives or other important commercial leadership roles, I will happily turn to their recruitment agency again.’

(Milk & More used Intelligent People to source and recruit their CCO)

Read full case study


Chief Customer Officer Case Study

Cat Costigan, CCO at Milk & More

I need to hire

Tell us more about your vacancy and what you are looking for in a candidate.

We’ll listen carefully to your needs and using our industry experience and vast network, we’ll connect you to real talent in the market.

Fill in this form or alternatively contact us on 01727 736690.

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How does Executive Search consultancy work?

Our team of Executive Search consultants collaborate closely with you to enhance your hiring plan, which involves determining potential talent sources, devising attractive offers, and implementing strategies to appeal to the most qualified candidates.

At Intelligent People, our Executive Search consultancy division employs a comprehensive and meticulous process to guarantee that all potential candidates are thoroughly assessed during the research phase. Our proactive and multi-faceted approach entails identifying and focusing on both rival firms and parallel industries that may possess the necessary expertise, from senior management to C-level candidates.

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Our Executive Search recruitment method

Intelligent People Recruitment Method

How long does Executive Search consultancy take?

Intelligent People’s rapid and methodical approach is designed to deliver a shortlist of key C-suite talent within 5 – 6 weeks.


Week 1

  • Assignment confirmation
  • Kick-off meeting & confirmation of brief, roadmap, methodology and timescales
  • Market mapping & presentation of suitable target companies
  • Research into target list, identify long list of potential candidates

Week 2

  • Initiate campaign to identify active candidate utilising talent system, networks, referrals & market footprint
  • Commence engagement with active candidates & start pitching process
  • Make initial headhunting approaches to suitable candidates from target list (passive candidates)

Week 3

  • Continued screening of active and passive candidates
  • Commence interviews of selected candidates

Week 4

  • Continue interviews of selected candidates

Week 5 & 6

  • Complete interviews
  • Present finalised shortlist from all sources

Our management team

We understand how critical key C-level recruitment projects are for our customers. Therefore, all of our executive search assignments are led or overseen by one of our management team, with support from our experienced search consultants and researchers, who will often have an industry specialism.

Read about our management team or speak confidentially to one of our founding directors.

Executive recruitment agencies: our UK locations

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Tree-Nation initiative

In a world grappling with the consequences of climate change, adopting sustainable corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives has become imperative for businesses to contribute positively to the environment. 

At Intelligent People, we believe in fostering a greener future, and our commitment to sustainability has led us to partner with Tree-Nation – an organisation that aligns perfectly with our values.

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Intelligent People did a brilliant executive search, providing a quality list of very engaged Marketing Director candidates to us extremely quickly. The quality of the shortlist we received is testament to the expertise and service offering within Intelligent People. We couldn’t be happier with Intelligent People as our executive search recruitment partner for this role. Read the full case study.

Executive Search Client
Ben Corlett
Amber River

Simply put, Intelligent People are my go-to for product hires. They have always been honest, professional, and considerate balancing the needs of candidates with those of the hiring company. For my recent search – in a very difficult market – they were my first port of call and helped me land the perfect Product Manager for the role, who’s doing a fantastic job. The process was simple and straightforward, the shortlist was exactly what I wanted and the advice along the way, including salary benchmarks, candidate profiling and analysis was invaluable and refreshing in the scrappy world of recruitment. Read the full case study.

Nick Brown
Nick Brown


Q: Who are Intelligent People?
A: Intelligent People are a specialist marketing, eCommerce and product management recruitment agency, based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Servicing London and International markets with executive search services by placing executive level, C-suite candidates into scale up and start up B2B and B2C businesses.
Q; What is the best executive search firm UK?
A: Intelligent People. Domain specialisms: Product management, Marketing, eCommerce and commercial leadership. We are a boutique Executive Search and London Headhunting agency with 20 years’ experience of placing commercial leadership candidates in London based businesses. Our executive search recruiters help the employers we work with to search for the best talent in the market. We do this by headhunting ‘passive’ candidates that have the right domain experience, leadership qualities and personal qualities that you require within your business. We follow a detailed and thorough method to ensure we scour the market, utilising a multi-channel approach to target both your competitors and comparable sectors that may have the experience you need.
Q: What is the difference between recruitment and executive search?
A: An organisation may look to a recruiter when they are looking to make a new hire or have a series of vacancies, but lack the time and resources to complete the hiring process from end-to-end. So a recruiter will be engaged, often on a contingency recruitment basis, where the business only pays on placement of a candidate put forward by the agency. Executive search is a specialised type of recruitment, in which an employer pays executive recruiters to research the market, develop a shortlist of engaged candidates, and take the candidates through the hiring process including interviews and offer stages. Due to the detailed and thorough methodology involved in executive search, where a proactive and multi-channel approach is utilised, payment for services is structured differently to other recruitment methods. Executive search firms normally ask for a third of the fee to be taken on agreement of the assignment, a third on shortlist of candidates, and a third on placement. As part of the fee is paid upfront, this is known as a retained executive search.
Q: Should I use an executive search firm?
A: For senior and executive level roles, an employer often engages an executive search firm to headhunt candidates, as well as scouring the candidate network already known to them. Headhunting is where a recruitment agency identifies ‘passive’ candidates – those candidates that possess the right domain experience, leadership qualities and personal qualities but are not ‘active’ in the market, i.e., they are not looking for a new job or have applied to your open vacancy. An executive search firm will completes a market mapping research exercise identifying key competitors within the industry and other closely related sectors. The headhunter then looks at the individuals at those competitor companies, and targets any of those employees that look to match the skill set and experience required. This research phase is extensive to ensure that every possible candidate is considered.
Q: How long should an executive search take?
A: Intelligent People’s rapid and methodical approach is designed to deliver a shortlist of key executive talent within 5 – 6 weeks. Timelines for executive level searches can be a lot longer than this, especially when a generalist executive search firm is used. For speed and effectiveness, it's recommended a domain specific, expert executive search firm is used to find the best quality talent.
Q: What makes a good executive search consultant?
A: Choosing the best executive search firm is critical to the success of your recruitment process. When assessing an whether an executive search consultant is good or not, consider whether: - they possess the right domain experience required, - they have good evidence of past placements within your industry and have good reviews available - review the range of services offered, i.e. can they help with the end-to-end recruitment process - are they transparent candidate contact information and with who they have contacted and why?