Digital Executive Search

In addition to offering a dynamic recruitment service, the Intelligent People team can also provide a digital executive search and headhunting service, to give clients access to the best candidates within the competitor landscape at all levels. We use the most advanced techniques to expand our network, giving us the means to headhunt any potential candidates across a wide range of digital, eCommerce and online sectors.

Chielf Product Officer With Product Director

Our Executive Search recruitment method

Intelligent People Recruitment Method

Digital headhunter

What is the difference between our role as a recruiter and a digital executive search firm?

Unlike a contingency recruiter, who is paid on success, digital executive search firms are normally paid 33% of the fee to take on the assignment. Before taking payment and scaling our large database of passive and active candidates, the digital executive search or digital headhunting process begins with an extensive briefing session to enable us to understand the vacancy you are looking to fill. We also take a full briefing with regards to the type of professional that can fulfil the responsibilities involved and complement the culture of your wider brand.

By working closely with you, we can then ‘go to market’ to find a selection of candidates that fit the specific needs and requirements of your business. Once we have produced and agreed a shortlist with you, we take a further 33% of the fee, moving then to arrange interviews and follow this through to offer stage. The remaining balance is then only settled when a candidate has been chosen and successfully placed within your organisation.

Strategist Working
Zoom Candidate Interview

Our approach with digital clients

We take a proactive and multichannel approach when it comes to digital executive search assignments. We listen to your needs and follow a detailed and thorough method to source you the best fit digital candidate. 

We’re genuine in our brand mission of connecting brands with real talent, and we take steps to ensure we are never pushy in our approach. Placing an executive level position is a big decision for a business, and our approach is reflective of this. We take the time to get our research phase of the project done to the best possible standard, delivering you a shortlist to work from within 5-6 weeks.

Executive Business Leader Laptop 1

eCommerce executive search Europe

We are also a specialist eCommerce executive search recruitment agency within Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Our global network of candidates allows us to quickly identify and place executive level talent into businesses within the European market.

If you are an organisation looking to make eCommerce appointments at executive level but do not have the required time, resources or expertise of Europe and the European market, we are the eCommerce executive search firm for you.

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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Further executive search reading

Interim Marketing Director

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.

A friendly and professional team who really know their market and clients, I’d highly recommend Intelligent People as specialist recruiters for product and product design. They take the time to thoroughly understand a brief, role and requirements, and always put forward a shortlist of highly relevant candidates. Intelligent People are our first stop for product positions, and we’ve successfully recruited a number of both contract and perm roles over the years.

Ruth Tapley
Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd

Intelligent people have always looked after me well. They got me my last-but-one role and came within a whisker of getting me one this time round (though I went direct as it happens). And, as a Product Manager, they had the lions share of the decent roles.

Philip Baxter

Without a doubt, the best recruitment agency I’ve ever worked with. Shame to use that term, as they are so much more. Always attentive, supportive, thoughtful, they really do things differently whichever side of the fence you’re on. Chris and his team are really something else, lovely folks as well, so whether you’re looking, or finding, talk to them. Just head and shoulders above the rest.

Paul Sherlock


Q: What is meant by executive search?
A: Executive search is a particular type of recruitment, aiming to fill executive or C-level positions within businesses that require this level of talent for their strategic management teams. Executive search includes the headhunting process, where passive candidates in the competitor landscape are approached, as well as active candidates,
Q: How much are executive search fees UK?
A: Executive search fees are normally between 25-28% of the candidates salary and bonus package, as commission for the headhunting and recruitment services that they provide.
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: What does an executive search do?
An executive search firm specialises in recruiting high-level executives for senior positions within organisations. They assess the client's needs, identify potential candidates discreetly through market research and competitor analysis, conduct initial outreach and follow up with the candidates, whilst evaluating their skills and potential for the role. The executive search firm will then present a shortlist of suitable individuals to the client for interviews. The executive search firm also assists with negotiations and onboarding, making the process efficient and effective for both parties involved.
How long does executive search take?
An executive search campaign could take between 3 and 6 months. At Intelligent People, we aim to deliver a shortlist of suitable and warm candidates to the client within five to six weeks. From there, time to complete the interview process and the candidates notice period could mean the process takes between 3 and 6 months in total.