CEO Executive Search

Entrust your CEO executive search to experts in C-suite hiring for startups

You’ll receive end-to-end support through every step, from candidate sourcing to onboarding and beyond. 

Consider us an extension of your team as we take all the complexities of the search process off your hands.

We not only represent your company to candidates but embody your values to inspire confidence and ensure alignment and motivation from the start. 

CEO executive search: Why you can’t afford to make mistakes

For investors, employees, customers and the public, the CEO is your source of credibility.

A CEO who successfully embodies your ethos, communicates your vision and executes your mission can fortify your startup’s reputation and lifespan.

On the flip side, the wrong CEO can threaten future funding opportunities, crush your current investors’ confidence, and jeopardise business expansion and IPO-level growth.

What’s more, frequently changing your CEO can compromise your entire mission, from disrupting your strategic direction and IPO valuation to dismantling employee morale and investor trust.

CEO meeting with other company stakeholders
CEO of a startup working on laptop

What makes CEO recruitment challenging?

The CEO executive search is just as unique as that of a Managing Director

Each organisation’s needs are different: variables such as growth stage, business sector, long-term objectives, and company culture all play a crucial role in determining the most suitable Chief Executive Officer profile. As a result, not every candidate who seems like a good match on the surface will align with your mission or business needs.  

To complicate things, the current talent bank is scarce and highly competitive. This makes CEO recruitment a high-pressure game for internal HR teams who don’t have the necessary resources or experience. Only specialised CEO recruitment agencies or headhunters with the right network and proven ability to engage executive talent can help. 

Why work with a CEO executive search firm?

As startup executive search experts, we know finding the perfect CEO can seem daunting. 

With over 20 years of recruitment and technology executive search expertise, we’ve created a tried-and-true framework for sourcing and hiring C-level talent. Our end-to-end approach covers every stage of the CEO executive search process:

  • Market research
  • Talent mapping with diversity and inclusion at its core
  • Candidate sourcing, outreach and engagement
  • Long listing, interviewing and short listing
  • Salary negotiations
  • Onboarding
  • Post-hire care

You’ll have our strategic advice and guidance at every step to simplify a long and complex journey. We go beyond the surface to uncover frequently unexplored attributes, including:  

How we can help you find the right CEO

The search for a CEO can overwhelm even expert Talent Acquisition teams. 

We customise our search to match your unique business needs and take a hands-on approach. You’ll have strategic consultants, problem-solvers and an extension of your team, all in one. 

We also build relationships with potential candidates while promoting your firm and reinforcing your position as an employer of choice in a highly competitive market.

Here's how we find you a culturally fit CEO who can instil trust in stakeholders, adapt to market instability, and take you to next-level growth: 

Pin down your priorities through talent mapping

Once we’ve discussed your business goals and profile requirements, we map out candidate availability and share our insights.

We also advise you on ways to broaden your search so you can find the perfect CEO in less time.

Receive a tailored, strategic candidate shortlist

We look beyond industry experience to create a shortlist of fit CEO candidates.

This enables us to source potential hires who may have experience in different industries, but possess the combination of skills and attributes needed to meet your business growth goals.

Sharpen your CEO specifications with expert insights

Our shortlist includes a variety of profiles to help you consider previously unexplored qualities.

Based on your feedback, we can help you refine your job description, highlight tangible facts about your firm, and avoid buzzwords to attract high-profile CEO candidates.

Attract top candidates with salary benchmarking & bonus advice

We know the complexity of executive-level salary packages, which often include bonuses and stock options.

Count on us to benchmark the salary landscape, help you align your offer with candidate expectations and create enticing salary packages to attract top Chief Executive Officers.

Rest easy with consistent communication

Receive regular updates of newly available talent and candidate feedback, helping you polish your CEO profile and attract more targeted prospects.

Frequent touch points provide more transparency and enable us to help you troubleshoot quickly.

Count on end-to-end guidance and support

We embody your company’s culture and values to attract CEO candidates who can envision themselves with confidence in your team.

From salary negotiations to onboarding, we help guarantee a smooth transition that fosters engagement.

Start your CEO executive search today

We’re more than just CEO recruiters. 

We’re CEO headhunters with a comprehensive service to remove the stress from a high-pressure search process. 

With Nederlia, you can hire a CEO who can envision themselves in your organisation and deliver the impact you need to survive and thrive in a competitive market.


Looking for your next MD? We provide a holistic approach to finding the perfect managing director for your startup or tech company. We are not a typical managing director recruitment agency – you can count on us to act as your strategic advisor from day one. 

We help you simplify the director recruitment process and remove the usual stress that comes with executive searches. This way, you can attract and hire a managing director with the skills, mindset and experience you need to get next-level business results. 

Start your managing director search today 

Managing director recruitment: Why getting it right is so crucial

Hiring the right managing director for your company’s unique goals can mean the difference between accelerating or stalling your business growth. This is especially true for fast-moving startups, scale-ups and technology companies with no time or resources to waste.

Your managing director is a strategic figure you can’t afford to get wrong. They are the driving force behind your business operations and responsible for the performance of your company. What’s more, they play a crucial role in developing future leaders. 

To complicate matters, the search for a managing director is unique to each company. You need to consider your company’s growth stage, market strategy, business model, industry and specific goals. You need to find a candidate who can steer your company in the direction it needs to go, fast. 

With a scarce talent pool and high competition, the perfect managing director can seem elusive. But partnering with an executive search firm that knows how to identify the best managing director candidates in such a demanding landscape can help you easily navigate the otherwise arduous process of attracting and hiring your ideal MD. 

Why work with an executive search firm?

We understand how crucial it is to get your managing director search right. With 20 years of experience in recruitment and executive search across Europe and the UK, we know how to guide tech startups and scale-ups through the headhunting process. We source, select and hire the best candidates to fill even the most challenging managing director roles. 

We have tried-and-true processes and strategic advisors to help you identify your ideal MD, easing the pressure on your HR teams. Even when your talent pools run dry and candidates are hard to find, we help you look beyond the conventional requirements of a managing director and consider other criteria, including:

  • Leadership ability. We screen executive talent and uncover how they have helped companies grow by building and empowering effective teams, departments and future leaders. As experts in startup executive hiring, we’re adept at recognizing the mindset that resonates with your company culture. 
  • Market knowledge vs technical know-how. Not all your ideal managing directors will come from your same industry. We can expand your search to include experienced leaders from different sectors with similar expertise they can apply to your business to fulfil your mission. 
  • Specific business-goal experience. If you need to scale, we can make sure the candidates we source have relevant experience in growing revenue and launching in new countries. If you need to cut costs and pivot, we can shortlist leaders who have a proven track record in scaling back and turning around operations successfully.

How we helped a client fill two critical MD roles in record time

One of our technology executive search clients was looking for two managing directors. One had to expand their operation in Germany, their most important market. The other MD needed to reposition their business in Spain by scaling down operations, pivoting with a new value proposition and penetrating a new market.  

Technically, our client was looking for two managing directors, but the roles differed greatly. Each required a distinct set of skills, attitude and experience to lead country-specific operations in separate paths. One required a history in startup culture and business growth, the other in realignment, restructuring and innovation. 

We helped our client locate and hire the MDs needed, one in just three months, thanks to our understanding of the markets involved and the client’s business needs, along with effective salary negotiation to attract the suitable candidates.

With us, you’ll have the structure you need to hire the managing director who can move your business forward and achieve your goals.

Hire your next managing director 

How we can help YOU hire the right managing director

20+ years of experience in recruitment and startup executive search have taught us that finding the right candidate is just one step of the process. There’s a lot more to a managing director search – and each step can be more stressful than the next. 

Thanks to our experience going through similar processes with other companies, we can share first-hand insights with you that help take the worry out of executive search. 

Whatever challenges you face, we’ve likely faced them before and know how to handle them. We will keep you informed at all times so you can rest easy knowing you are in good hands. 

Leave all the complexities of your managing director search to us and trust us to guide you every step of the way.

Here’s what your next managing director hire can look like: 

1. We provide talent mapping to help you pin down your priorities

Once we’ve discussed your business goals and profile requirements, we map out candidate availability and share insights we gather on the available talent pool. We also guide you to look further afield, such as considering candidates across borders or from different industries when it makes sense. This way, you can broaden your opportunities of finding the perfect managing director for your company. 

2. We prepare a candidate shortlist 

Next, we compile a shortlist of candidates we believe are a good fit. We look beyond the job title to understand the underlying competencies and strengths you’re seeking. This strategic approach enables us to identify and present candidates who may have different titles in their current roles but possess the exact blend of skills and attributes you need. This ensures that the candidates we present are not only qualified but also perfectly aligned with your organisation’s goals. 

3. We help sharpen your job description

We make a point of including a variety of different profiles in our initial candidate shortlist because seeing a diverse list of candidates may lead you to discover requirements you hadn’t considered. For example, we may include candidates who have industry experience, have been through your company’s growth stage, have built departments from scratch, etc. Based on the shortlist and feedback session, we help you refine your managing director job description and include the characteristics that can bring you the exceptional strategic leaders your business deserves. 

4. We give salary benchmarking advice so you can attract top candidates

Managing director salary packages are complex, often including bonuses, stock options and more. Count on us to guide you so your offer aligns with the market and candidate expectations. We can help you avoid making an easy-to-refuse proposal, risking you going back to square one. We benchmark the current salary landscape and guide you on creating competitive packages to attract and hire a motivated managing director. 

5. We share regular insight so you can take your search to the next level

We give you regular updates of newly available talent and candidate feedback, which can help you polish your MD role to attract more motivated, targeted prospects. Talking to the best potential hires can even reveal business insights you haven’t previously considered, taking your strategy and MD search in new directions. These touch points also allow for greater transparency. We can help you identify and turn obstacles into learning opportunities, align internal teams, and troubleshoot more quickly throughout the headhunting process. 

6. We help you hire your managing director 

As your partner in managing director search, we act as your representative. We support your candidate along the way, ensuring greater confidence in the process and your employer brand. We promote your startup culture so candidates can get a better sense of how they can fit into your company. You and your chosen managing director can take advantage of our support with the onboarding process to ensure a successful, efficient start.

Start your managing director search today 

Hire the perfect managing director for your firm 

We go further than your average managing director or CEO recruitment agency. We help you identify the right executive search priorities from day one so you can hire the talent capable of meeting your business goals. We guide you every step of the way, from defining the job description to onboarding your new managing director.

Hire your next MD

We have an international network of C-suite talent who work at startups in different funding stages, from early-stage to post-IPO. When we start working together, we analyse your unique situation and advise you on specific talent pools to target. Then, we discreetly headhunt CEO candidates who have experience in your company’s growth stage or have been through the fundraising round you are about to tackle. We always look beyond skills that match the job description to find the characteristics, personality and culture fit you’re looking for. We make sure to tell a story so you understand why we think a candidate could be a good match for you. 

We understand the importance of discretion when hiring for critical leadership roles, especially in the case of a replacement or when your company is at a delicate stage of fundraising. As a result, we never advertise publicly and we always make sure outreach is discreet. 

We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in your CEO executive search and can cater to your specific needs. For example, we helped one of our clients diversify their leadership team by headhunting female candidates for a CPO position. See our case studies for more.

Yes. We understand that CEO-level salary packages are highly complex and can involve many forms of compensation, from stock options to signing bonuses. Using our knowledge of the market, we can offer advice and guidance to help you construct a competitive package and attract senior-level talent. 

Request a free salary benchmark report here for your CEO position.