Executive search for scaling cleantech start-ups

Find your next great leader to further your mission

We help scaling cleantech start-ups find and hire highly qualified senior leaders who believe in their purpose, without the frustration of poor-fit or underprepared candidates.

Even the most game-changing cleantech start-ups can’t get far without the right strategic leaders to guide their vision forward.

But it’s hard to find great people in a scarce, competitive market.

Great leaders are often snapped up by traditional tech companies before cleantech start-ups even get a look in.

You might not want to engage a big search firm because you’re worried about being treated like “one in a list of 100”, or left to deal with a list of candidates who can’t articulate why they’re the right people for your start-up – or worse, a poor-fit hire.

That’s where we come in.

We take the time to really get to know your company and our candidates so we can match you with a great-fit leader who reflects what you’re looking for and has a clear vision of what they want and what they can offer.

Meaning you can make a better, faster strategic hire to further your mission.

Executive search for scaling cleantech start-ups

Unique talent network of business leaders

Candidate coaching for success

Small and helpful, not big and soulless

Guaranteed fit

Diverse and inclusive

Nimble and responsive

Trusted by:

Types of roles we handle

We specialise in roles that bridge technology and business:

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Chief of Staff

Finding the right leader starts with knowing what to ask

Get our free ultimate guide to competency-based interview questions, with over 55 questions to help you find a leader who truly fits.

How we’re different

Unique talent network

Our network is made up of executives and senior leaders who are alumni of top business schools. How do we know them? We’re their career coaches! This means we have direct access to some of the brightest, most commercially sharp tech leaders in the UK and Europe. And, because we know them personally and understand their career aspirations, we can quickly find the right people to fit your culture and values.

Candidate coaching for success

Over 20+ years of career coaching, we’ve seen amazing senior candidates fall down in applications or interviews because they can’t clearly articulate what they want and what they can offer. This means great-fit leaders are going unnoticed by the companies that need them most. We coach our candidates to ensure you can quickly and easily see what makes them unique and why they’re a great fit.

Small and helpful, not big and soulless

We’re selective about who we work with so that we give your search the time and energy it deserves. This work is too important and too impactful for you to be treated like “one in a list of 100”. Our personal approach means you get quick results, great-fit candidates, helpful customer service, and a smooth process.

We’re a boutique search partner who is genuinely rooting for your success.

Guaranteed fit

We take the time to understand not only your start-up’s culture and values, but the personality, ethos and aspirations of each candidate too. This extra personal touch makes all the difference between a lacklustre hire that ends up not performing or fitting in (meaning you have to redo the process, costing extra time and money), and a leader that lights up when they’re at work and empowers the whole team to drive the mission forward.

Diverse and inclusive

Our talent pool is highly diverse, with a good mix of nationalities and genders. This lets you find leaders with different perspectives and ideas – a powerful way to foster creativity, innovation and business growth in your start-up. We have a lot of experience working with people from different cultures and can help you find and attract the right person.

Nimble and responsive

You can expect to be making an offer within 12 weeks. We’ve built a lot of trust with our network through our career coaching work, which means executives take our calls and don’t mess us around. We’re small and nimble, so we can keep things moving!

Our team

Gina Gibellini Lead Research at The Career Farm

Gina Gibellini

Lead Researcher

Gina leads our executive research activity. She’s an experienced researcher, senior recruiter and interviewer, having worked for over 20 years with executive search firms and in-house at Microsoft, Amazon and Citrix.

Vicky Maxwell Davies Advisor at The Career Farm

Vicky Maxwell Davies


Vicky is a specialist advisor on developing female technology leaders. She worked at IBM (Paris and London) and Oracle before building a career in executive search, where she spent more than 20 years recruiting senior CIO roles.

Cathy Holley Advisor at The Career Farm

Cathy Holley


Cathy has spent 25 years working with global boards in all sectors to help them understand what a good CIO/CDO/CTO looks like. In her role as a leading technology headhunter, she’s placed some of the top technology leaders in the world.

How it works

Phase 1. Listening & briefing

Week 1


We get to know you. We meet, ideally face to face, to go through your requirements and clarify the job specification for your new hire. During this meeting, we listen carefully to what you need and ask lots of questions to understand your company’s culture and values so we can find someone who truly fits.

Following this, we put together a candidate briefing document that brings your company’s story and mission to life to attract the right people.

Phase 2. Creating a longlist

Week 2


We go away and conduct a high-level search of our unique executive network, including both passive candidates and those who are actively looking for their next position. 

You get:

  • A longlist of 10–12 great-fit candidates to review

Phase 3. Screening & creating a shortlist

Weeks 3 & 4


We carry out in-depth competency- and strengths-based interviews, along with personality tests and informal referencing for each candidate (if required). *

You get:

  • A shortlist of 3–4 candidates who are a great fit for your position
  • Interview reports, competency assessments and cultural fit assessments as required

* We’ll ask about this during our briefing meeting. If you require another method of testing, that’s fine.

Phase 4. Interviews & offer

Weeks 4 – 8


Time for interviews! We support you in the process of bringing candidates in for initial interviews, arranging final interviews, and making an offer to the successful candidate.

With the right leader, your start-up can:

Navigate the challenges and obstacles inherent in any start-up

Create and execute strategic plans to achieve your start-up’s mission

Enter new markets with clarity and success

Secure funding without the headache

The cost of hiring the wrong person is high, shortening your cash runway and slowing down commercialisation and your ability to make an impact.

Plus you have to redo the process, costing you extra time and money. Let us take this pressure off your plate!

The Career Farm - Executive search for scaling cleantech start-ups<br />

Ready to find a great leader who believes in your purpose?