Executive Search
& Organizational Architecture

Leaders for your vision

Our clients

We work with companies that dare: they redefine their industry and build technologies that change the world. They rethink business models and drive innovation. We translate all of this into the right CXO profiles and the optimal organizational architecture.
Family companies & SME

The development of a digital business model and the handover to the next generation of entrepreneurs require a new perspective in management. In our executive searches for future proofing traditional companies, we provide:

  • Strategic position analysis for digitally competent board successions & extensions
  • Definition and calibration of the search profile according to our award-winning excellence model
  • Detailed pre-qualification of suitable candidates and regular sparring with decision-makers throughout the entire appointment process
  • Knowledge transfer and impulses on customer-centric organizational architecture inspired by the digital ecosystem
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Venture capital & private equity

“Hire only A-Players” applies more than ever when the goal is to put a company on a growth trajectory or directly build a new Unicorn. In our executive searches in cooperation with investors we provide:

  • In-depth analysis and calibration of the targeted search profile
  • Assessment of highly qualified candidates according to fixed criteria
  • Weekly research insights and data-based evaluations from the search process
  • Milestone-based searches according to a 12-week schedule
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Digital & innovation units

The world’s most progressive companies have one thing in common: the drive to innovate and digitize is deeply embedded in their leadership. In executive search for building digital and innovation units, we provide:

  • Detailed profile analysis and definition when filling Chief Digital Officer positions and extended boards
  • Establishment of a 2nd management level with digital know-how
  • Knowledge transfer and market analysis from the digital ecosystem for building a modern organizational architecture
  • C-level sparring on strategic organizational architecture and recommendation of suitable recruiting partners for specialist roles
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Founders

The greatest competitive advantage for an entrepreneurial vision is the people who can make it happen. In our executive searches for entrepreneurs with early stage companies we provide:

  • Detailed and professional profile definition for changes in the C-Level and founding team
  • Professional pre-selection and pre-qualification of suitable candidates based on defined criteria
  • Sparring and analysis for optimal organizational architecture in preparation of scale-up phases
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Executive search for SME

Our team has been successfully placing leadership positions in the digital economy for over 10 years. Thus, i-potentials has a broad network of entrepreneurial candidates who trust our judgment.

Furthermore, a structured research is a standard feature in each search process, so the entire relevant market is thoroughly screened by our analysts.

Search methodology according to our excellence model

For each search mandate, we use our proprietary profile definition method, which has proven itself in placing top candidates in the digital context and for which we were awarded the German Excellence Prize in 2020 by the German Institute for Service Quality and the DUB Entrepreneur Magazine, among others.

Transparency in our search mandates

Transparent communication is the key to success in our search projects. That’s why we arrange weekly jour fixes with our clients, in which we jointly evaluate the status of the search based on current data from our project.

Our search process

1 Consulting & briefing (week 1-2)

  • Detailed briefing on site and definition of criteria along the i-potentials methodology
  • Profile analysis in regard to corporate strategy, organizational structure and market situation

 

2 Search setup (week 2-3)

  • Creation of the search strategy
  • Definition of the project plan for the search and creation of all relevant documents by our project team
  • Creation of the target company list and the position description

3 Market analysis (week 3-4)

  • Identification of all relevant candidates via target group-specific channels (research via Boolean search, network and multipliers)
  • Creation of the long and short list of relevant candidates

4 Contacting candidates (week 3-4)

  • Direct approach of relevant candidates by i-potentials with a focus on conversion

5 Candidate assessment by i-potentials (week 4-8)

  • Initial interviews by i-potentials
  • Personal second interviews by i-potentials to check the professional, personal and cultural fit
  • Presentation of all relevant candidates with detailed dossiers

6 Interviews for clients (week 5-10)

  • You get to know your top candidates in the personal interview rounds.
  • If required, participation and support of the interview process by i-potentials, incl. support of the process by tool kits, cases, etc.

7 Selection & contract negotiation (week 8-12)

  • Reference checks
  • Negotiation & communication support

Awards

  • German business magazine “WirtschaftsWoche” 2020: Top-graded Executive Search Consultancy
  • German Excellence Award 2020
  • Headhunter of the Year 2018 & 2019
  • HR Excellence Award 2018
  • German Magazine “Focus” 2020: Top Service Provider Executive Search
Client Overview

Companies that
work with us

Case projects

Placement examples

Co-CEO succession: KitchenStories

  • Position: Chief Operating Officer
  • Industry: Media | Apps
  • Phase: Scaling
  • Investor: B/S/H

 

 

"For our portfolio company KitchenStories, i-potentials took over the executive search for the successor of the co-management when Verena Hubertz left the company as founder. Right from the start, we were impressed by the strategic approach with which the search was set up and mapped out. In the quality of the process and the candidates presented, it has once again been shown that i-potentials are the experts in the market for entrepreneurial & digital C-level profiles."

Mario Pieper
Chief Digital Officer, B/S/H

Transformation in omnichannel retail: Mister Spex

  • Position: Chief Financial Office & Chief Human Resource Officer
  • Industry: Omnichannel Retail
  • Phase: Later-Stage-Growth

"i-potentials has been with us as a strategic recruitment and leadership mentor since we founded the company. They understand the phases we go through as a company and leadership team and are able to comprehend our strategic considerations in an entrepreneurial way. As a result, they can help us implement our next steps like no other executive search consultancy. The retail rollout, for example, required a C-level adjustment. Together with i-potentials, we were able to gain a strong CHRO and CFO."

Dirk Graber
Co-CEO & Founder, Mister Spex

Building digital: Sonova

  • Position: Managing Director Digital
  • Industry: E-Health | MedTech
  • Phase: Building a digital business model

"i-potentials provided us with absolute top candidates for our Managing Director Digital search and we are very happy about the result. Furthermore, the stringent process, the reliable communication as well as the interesting market insights convinced me completely. Gladly again!"

Andreas Schmidlechner
Managing Director, Sonova

Scaling: A-Z Gartenhaus

  • Besetzung: CEO (succession)
  • Industry: E-Commerce | Platform
  • Phase: Scaling the business
  • Investors: 3iGroup, Project A

"In preparation for the further growth and scaling of AZ Gartenhaus GmbH, we were looking for a CEO as part of a succession process. For the search, we as investors chose i-potentials because they not only showed their digital DNA, but also the necessary methodical know-how to be able to fill this important position professionally, personally and culturally with a lasting match."

Andreas Rainer
Managing Director, A-Z Gartenhaus

Glossary

Functions
Industries
Company phases
b

Boards

Boards exercise a control function in companies in various degrees. There is a difference between highly regulated supervisory board positions and the somewhat more informal advisory boards, with which organizations can bring additional expertise in-house. Non-executive boards are common in the Anglo-Saxon world.

c

CEO succession

The appointment of a CEO for a new phase of the company is a critical moment for the future readiness of an organization. We advise both mid-sized companies and founders on the appropriate succession in their digital context.

f

Finance Leadership (CFO)

Chief financial officers play a particularly critical role in digital constructs with investor participation. They ensure that controlling and accounting function properly and, as sparring partners for investors, prepare the groundwork for financing rounds – all the way to a successful exit.

m

Marketing Leadership (CMO)

In a digital world, chief marketing officers are the architects of the customer experience and the masterminds in the maze of ever new marketing channels, both online and offline. They are responsible for the brand experience and always have an eye on the optimal customer journey.

o

Operations Leadership (COO)

Chief Operating Officers build the crucial processes and structures that enable a company to grow. The role is therefore particularly challenging in (hyper)growth phases. It is usually strongly linked to the topic of supply chain management.

s

Sales Leadership (CSO)

Chief Sales Officers are a crucial appointment to leverage revenue growth, especially in B2B business models. The timing of the appointment is particularly important here, as the role is usually held by the CEO himself during the initial growth phase.

t

Technology Leadership (CTO)

Chief Technology Officers play a key role in the digital age, as they are responsible for the entire information technology infrastructure and the continuous development of the tech stack in an organization.