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Executive Search Recruitment

For senior leadership roles, our meticulous executive search service will ensure you find the best suited health, safety, environment, or sustainability professional for your organisation.

​Recruiting senior leaders is not just about qualifications, nor about one key technical challenge. It is about the fusion of the technical and non-technical skills, and a proven track record of driving performance. Candidates with this mix are generally well looked after by their employers and it is unlikely they will be actively searching for a role. So, how do you reach them?

Our Executive Search service, studiously approaches the full candidate market to present opportunities to both active and non-active talent, ensuring the most suitable candidates are covered in the process.

Our Executive Search process

​To ensure candidates meet your expectations, it is essential that the market is fully mapped, all potential candidates identified and are then assessed for both technical and non-technical competencies. Below is an overview of how Irwin and Colton approach and execute a search.

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    Understand the role and company

    Ensuring a smooth and timely process, this will allow us to understand your needs and offer consultation based on the current candidate market condition.

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    Identify the candidate

    We will build a candidate market map, methodically working through all potential avenues for candidates suited to the position and your organisation.

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    Implement an agreed marketing plan

    Supplementary to our search process, we will develop a marketing plan to help create momentum and interest from the full market.

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    Approach suitable

    Once identified, we will sensitively approach suitable candidates to paint a picture of the opportunity and gauge interest.

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    Measure and screen the candidates

    Meeting with the candidates, we will fully screen candidates against the pre-agreed criteria to ensure they fit the role and organisation.

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    Manage the recruitment process

    Strong project management is key to a successful search process. We provide regular updates and insight, interview management, and offer presentation.

Why us?

Experience you can trust

We focus only on health, safety, environment, and sustainability recruitment, providing us an unrivalled understanding of the industry. We are recognised for a quality, professional and personable service, and have a track record of placing leaders in senior positions. We stake our reputation on the candidates we place, their impact and longevity and have successfully made executive hires for a range of leading organisations across a broad range of industry sectors.

Some recent examples:

  • Garrett Motion - Global HSE Director

  • Ted Baker - Head of Health & Safety

  • Unite Students - Interim Safety Director

  • The University of Nottingham - Director of Health & Safety

  • CBRE - Divisional QHSE Director

  • Renewi Plc - European SHEQ Director

  • Helios Towers - Group Head of HSEQ

  • Bellway - Group Head of Sustainability

  • Francis Crick Institute - Deputy Director of Safety

  • Dr Martens - Global Health & Safety Manager

  • Derwent London - Head of Health & Safety

  • University of Southampton - Director of Health & Safety

Specialist network

We have an unparalleled network of high-calibre HSE and sustainability professionals. We work hard to build good relationships and constantly work to develop a deeper understanding of the industries we recruit for.


We utilise best in class recruitment technology and systems to ensure our consultants are equipped with the latest tools and stay at the forefront.

Embedded in your sector

We collaborate with IOSH, British Safety Council, NEBOSH and other major corporates in sharing best practice, as well as producing our own series of Safety Bytes videos which share knowledge and insight from industry leaders.

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A case study of our work: Helios Towers

Where we started
Helios Towers were looking to recruit a Group Head of HSE and Quality with experience leading the SHEQ agenda across a diverse, multi-national environment with a particular focus on leading improvements across developing nations. Key to this role was leading behavioural change programs and striving for continuous improvement.

How we helped
Tasked with identifying an extremely niche skill set, the entire senior candidate market was mapped with suitable candidates approached and assessed against the pre-agreed criteria. The multinational interview process was managed through to successful outcome, with the candidate possessing extensive QHSE experience across the UK, Middle East and Africa.

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Other services

Permanent Recruitment

Our dedicated research team and industry specialist consultants will help you find the right candidates for your permanent roles.

Find out more

Contract & Interim

We offer a streamlined, efficient, and fully compliant process with access to a network of qualified and trusted professionals at short notice.

Find out more

Meet the team

Our directors and senior consultants work on our Executive Search assignments with the support of our wider research team.

Contact our team to discuss our
Executive Search service.