First Fifteen

Working hard to help you
get your best team on the pitch.


First Fifteen Executive Search & Development was founded by Kees Schmalz in 2022. After a 20-year industrial career in various global and regional business management roles, he decided to specialize in his one true passion: people and team development.

First Fifteen has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be successful in the chemicals, paints & coatings, and printing & packaging industries. With that expertise, we support mid to large-sized companies with candidate search and recruitment for general, commercial, and operations management roles. Having been through these mid to senior executive roles ourselves, we know the difference between action and words.

The executive development program of First Fifteen is aimed to support clients and candidates during their extended onboarding phase. As we have repeatedly experienced ourselves, the foundation for any successful tenure is established in the first hundred days.

Located in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, we effectively help clients that have a significant presence in Europe.


The definition of “First Fifteen” is the best starting team of any rugby club, consisting of fifteen of its best players. Each player will have been selected based on his or her individual rugby talents and skills, as well as their ability to contribute to the team.

Each of the fifteen unique positions in a rugby team requires different types of players with different skills and responsibilities during the game. However, in order to win, they will have to work together to get the ball across the line.

Our passion is to identify, select and develop critical talent for the variety of roles that you must fill in your company. This will be accomplished by a 24/7 drive, a playing-to-win mentality and candidly communicating regarding progress, success, and failure.

Let us help you in getting your first fifteen on the pitch.

rugby team


Why choose us? 

We will deliver faster, better and longer lasting due to our unique service proposition.

Deep industry knowledge

Senior management experience

Executive onboarding support


Please visit our LinkedIn page for recommendations from colleagues and clients.
The golden thread of these stories is summarized below.

“A keen eye for personal development.”
“Strong interpersonal skills.”
“Reliable and trustworthy.”
“Great person to work with.”
“A true team player.”


Are you looking for a new challenge, or do you have an open position in your organization for which you are seeking top talent? 

Reach out to us via phone or leave a message with your details on LinkedIn and we will reach out to you.