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Meet our network: Waterfront interviews Max Curtis, partner at Oakwood Recruitment


We’ll start with an easy one…  when was Oakwood Recruitment established?

Oakwood Recruitment was founded by Oliver Vane in 2011.  I joined as a Partner in 2014 with the mandate of building out a TMT (mainly tech and media) practice.


What’s your elevator pitch?

We are a recruitment company that partners with our clients in the broadest sense.  Instead of being discipline focussed (like most recruiters out there) we focus on working with a smaller number of clients (all in the tech and media space) across all of their roles- from Business Development to Managing Directors.  We also provide strategic staffing assistance and hiring plans to mirror our clients growth strategies. Most of our clients fall into the startup/growth category and we have a track record of assisting companies launching in EMEA who are established elsewhere.


What is the one piece of advice that you would give to someone just about to go into business on their own?

Have a strong idea of what you’re planning to do in the longer term and don’t get too fixated on details in the short term.  Nothing ever plays out exactly how you plan it to so be prepared to pivot and be flexible along the way. Keep the end goal in mind.


What is the best business decision that you’ve ever made? 

It would have to be setting up in Business- there really is no better feeling than being your own boss.  There are definitely low points too, but that’s all part of the journey. (and it makes the good times more satisfying)


And the worst…?  (If you’re prepared to share!)

Wearing a suit to meet a new client last week (in 32degree heat).  He came down to reception in shorts and a t-shirt.


What changes have you seen in the tech sector over the past 12 months or so?

Things have continued to motor on at a ridiculous pace and we have seen the market become even more competitive from a staffing perspective.  Companies are now realising the value of current employees and doing everything they can to retain them.  We have seen a  huge rise in the amount of counter offers given to employees and a rise in employees accepting those offers.

We have also seen a rise in the number of corporate tech/media companies looking to attract “startup” candidates who are more entrepreneurial and less reliant on processes.


And finally, what are you going to do differently over the next 12 months?

We will look to build out our team and diversify our client portfolio with some bigger clients.  Our focus will always be startup/growth, but it definitely helps to have some larger clients in order to  drive consistent revenues.