Dorset executive recruiter beating US rivals on their own turf

Andy Strong

A Dorset recruitment firm says it is beating US competitors in their own backyard despite being based thousands of miles away.

Oakstone International says it is reporting 400 per cent growth in US roles placed over the last two years.

The global software and fintech executive recruitment consultancy has a specialist division working exclusively on US hires from its offices in Poole.

This UK-based team of US expert recruiters secured 82 per cent of Oakstone’s US hires in the last 12 months.

Oakstone divisional director Andy Strong leads the team which works into the evening to deal with the time zone challenges.

He said: “It is hugely rewarding how much business we are winning and delivering in North America despite the fact that we are primarily based in the UK. We are delivering more roles in the US than ever before.

“The vast majority of our clients are North American-headquartered and we work with them on Europe-based projects, but it became apparent that they would also like to use us for internal US hires as well.

“Off the back of our delivery, having built trust in our quality, speed of work and results, we made it clear that we were as capable of hiring in the US as we are in Europe. Consequently we end up delivering for them domestically in the US too.”

Oakstone works for hi-tech businesses such as Introhive, Korn Ferry, Coupa, Simpplr and Pagerduty in the States.

The firm, which has US offices in Chicago and San Francisco and turns over $1 million in the US, maintains a remarkable 100 per cent delivery record on retained projects.

Andy said it remined unusual for UK recruiters to place US candidates in US roles – it is estimated that less than 10 per cent of recruitment companies in the UK are doing work in north America – and the vast majority of Oakstone’s business competition was US domestic firms.

He added: “Clients that know and trust us and are benefitting from the services we provide to them. We ultimately have an opportunity to show that more US software companies can be benefiting from that

“The objective we have now is to engage with US companies we don’t already deal with. We need to get the message out there that we can deliver for US software companies in the own back yard, as well as APAC and EMEA.

He said Oakstone had built a built a business model before Covid-19 that didn’t rely purely on ‘in person’ meetings and the firm has long been able to qualify candidates through phone and video whilst maintaining top results of global leading talent with zero churn within two years.

He added: “Since covid the need to meet face to face has diminished, not entirely, but the world has evolved and there are now no barriers – we can cover any part of the world.

“Our role is in identifying the right people, attracting them to the right roles for the right reasons and then qualifying the information that we need to ensure that the quality of our shortlists is where it needs to be – and that can all be done virtually and remotely from anywhere in the world.

“We have proven over time that it’s easier to scale a team of people here in the UK, that we train in-house and which conforms to all of the ethics and standards of service that Oakstone provides than it is to try and hire a similar team 4,000 miles away in the US.

“Therefore, us being creative in hiring here and being creative in terms of the working hours in order to deal with the time zones is the optimum model which we have tested over the last 10 years and is proving to work.

“Also, we take every single project as seriously as each other, regardless of whether it is a junior inside sale role or a chief revenue officer role and our proven methodology ensures that we deliver results every time, quickly. When you combine that formula with our industry and domain network knowledge and our specialist team then that is our USP.”


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