After graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Sociology, I gained my first recruitment role in a boutique secretarial agency as a permanent consultant. After three years of office support recruitment, I decided to take the next step and pursue a career in HR recruitment, where I then joined Oakleaf!
I recruit permanent roles for senior HR professionals across the Commerce and Industry division, focusing primarily on the Media, Technology, Fintech and Telecommunications sectors.
With a passion for travel, I try to visit as many new countries as possible each year, making the most of long weekends away. When I’m not at home spending time down the beach, I am exploring the London social scene, keeping fit or spending time with my sisters. I also run the charity and campaign ‘Driving with Grace’, which raises awareness of dangerous driving and money for victims of road accidents.
An interview with Natalie White, Head of People, by Emily Smoothy
It’s always about the people and culture, not the benefits – the joy from duvet days or late starts only really last for a certain amount of time
Senior Consultant Emily Smoothy reveals the main learning points from our latest charity sector networking breakfast...
Consultant Emily Smoothy reviews how to enhance talent attraction, retention and development within the Media & Technology sector...
Oakleaf are true experts in the HR market. They take a huge amount of time to understand their clients' needs, culture and their environment, ensuring that they always present relevant candidates that are a true fit for the roles they are working on. Few agencies consider all angles, and this sets Oakleaf apart from their competitors.
Hanna Neuborn - Head of Recruitment, Merkle
After signing up with a number of agencies, Oakleaf were the only one who I felt really invest in their candidates. Katie took the time to meet up so she understood me, and from this knew how I would fit into a business. Throughout the process, Katie kept me up to date and informed about suitable roles and the progress with them. Overall I am absolutely delighted having worked with Katie and would have no hesitation in recommending her as a recruiter to anyone looking for roles in the future.
Kavita Manku, Senior HR Advisor
Faye is incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about what she does, she invests time to understand the business she is recruiting for and importantly the candidates values, strengths and motivations. Faye is very professional and genuinely strives to match the right candidate with the right business!
Hayley Hassan - HR Director, White Stuff
Firstly I want to let you know that I have had some recent interaction with several agencies who in my opinion have made things more difficult for me while looking for a new role. They have not come back to me and I have really struggled to them at all which as you can imagine is incredibly frustrating. Emily has been completely different and has been really delightful to deal with through a stressful time for me. Emily contacted me about a role (that has subsequently been filled) however has maintained regular contact with me via emails and calls. She has been brilliant and with our regular catch ups she has not over exceeded my expectations at any point which the other agencies have done so. She has really made me feel like she cares about me and my situation and overall has made me not feel like another 'number'. I am not sure if you do any staff rewards or recommendation programmes but I would like to nominate Emily. I will make sure to use your recruitment agency in the future over anyone else.
Tina Faughnan - Learning and Development, Travelport
Oakleaf Partnership has played an instrumental role in enabling me to achieve my career goals. Working with Katie has been an entirely positive experience. From the outset, Katie has made it a priority to understand my current skill sets and strengths, while taking my career aspirations into consideration. Katie’s ability to thoroughly understand the nature of her clients business (e.g. their strategic priorities and company culture etc.) has meant that I have always been a position to make well informed decisions. All of the roles that Katie and the Oakleaf team have presented to me have been relevant. An additional benefit of working with Oakleaf is that I am now a member of their new Learning Academy, where I have been presented with a unique opportunity to learn from established HR professionals from world renowned organisations. I can only recommend Oakleaf strongly and I look forward to working with them in the future.
Stephanie Fadahunsi - HR Advisor, IBC
As a candidate, working with Faye has been a pleasure from start to finish. She ensured that we met face to face promptly after I had applied for one of her roles - I think this is essential so that she could recommend me personally to clients, but also essential in that it built a trusting relationship between the two of us. My CV was only sent forward for a role with my permission and when I did go for interview, Faye expertly briefed me on the client, the job and the expected interview process. At the end of the process, I was put under no excessive pressure at all the accept offers from her clients and it was clear that she had my best interests at heart. That is above and beyond for a recruitment consultant. It has been a pleasure working with Faye and now that I am in a position to be a client myself, I know exactly where to turn to fill my team's vacancies.
James Madeley - HR Director
Having been referred to Oakleaf by an old colleague and friend after a turbulent time in Oil and Gas, I was expecting a typical recruitment experience and some assistance whilst looking for my next role. Oakleaf is far from typical and provided the friendliest and most professional recruitment service I have ever come across. Initially I was looked after by Katie Rushforth (even though I met most of the team) and I genuinely felt that she listened to what I was looking for and then matched roles to me, taking the time to talk me through the role and where there might be compromises or benefits. What was refreshing was not being pestered to interview for a role which I knew wouldn’t be suitable, as I have been at other agencies. I think the structure of the partnership is fantastic and really comes across in terms of customer experience – a candidate happily shared is a happy candidate! The open and honest way of doing business is what sets Oakleaf apart – exemplified when I secured an MI analyst role with ICAP through Vikki Voysey and have since maintained excellent relationships with both Katie and Vikki. Additionally, I felt that both of them really went the ‘extra mile’ for me, both before, during and after getting my role. The ‘extra-curricular’ items, such as the Oakleaf Academy are well organised and insightful adding an edge to the company as well as an opportunity to continue networking. The service I received from Katie and the team at Oakleaf was exemplary
Ellen Da Costa - HR MI Analyst, ICAP
I’ve worked with Emily for just over a year spanning two separate companies. Having worked in agency and in-house recruitment for a number of years I know the importance of truly understanding a client’s culture and from the very early stages of our working together, it was clear Emily has a similar approach. She’s proven she will work hard to deliver where other consultancies have failed. Emily has played a key role in a number of our HQ hires over the last year and I look forward to continuing that relationship moving forwards.
Robin Kinley - Talent Manager, Lawyers on Demand