I graduated with a BA in History and Politics before entering the world of recruitment four days before my 21st birthday and a week before my graduation ceremony. Both my parents run separate recruitment businesses, so recruitment has been a part of my life since I was very young and something I knew I would do from an early age. I spent the next 10 years in HR recruitment working for three leading brands, working my way from contingent into retained mandates during this time. Post financial crises, reward was a growing area of importance and its profile was sky rocketing so back in 2012 I took the decision to specialise purely in this market. A chance meeting at a networking event led me to Oakleaf Partnership who offered me the opportunity to build out a Compensation & Benefits practice and I have never looked back. I spent five years personally specialising in delivering executive search assignments within the reward market both in the UK, whilst building a market leading team of 8.
In 2019 I was proud to open our New York office, bringing our niche offering stateside. In New York we are the only executive search practice to specialise in hiring Compensation, Benefits, and Total Rewards professionals. Arriving to support an underserved market has been a welcome breath of fresh air for many of our clients and candidates, and in spite of the pandemic the last two years have seen us grow our New York presence significantly, and now we are shortly set to expand further by opening up in Boston in 2021.
Jamie Newton, Partner at Oakleaf Partnership, looks at direct hiring and agency recruitment usage during a recession.
A notable trend is that the appetite to move roles at the senior end in reward remains very high.
"This will decimate the travel & hospitality industry and I don’t know if the government can shore this up quickly enough to prevent beloved brands from disappearing forever."
The frustration from both clients and candidates to identify the right compensation experience or right exposure to employee benefits, is becoming very evident to us.
Jamie has been exceptional throughout the process of my current move. From the initial approach, through the interview process, to the finalisation of the contractual details, he has been highly professional, demonstrated honesty and integrity at all times and remain constantly engaged. He balanced his relationship between client and candidate very well, which has not always been my experience when dealing with others in this field. He provided good background detail ahead of interviews, & was very supportive to me. I felt he went the extra mile for me throughout what has been a lengthy process, and I would not hesitate to recommend him to contacts within the industry, and I look forward to continuing to work with both Jamie & Oakleaf going forward in my new role.
Simon Constantine, Managing Director of Regional Compensation, Bank of New York Mellon
Jamie has been a great partner throughout the entire interview and hiring process. There are times when working in different time zones can be challenging but our partnership proves working globally works even during a pandemic.
During the challenging time the world is in, Jamie continued to stay present ensuring I was informed on where BNY Mellon was in the hiring process. This was a great comfort when wondering if the position was moving forward.
Jamie was professional in managing both his relationship with the client and me, as the candidate. I appreciate his honesty, insights and continued support. Jamie is very knowledgeable in the Rewards space and thoroughly prepared me during the interview and contract process. I would recommend Jamie and Oakleaf for anyone looking for the next step in their Rewards career.
Cindy Lukas, Global Head of Benefits, Bank of New York Mellon
This is the second time that I have worked with Oakleaf to fill a critical role and I felt that you partnered with me in a completely confidential and trustfully manner. Not only did you provide an excellent candidate list, but we worked with pace through a very slick process. The appointment was made within 3 months and I am delighted with the way my new hire has landed here at Virgin Media, impressing my CEO and Executive Committee with both technical and behavioural capabilities. Thank you Jamie for a great addition to my team.
Catherine Lynch - Chief People Officer, Virgin Media
Jamie recently led the search for a Group Head of Reward for us - this was my first senior appointment in my new role with Domestic & General. Jamie took time to understand the company, my brief and what the role really required in terms of culture and fit. Every candidate that I was presented with had the ability to do the role and in a tight Reward market this really impressed me. I ultimately hired a fantastic Reward professional and he is already making excellent progress. I felt Jamie took time to make sure he got me the right candidate slate, but that he also took care of the candidate experience, which was really important to me. I would recommend Jamie without hesitation and I am delighted with what he has achieved for Domestic & General.
Nick Ulycz - Group HR Director, Domestic & General
Jamie has been fantastic - tenacious, pro active and exceptionally thorough, he has done a great job for me.
Neil Gardner, Head of Performance and Reward, HSBC Global Private Banking
Jamie recently completed two key senior assignments in the Compensation team for us. I am always impressed with Jamie’s professionalism, and his ability to understand both the roles he is placing, and the organisational fit. Jamie can always be relied upon to source strong candidates across all levels and reward specialisms. His diligent approach mean that Jamie takes the time to discuss our needs as a client and what the key elements required are. In my view, this, along with his commitment to get the job done, makes Jamie stand out from the crowd in the reward recruitment area
Jamie stands out from the crowd in the reward recruitment area
His knowledge of the Reward market was impressive and his intrinsic understanding of the technicalities involved in my role reassuring. He helped identify the right role (for me) at a crucial stage of my career and I feel like I have really made a fantastic move to a great company with exciting prospects. Jamie guided me through the interview process, ensuring I was fully prepared at each stage, not only for the stakeholders I was meeting, but the underlying elements at play behind the interviewer; allowing me to deliver the best performance in each scenario. Finally, he was able to negotiate a significant increase in pay and successfully secured a buyout of forfeited bonus, all of which have a significant impact for me and my family. I would genuinely recommend Jamie to any Senior Reward professional considering their options or for an individual simply wanting insightful market information.
I have been impressed with Jamie Newton throughout the recruitment process and genuinely enjoyed working with him.
Jamie has demonstrated the best knowledge I have seen from a recruiter for understanding the specifics of roles and the dynamics of them. I found it refreshing that there was not a “hard sell” from Jamie to push candidates towards every role that comes to market, but instead a more targeted and refined approach to roles. He takes time to understand the skills and specifics of each individual, and this patience and longer-term view with candidates is a mature and undoubtedly successful approach. I also heard from my new employers that they were impressed with the organisation, professionalism, time and effort that Jamie applied to the search for the role that I filled last year.
Recently placed Head of Reward within Private Equity.
Jamie guided me through what was a difficult situation where I had a number of roles on the go all of which had appealing elements. I felt he retained a balanced position even though some of the roles were not through Oakleaf. I have already recommended Jamie to peers – that reflects how well he looked after me.
Head of Reward, Amlin.