I graduated from Manchester with an Economics degree and went on to The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for Young Officer training. I spent the next 8 years serving in the Infantry with the Royal Anglian Regiment, which included two operational tours of duty. After the Army, I spent the next 9 years’ working for Michael Page and was a joint founder of their HR recruitment business in 2000. I left to launch Oakleaf Partnership in 2005. I wanted a business that reflected not only the customers we serve, but also one that embodied my own values and I firmly believe that we have achieved that ambition.
I have run two marathons (in 1996 and 2005) raising over £7,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer but it’s now time to spend a bit more time playing (bad) golf. I enjoy all sports, particularly rugby, and reading military history and biographies. Free fall parachuting and motorbikes were my passion when I was younger but I have recently taken up clay shooting – great fun and no one shoots back at you!
CEO Richard Colgan reviews the latest market trends in the HR sector...
Some great insights
Oakleaf Partnership is a Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Company to work for, gaining 20th place in the rankings
We have used Oakleaf for a number of roles and they have delivered excellent candidates. Their knowledge of the HR market is thorough and they seem to build a great rapport with candidates.
Jim Richardson - Santander UK
Having worked with Oakleaf over a number of years, both as a client and a candidate, I can say that their advice and knowledge of the HR profession and the marketplace has given us confidence in the solutions, support and ultimately the candidates they offer. Candidate experience has been exemplary with careful matching of candidate to organisation and support offered once in post. From a company perspective, insightful questioning and probing alongside their extensive market database enables successful and confident hiring.
Charlotte Sword - Partner, Global Head of Human Resources
Oakleaf have always been an outstanding HR recruitment consultancy. They clearly understand what the difference is between general HR skills and being a credible, commercial HR partner plus how good HR people can add real value to an organisation. I always recommend them to candidates and companies I have worked for.
Amita Sandhu, Senior Talent Partner: EMEA at AIG
Richard is a true business partner and is my first point of contact for recruitment of key HR roles, in every speciality. It is my pleasure to recommend him on linked-in. He has excellent knowledge of our organisation and a deep understanding of the market, hallmarked by his consistent and swift delivery of outstanding candidates with relevant experience and strong cultural organisational fit. Richard has high integrity, is proactive and reliable and delivers great results for our organisation. He is personable and a pleasure to work with, building strong relationships with clients and candidates at every level.
Clair Carpenter - BUPA
I have worked with Richard both as a client (when I was looking for my next HR career move) and am currently working with him to source an HR professional for my team. Richard is extremely personable, professional and proficient at what he does. He listens and really knows his subject matter as well as having broader business skills. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard to anyone who wants to hire within the HR arena - he has excellent market intelligence and is a pleasure to work with
Uma Cresswell, Senior HRM - ANZ Bank
I have worked with Richard over the past ten years both at Michael Page and since he started his own business, Oakleaf. One of Richard's key attributes is his direct and open approach and his honest analysis of any given assignment. He is clearly in touch with the market and provides access to high calibre candidates that are consistently right for the assignment that he has been given. From a candidates point of view you will get direct and honest assessment of your own suitability for a role or a company culture.
David Peach - Head of HR - NYSE Euronext
Oakleaf really understand our business needs and in working in partnership with them, I have been delighted with the quality and calibre of the talent that they have found for me. The passion and professionalism that the team at Oakleaf possess is reflected in those people that I have met and hired. A true testament to the quality and standards that Oakleaf not strife for, but sustain at all times.
Anita Mattison, HR Director
Richard has incredible drive to deliver results balanced with an appreciation of the issues surrounding making sound career moves, both from a candidate and employer perspective.
Sarah Malone, Head of Reward & Performance - Integrated Supply & Trading, BP plc
During the time I have known Richard I have come to completely trust his honest guidance re my career. Richard is smart, commercial and honest. He listens to you and then he uses his extensive network and delivers options for you. Richard cares, works hard and delivers. He is also great fun.
Sarah Clark, Head of Organisational Effectiveness - Lloyds Banking Group
Richard is a very credible and personable individual who's success is largely based on his personal networks and contacts - an essential requirement for all headhunters. As a source of information on the market, roles, or candidates, Richard is always ahead of the game
Steve Dyke - Head of Global Resourcing - Rolls Royce