Careers

Having successfully filled a number of positions, we are still recruiting for several key roles.

Please scroll down for details of each role, how to apply and how the recruitment process will work. See also details of our expansion plans in 2019, and on Fast Track past staff’s subsequent careers…

In response to our existing and new (x5) blue-chip sponsors wanting to do more this year, we are looking to hire talented people to help deliver our expanded research and events activities focusing on Britain’s top-performing private companies and entrepreneurs.

We are looking for exceptional candidates with meticulous attention to detail, an eagerness to learn, and an interest in entrepreneurs and the financial performance of private companies. It is equally important that they embrace our culture of continuous improvement, can multi-task, have a strong client service orientation; and are attracted to working for an entrepreneurial company in central Oxford.

Current vacancies

We have the following opportunities

EA to founder & CEO - £40k to £50k

We are looking to recruit an intelligent and pro-active executive assistant, to support our founder & CEO, and also to provide important business development support for our CEO and our director of editorial.

Candidates will have previous senior executive support experience, ideally at a fast-growth company, and have a keen attention to detail, with a strong service and problem-solving orientation. You need not be a career EA, but the right candidate will have the right attributes and transferable skills to juggle the varied aspects of this pivotal role.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Executive support & meeting preparation: support our exacting founder & CEO in all aspects of his working life as his ‘right-hand person’; working alongside the office manager, help manage the company diary; help co-ordinate meetings for the CEO; ensure he is fully prepared with relevant information packs for all meetings and help him to follow-up agreed action points, including editing important detailed proposals and contracts
  • Sponsorship & BD support: quickly learn how the business operates and develop the ability to anticipate what is required to support the account handling of our most important blue-chip sponsors, and to help target new sponsor prospects; support the CEO and our director of editorial with BD support, helping them to research potential new sponsors and drafting/editing emails or proposals for them
  • Office & people management: help support our excellent office manager, providing holiday cover when required; build a strong internal network, ensuring relevant information is shared amongst the teams, and deal with or flag any issues to the CEO when required
  • Other: as part of the team, work at up to six of our national awards dinners each year and other ad hoc projects

 

Click here to download a full job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

Senior researcher and project manager - £40k+

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for an experienced project manager with a strong research interest and knowledge of private UK companies; and an ability to analyse private-company accounts

The role would suit a bright graduate with at least three years’ relevant company research and excellent project management experience; and ideally some accountancy training and/or qualification and good writing experience.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Project management: lead, manage and help conduct the research and publication, to tight deadlines and with meticulous attention to detail, of one or two of our seven annual league tables or Ones to Watch programmes in The Sunday Times
  • Research & analysis: identify, research and analyse companies’ financials; and interview entrepreneurs either on the phone or face-to-face at company visits
  • Networking dinners: work closely with our events team to secure entrepreneurs’ attendance at some of our 30+ annual invitation-only networking dinners; and help at up to 8 dinners a year
  • Account handling: help service our blue-chip sponsors at an operational level

 

Click here to download a full two-page job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

How to apply

Please email jobs@fasttrack.co.uk, in confidence, with your application letter (max. two-page for a senior role & one-page for a junior role); including where you saw the vacancy, your current and expected remuneration, notice period; and a copy of your CV.

 

How the recruitment process will work

  • Online assessment: all applications will be reviewed, and selected candidates will be asked to complete one-hour online exercises.
  • Telephone interviews: after the online exercises have been reviewed, shortlisted candidates will be telephone-interviewed by a member of the team, to assess whether to invite you to one of our second-round interview evenings at Fast Track’s offices in St Clements, Oxford.
  • Interview evening: we will aim to hold a number of dates to accommodate as many candidates as possible. These interview evenings typically last from 5pm to 8pm, and will include candidates from across the roles.
    We will start with a presentation about the company and the different roles, then candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions.
    This will be followed by one short written skills-based exercise (no preparation needed), a short individual interview, and a more informal chat with senior members of our team.  (Note: these are not group interviews or tasks, merely a more efficient way for us to manage the time of our senior management team as we are recruiting for multiple roles).
  • Follow-up final round interviews: all final-stage candidates for the more senior roles, and any other candidates where necessary, will be invited back for a final round of in-depth interviews, including with other members of the team.

Background to 2019 recruitment

Expanding on our 22-year track record 

For the past 22 years, Fast Track has been researching and ranking Britain’s top-performing private companies in The Sunday Times from the fastest-growing to the biggest; and organising and hosting invitation-only networking events for their entrepreneurial founders and senior directors (who attend free-of-charge) to meet each other and our blue-chip sponsors. The quality of our research and events are highly regarded by our sponsors, entrepreneurs and The Sunday Times and it is essential this goodwill amongst our important stakeholders is constantly nurtured and developed by our service-oriented team.

We have worked closely with half of our 20 blue-chip sponsors for more than 10 years, ranging from Virgin (22 years), PwC and HSBC (more than 15 years), and more recently Linklaters and BGF (more than five years). Many existing sponsors are asking us to do even more this year, as are our five new sponsors Santander, Oracle Netsuite, Virgin Atlantic, Charles Russell Speechlys and The Office Group (TOG).

Punching above our weight, with an excellent team spirit and the need to recruit

We punch above our weight for a small company of c. 30 people based in Oxford, where the company was founded by our CEO, Hamish Stevenson, who completed his masters and doctorate in management studies at Green Templeton College and was later appointed a research fellow in entrepreneurship. When starting Fast Track, he persuaded Richard Branson and Virgin to become our first sponsor, and secured The Sunday Times as a media partner. These close relationships continue today and need to be handled at a senior level with helpful, relevant team support from across the company.

All of our c. 30 staff are graduates from a cross-section of universities in the UK and abroad, including eight from Oxbridge – as are four of our eight freelance researchers. Our team come from a variety of backgrounds, including: finance; accounting; venture capital; law; journalism; corporate communications; and B2B event management.

There is a good team spirit with everyone working together. For example, the research team help at a number of our large national award events; and staff from across the teams rotate on our newly-formed social media focus group, to provide constructive feedback and see their suggested improvements quickly actioned on our various platforms.

Our sponsors’ recent requests for increased activities require us to recruit several new full-time roles; replacing some staff that have recently left, and a number of new roles.

 

Training & development of our staff

The company places a high priority on internal and external training and development of our staff.

We aim to provide all staff with a minimum of half a day’s internal training each month. In addition, all staff are offered a minimum of three days’ external training a year on a course identified and selected by them; and all heads and director-level staff are offered five days a year external training of their choice.

 

Benefits of working for a small company

Our office is in an attractive Grade II listed converted school and chapel. There is a very informal culture of jeans and t-shirts, unless attending a client meeting or event, but ties are never obligatory. We have badminton club on Thursday lunchtimes; an occasional running club on Tuesdays; and company drinks on the last Friday of each month. The company is also happy to foot the bill for any activity in which five or more staff participate, ranging from a team dinner to the Oxford half-marathon.

We aim for staff to leave the office one-and-a-half hours early most Fridays, provided they are on top of their research publication and awards event deadlines. This is to compensate for late nights at events (which are never held over weekends), early morning starts for sponsor meetings in London, or travel to company research visits around the UK. This early leaving is a form of time-off-in-lieu (TOIL) with additional time off given for hours worked over-and-above this, reconciled on a half-yearly basis. All staff are offered some flexible work arrangements where possible, including flexible office hours from the normal 9am to 6pm i.e. 8am to 5pm.

In addition to 25 days paid holiday, all staff are also given the opportunity to take an extra paid day’s holiday for a “wellbeing day” to participate in a charitable event of their choice, towards which Fast Track contributes £100 for each employee. In addition, Fast Track has raised over £4m from our network of entrepreneurs for Virgin’s Unite and Big Change charities, through various auctions at our flagship Fast Track 100 awards dinner.

Once staff have worked for the company for more than five years, they are eligible for additional benefits, including: an extra paid day’s holiday; the option to take a three-month unpaid sabbatical if they wish; and, post-maternity leave, a return-to-work bonus after three months.

 

Track record of past full-time staff & freelancers/interns

Many past Fast Track full-time staff, freelancers and interns have gone on to successful and varied jobs, ranging from VC/PE to academia.

Past full-time staff have gone on to become:

  • CEO of Catapult Ventures (LSE grad; formerly tech research manager at Fast Track)
  • Head of equity research at Charles Stanley (DPhil in Psychology, formerly at Ipsos; research manager)
  • Partner at Apiary Capital (DPhil in Geography; research manager)
  • Senior commercial finance manager at Sophos (Cardiff Uni and formerly at Deloitte; research manager)
  • MD of Monument Group, the private fund placement agent (Economics & Management at Oxford; researcher)
  • Senior director, Tableau Software (University of Edinburgh; research manager)

Some past freelancers and summer interns have had very successful careers, including as: managing partner at Graphite PE, principal at Exponent PE, associate at NorthZone VC, partners at McKinsey and BCG, business broadcaster with the BBC & Bloomberg, and literary editor at the Sydney Morning Herald.

A number have also become professors, including at Cambridge’s Judge Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Carnegie Mellon, and a fellow at Oxford University.