We are recruiting for a number of very interesting senior and junior Oxford-based research and event roles, and a chief of staff and director of BD.

Please scroll down for a full list, summary of each role, how to apply and how the recruitment process will work; and for our expansion plans in 2019.

In response to our existing and new (x5) blue-chip sponsors wanting to do more this year, we have embarked on a big recruitment drive. 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.

For some of the roles, we are happy to consider recent ambitious graduates, provided they have a keen interest and knowledge of business and/or relevant paid work/internship experience, or a degree in relevant subjects such as management, economics or finance (minimum 2.1, preferably from Russell Group or international equivalent).

Current vacancies

We have the following opportunities

Head/Senior manager of BD - £45k to £75k (OTE up to c£100k)

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for a talented and ambitious B2B business development professional, with proven experience of successfully selling high-value services to senior board-level clients, to help research, identify and secure new blue-chip corporate sponsors for our established programmes focusing on the UK’s top private companies.

Candidates need at least five years’ proven experience in consultative B2B, selling big ticket services (our sponsorship packages range from £65k-£245k+ p.a.); with an interest in, and knowledge of, the UK’s top-performing private companies and the directors who run and own them.

This role has a high base salary of up to £75,000 p.a. to reflect the consultative and research-based nature of BD sales at Fast Track, with the opportunity for OTE of up to c£100k in the first year with commission – see full job spec for an illustrative example and more details.

The role & responsibilities

  • Conduct targeted prospecting and smart, detailed research into relevant potential sponsors, to secure meetings with senior decision-makers; prepare for and participate in these sales meetings, and provide detailed follow-up, creating intelligent, insight-led tailored proposals
  • Work closely with our research team to help identify alumni companies with strong links to potential sponsors; proactively attend both competitor and industry events; and help generate leads via our website & social media
  • Continuously improve our marketing to help generate leads and sales materials, and work with our research and design team to regularly improve our sponsorship proposals
  • Our sponsors include: Virgin (all 22 yrs); HSBC, Lloyds, PwC and UBS Wealth Management (15+ yrs); Barclays, BDO, Hiscox, Grant Thornton and Virgin Atlantic (10+ yrs); BGF, BMW and Linklaters (5+ yrs); DHL and N+1 Singer (3 yrs); and Oracle Netsuite and Santander (1 yr)

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

Chief of staff - £45k to £75k+

We are looking to recruit an important new role of chief of staff to support both the founder & CEO and the small senior management team as the company continues to expand doing more for existing sponsors, taking on new sponsors and recruiting for at least six new roles.

Candidates could either be a relatively young, bright, ambitious graduate with previous chief of staff experience at a fast-growth company where they made a demonstrable contribution; or a more experienced person with equally reliable skills and a strong service and problem-solving orientation. They must also have up-to-date knowledge and hands on practical experience of implementing cultural change.


The role & responsibilities

  • As part of the senior management team, support the founder and CEO, acting as his deputy for internal projects, and working closely with his EA who works part-time and remotely; and accompanying the CEO to some external meetings, to help following-up agreed actions
  • Provide internal support to other members of the senior management team, most notably the director of editorial, director of research and director/head of events helping them implement changes and improvements
  • Create a more vibrant approach to HR, nurturing and rewarding a culture of continuous improvement; help improve productivity and job satisfaction with internal and external training; and help to make the company an interesting and fun place to work
  • Drive important internal projects such as refurbishing our characterful offices, and conducting a feasibility study and implementing a new database


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

Director/Head of events & client services - £65k to £95k

Oxford-based Fast Track is hiring a key member of our senior management team to be responsible for delivering our established annual programme of 30+ highly-regarded invitation-only networking events for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and private companies featured on our league tables, published in association with The Sunday Times; and will be involved in the strategic development of the business.

The ideal candidate need not necessarily come from a pure events background, and should be a graduate with a minimum of 5 to 10 years’ relevant experience. They could come from a variety of backgrounds including: organisations focusing on HNW individuals; business networking or membership-based events; PR investor relations; and corporate broking or wealth management.


The role & responsibilities

  • Event management: ensure our events continue to stand out in a crowded market place, particularly in terms of the quality of guests and speakers, and have responsibility for our delivery of our annual event programme
  • Leadership: manage and motivate a six-person events team, getting involved at a detailed operational level with delivery and development of our events
  • Speaker management and VIP schmoozing: help manage the speaker invitation process (c40 a year predominantly from our network) working together with them to write speaker bios and detailed briefs; and help look after/schmooze VIPs on the night
  • Delivery to sponsors: account handle and service our blue-chip sponsors
  • Curating guest info: produce tailored invitee lists and relevant guest info
  • Supplier management: build on our existing event supplier relationships, particularly our AV and filming contractors, working together with them to ensure their output is constantly improving
  • Other: help with new business development, marketing and social media


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

Senior business events & client services manager - £34k to £40k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for two smart, detail-orientated people to join our busy B2B events team which organises invitation-only networking events for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and private companies featured on our league tables published in association with The Sunday Times. Our 30+ awards events and bespoke alumni dinners are for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs to meet each other, and to meet and do business with our sponsors.

This role would suit a bright graduate, with at least three years’ relevant business events or equivalent experience; and/or project management experience, ideally within the B2B space, financial services, headhunting or dealing with HNW individuals; and with an interest in entrepreneurs and private business.


The role & responsibilities

  • Project-manage and ‘own’ a selection of our 30+ networking events per year, including at least two of our six national awards dinners (attended by 200-350 directors and sponsors), as well as a number of high-quality, smaller bespoke alumni dinners (20-40 entrepreneurs). This involves:
  • managing the invite process to secure attendance (free of charge) of busy entrepreneurs
  • preparing detailed information on companies and directors to help our sponsors choose who to invite
  • creating targeted seating plans based on sponsors’ requests, using judgment for last minute changes
  • Help account handle our all-important blue-chip sponsors at an operational and senior level
  • Work as part of a small team, helping others with projects as required and attend the majority of our events, which are mainly held in London, and never on weekends


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

Business events & guests manager - £28k to £32k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for two smart, detail-oriented people to join our B2B events team, which organises invitation-only national awards events and bespoke alumni dinners for the UK’s top entrepreneurs and private companies, as featured in our annual rankings in The Sunday Times.

This role would suit a bright graduate with one to three years’ relevant events experience or equivalent including at university and/or paid internships; and with project management experience, ideally within the B2B space; and with an interest in entrepreneurs.


The role & responsibilities

  • Project manage and ‘own’ a selection of our annual 30+ networking events, including at least one national awards event (attended by 200-350 directors and sponsors), as well as a number of smaller, bespoke alumni dinners (20-40 entrepreneurs)
  • Help account handle our all-important blue-chip sponsors at an operational level
  • Work as part of a small team, helping others with projects as required and attend the majority of our events, which are mainly held in London; and not at weekends


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

Deputy head/Senior manager of editorial & writer - £42k to £50k+

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for a talented content editor and writer interested in working in a small, fast-paced research company to research, write about and build credible relationships with the UK’s top entrepreneurs and our sponsors. You will join as a senior member of our 15-strong research and editorial team.

It would suit a bright graduate with at least four years’ relevant business writing and research experience; some of which could have been gained at university on a relevant course and/or paid-internship.

This is an expanded role due to our increased research, writing and editorial needs, after gaining new sponsors such as Santander and Oracle Netsuite, and the requirement for extra deliverables for our existing sponsors, ranging from researching and writing sponsor articles and company profiles in our seven annual supplements in The Sunday Times to keynote speaker profiles and content for our social media.


The role & responsibilities

  • Editorial: support and cover for our editorial director in his absence across our extensive written output, and also help provide strategic input on the editorial direction and content of our multiple outputs
  • Content: conduct telephone and face-to-face interviews with the founders and directors of private companies to write succinct company profiles, as well as for written and video case studies for our sponsors
  • Knowledge of business: preferably of private companies and entrepreneurs in the UK, and a good knowledge of company accounts and relevant financials
  • Account handling: help service our blue-chip sponsors, and prepare for, attend and follow-up on sponsor editorial meetings and awards judging meetings
  • Learning culture: experience managing people; and help drive our learning culture of continuous improvement


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

Senior tech researcher & project manager - £36k to £40k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for an experienced and talented project manager with a strong research interest and knowledge of tech companies in the UK; and good people management skills.

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 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, our Tech Track 100, Ones to Watch and new Disruptors to Watch; and potentially another of our seven annual league tables 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 tech 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 both an operational and senior level
  • Social media: Help conceive and write content for our tech related social media


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

Business researcher & writer - £28k to £32k

Oxford-based Fast Track is recruiting two researchers who can help us find the next BrewDog, Depop, and Fever-Tree. The role involves identifying Britain’s fastest-growing private companies, interviewing the entrepreneurs behind them and writing their company profile to be published in one of our seven annual league table supplements in The Sunday Times.

Candidates will be bright graduates with recent experience ideally gained from one of the following: their course and/or paid internships, research experience in financial journalism, PR or in a professional services firm; experience writing for corporate clients; accountancy and customer account handling.

Good attention to detail is essential; knowledge of financial accounts and Microsoft packages including Access would be an advantage.

The role & responsibilities

  • Research & analysis: identify and research private companies for our league tables of Britain’s top performing private companies, ranging from the fastest-growing to the biggest
  • Business intelligence & data capturing:  use online and database sources to identify growing companies; and diligently capture company financials on our database
  • Interviewing: conduct interviews with founders and entrepreneurs via telephone or face-to-face on company visits
  • Writing: help produce our extensive written content, including company profiles to be published in The Sunday Times, profiles of guests at our networking dinners and our social media.


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

Project coordinator & research visit organiser - £28k to £32k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for two highly organised and effective research administrators to arrange 350 research visits a year to companies shortlisted for our league tables and awards published in The Sunday Times; which would suit a bright graduate with opportunities for promotion.


The role & responsibilities

  • Coordinate and secure the meetings between company directors, senior representatives from our blue-chip sponsors, such as Barclays and BDO, and a Fast Track researcher
  • Communicate effectively, by phone and email, with busy entrepreneurs, senior directors and their PAs from Britain’s top private companies from the fastest-growing tech firms to the biggest private companies
  • Manage and train our eight freelance researchers
  • Provide ad hoc general administrative and research support to the research and events teams, including working at up to six of our national awards dinners.


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

Part-time freelancers & company interviewers - £100 to £125 per day & £250 per interview

Part-time freelance researchers: £100-£250 per day

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking to expand its group of high-quality eight freelance researchers – many of whom have worked for Fast Track for over ten years – due to an increase in work from existing and new sponsors.

All candidates will need to be graduates with excellent verbal and written communication skills, some familiarity with company accounts and financials, and meticulous attention to detail.


Part-time office-based work £100-£125 per day

We are looking for part-time freelancers to work in our offices in St Clements, Central Oxford on various ad hoc projects, ranging from one to six week projects to a regular one or two days per week in the office.


Part-time company visit interviewers: £250 per day + travel expenses

Fast Track conducts around 350 company research visits a year which it organises for one of our senior sponsor representatives to attend along with a Fast Track researcher. This important role involves face-to-face meetings with the founders or directors of the UK’s top private companies in order to shortlist them for one of our league tables and for assessing them for one of our awards.


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, in confidence, with your max. two-page application letter for a senior role and one pager for a junior role; including where you saw the vacancy, your current and expected remuneration, notice period; and a copy of your CV.


Background to 2019 recruitment


Expanding 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, who are interested in winning new business with them. 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 the Business Growth Fund (more than five years). Many existing sponsors are asking us to do even more this year, as are our four new sponsors Santander, Oracle Netsuite, Virgin Atlantic and two new sponsors (TBA). We need to recruit a new head/senior manager of business development to help identify and secure additional sponsors, particularly amongst lawyers, IT and software products.


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

We punch above our weight for a small company of 25 people based in Oxford, where the company was founded by our CEO, Hamish Stevenson, who completed his masters and doctorate in management studies 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 25 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 14 new full-time roles; replacing six staff that have recently left/are leaving, and up to seven new roles. We are also interested in using this opportunity to add to our eight, high-quality, part-time freelance researchers, for both office-based work and to interview entrepreneurs at company research visits across the UK.

This expansion of the team will require increased management demands, which will be addressed by the recruitment for a new role of chief of staff, to support the CEO and our small senior management team, ranging from helping to nurture our company culture of continuous improvement and helping with HR, to being responsible for delivering projects such as revamping of our offices and our crucial proprietary database.


Benefits of working for a small company

Our office is in an attractive Grade II listed converted school and chapel — Oxford’s first Catholic church after the Reformation. 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. All staff are given the opportunity to take an extra 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 to accompany Richard Branson on “wake up” trips to South Africa, or to compete with him on the biennial Virgin Strive Challenges which last year was participated in by 26 Fast Track entrepreneurs, including our own founder, Hamish Stevenson.

As a thank you 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, we aim for all the team to leave the office one-and-a-half hours early most Fridays, provided we are on top of publication and awards event deadlines. This early leaving is a form of time-off-in-lieu (TOIL) with additional time off for hours worked over-and-above this, reconciled on a half-yearly basis.

Once staff have worked for the company for more than five years, they are eligible for additional benefits, including: an extra day’s holiday (on top of their standard 25 days); the option to take a three-month unpaid sabbatical if they wish; and, post-maternity leave, a return-to-work bonus after three months. All staff are offered some flexible work arrangements where possible, including flexible office hours between 8am and 6pm.


The need for additional skills in event-led account handling, event management, VIP liaison and guest handling

In 2019 we are recruiting a new director/head of events to help deliver at least nine additional alumni dinners (c.20-40 guests), bringing the total number of our invitation-only events this year to over 30, including our nine national awards dinners (c.250-350 guests). These new events include networking dinners for UHNW founders from our alumni companies, and a series of dinners for women entrepreneur alumni, following our success last year of an all-woman line-up of seven top female entrepreneurs at our flagship Fast Track 100 awards event.

These events will also require the events team to manage extra input from across the company, for example, from our business researchers & writers to identify the right invitees, to research and write guest and speaker bios, and general guest and event management running up to, and on the night of, the event. In addition to junior and senior business events & guests managers, we also need more senior account handling skills, both at the operational and senior client level.

Event manager candidates do not necessarily need to come from a pure event background, rather we are looking for talented people who have experience and interest in working with HNW individuals and VIPs, coupled with guest handling and a high-level service orientation.  As well as front of house skills, event managers must also enjoy managing the guest invitation process and have the attention to detail for drawing up crucial, detailed seating plans, ensuring our sponsors and VIPs sit next to their key prospects based on their requests; and ideally also have some understanding of company financials in order to make informed judgement on seating plans.


Research, writing & editorial skills for our Sunday Times supplement and social media

We are seeking two project coordinator & research visit organisers to meet our sponsor requests for conducting more than approximately 350 research company visits each year; and two business researchers & writers to interview the founders and CEOs in order to short-list them for our seven annual league table supplements in The Sunday Times, and to assess them for our awards. We also need a senior researcher & project manager with the knowledge about tech companies to manage our 18th annual Tech Track 100; and to help with our Tech Track Ones to Watch and our new Fast Track Disruptors to Watch. They will research the relevant information to help our judges to assess tech companies for our various awards, and to conduct a big new survey for one of our new sponsors.

We need the expanded role of deputy head/senior manager of editorial & writer to help with the increased number of articles written in The Sunday Times on behalf of our sponsors, as well as to write our news blog on our website, now produced once or twice a week. We would also like some of our new recruits to have an interest and knowledge of social media to help improve both our company LinkedIn posts and those of our founder; to further develop our multiple Twitter accounts; and to kick-start our nascent Instagram account.


How the recruitment process will work

  • Telephone interviews: all applications will be reviewed, and relevant candidates will first be telephone-interviewed by a member of the team
  • Assessment for second round: after the telephone interview, some short-listed candidates may be asked to send a sample of their work and/or undertake an online skills assessment, before we potentially 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 multiple dates between Tuesday 15 January and Wednesday 27 February, to accommodate as many candidates as possible.
    These interview evenings typically last from 5pm to 8pm, and will comprise 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 a number of written skills-based exercises (no preparation needed) and a short individual one-to-one interview. (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.