Senior Associate

  • Over 6 years of professional search experience. Working in partnership with the global reward and analytics community.

  • A passion for search and a dedication to knowledge building. I am genuinely interested in the reward & analytics sector and expanding my network through strong relationships.

  • A transparent and values led approach. I pride myself on having a personally high standard of open communication and ethics.


The past 5 years of my 8-year career in search and recruitment has been spent at Oakleaf Partnership, where initially I partnered with a wide network of financial services organisations appointing Senior HR professionals. I moved over to support our executive practice at the end of 2019, in particular our growing New York office, to work alongside our New York Partner Jamie Newton. Since 2020 I have purely specialised in hiring aspiring talent in the fields of Compensation, Benefits, and HR Operations within the New York Tri State area. I work on mandates with base salaries between $120,000 - $180,000 and work solely on a retained or exclusive contingent basis.

At University I studied English Literature and Journalism which encouraged my curiosity about people. This translates now in my interest for understanding the drivers and motivations of passionate and successful professionals and organisations. Compensation & Benefits has been a highly contentious and commented upon profession for over a decade now and I have enjoyed developing a deep technical understanding of the industry whilst watching it evolve in the media spotlight.

I am a classically trained musician and in my spare time attempt to uphold some level of ability. I also practice yoga and recently spent time combining this with my enthusiasm for travel during a sabbatical in Asia. I enjoy exploring different cultures and civilizations, and the variety of living in London which is juxtaposed with my love of nature.


"I’ve previously worked at PIMCO where we partnered with Oakleaf for our HR searches and as I had such a pleasant experience dealing with you on a business level I decided to reach out when I was looking for a new job myself. At the time I approached a few other HR recruitment agencies, however was disappointed as I felt no one that I spoke with really understood what I was aspiring for my next career step and quite frankly didn’t believe I could reach the goals that I have set out for myself.

Only when I spoke with Jessica (Phelan) this drastically changed as she truly saw the value that my profile could provide – it was because she was literally the only one that I spoke with who had such an extensive knowledge about the financial market so she was able to recognise what I could offer based on the places I worked before and the previous career progression I have had; as well as honouring all the transferable skills that I obtained in my 8 years of previous work experience and my international background etc. Additionally, she is absolutely one of the most pleasant and costumer orientated individuals that I have ever come across (and I interact with a lot of people).

She put me forward for the opportunity at Onyx and pitched for me in a way that they considered interviewing me even if “on paper” I didn’t tick all of the boxes that they set out for the role - it was to build up the HR function from scratch which I had no direct previous experience in.

Fast forward two years from then I am now Head of HR in a business that has grown from 22 to 51 employees since I joined and has been financially breaking all records of a fast growing and profitable company (expanding into other business etc.). I am still in touch with Jessica on a private level as she has always checked in with me, even when she took a career break travelling! I am looking forward to hopefully have an in-person catch up with her soon.

I really just wanted to take this opportunity and emphasise how much an individual can impact the reputation of a whole firm - I will always reach out to Oakleaf in the future when we will require assistance to expand our HR team and am recommending Jessica to all my private network when someone is looking for the best possible person to help them find their dream job.

Andreja Plahuta - Head of HR, Onyx Capital Group



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