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Ready to hire kickass people
for your tech startup?

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Akascia Home Background
find out more about AkasciaNext Page

Ready to hire kickass people
for your tech startup?

* Your report will be emailed, so please enter a valid address.

Akascia Home Background
find out more about AkasciaNext Page

About Us

We are an executive search firm focused on helping startup, VC funded, pre-IPO and otherwise plain-exciting technology companies hire awesome people in EMEA and APAC.

Our customers love working with us because we like to jump right in with them. We love working with them because they understand what we're trying to achieve. The result? We'll sweat, bleed and work tirelessly to help them find the perfect, kick-ass candidates.

Our people are the most important reasons why you will want to work with us. We haven't worked in blue-chip, corporate roles and we have an aversion to wearing suits but our way of doing business matches that of our clients.

Trust us, with nearly 30 years' experience recruiting for some of the most demanding technology companies, we got this. In the absence of hanging out in a cafe for a chat, find out more about Chris & Steve here.

Culture fit is paramount. You probably know this all too well and you'll be glad to hear we are experts at identifying people who have the character and key ingredients needed for working at disruptive and challenging startups.

Why? Because we are a disruptive, ambitious and challenging startup! You should also know that we have a low tolerance for all things average.

Akascia About Us Background
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Chris Sargent, Head of Europe and US. What rocks my world?

Follow Me: Follow Chris on TwitterChris' Linkedin Profile

Chris Sargent, Head of Europe and US

How long have you worked in search?
Since November 2000, right before the DotCom bubble burst!

What do you like most about your job?
I love running a business. The marketing, strategy, defining your niche, your customer and doing your best to win business in that niche and be seen as an expert; it's tremendously rewarding. The best thing about recruiting is being able to work with really inspiring and exciting companies and people.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time? I'm not sure what you mean? Well, I love snowboarding and windsurfing and in the breaks between I listen to plenty of music and play guitar. And web-design - it really helps keep my creative instinct satisfied. And cooking... anything that let's me be creative to be honest.

Favourite food?
Pizza! And other Italian food. I'm lucky enough to live in a place where are loads of great restaurants with different cuisines.

Favourite iPhone App?
Probably the 'Tune In' internet radio app, I have it on most days.

What would you call your autobiography?
I trust you to kill me.

If you had superpowers, what would they be?
Flight.... definitely flying. I'd love to be reincarnated as an Eagle or something, it must be amazing to be able to fly.

Which celebrity do you most resemble?
Some say Karl Pilkington, I'm not so sure. My fiancee says Bruce Willis! I say Zinedine Zidane (right up until I touch a football)

What sport(s) do you follow? Which team?
I'm a religious Formula 1 fan and watcher, that's become my main sport addiction since moving away from the UK. Lewis Hamilton is my favourite driver followed by Raikonnen and Alonso. I still follow and love football (soccer!) but I don't get to watch is as much in France.

What could you not live without?
Music, a guitar and sadly, my laptop. Tea and coffee...

Favourite movie?
Top Gun... maybe Seven.... maybe BadBoys 2 - Steve and I can quote that all day long at each other!

Favourite holiday destination?
I think Dahab in Egypt so far. I spent two weeks there last Spring and the windsurfing is amazing!

What would you do for a million bucks?
Well, I'd advise against starting a search business! I reckon I could just about give up tea and coffee...

Thing that annoys you most?
Bureaucracy and 'paper' rules that are utterly irrelevant... even more so the people who stick to those rules for no other reason than someone else has told them too, without asking why

Three guests for dinner – who are they?
Well, I reckon I'd definitely have to crash Steve's dinner and bring three guests of my own too: Keifer Sutherland, John Cleese and Kurt Cobain.... now that would be one hell of a party!

Steve Bett, Head of Asia-Pacific. What rocks my world?

Follow Me: Follow Steve on TwitterSteve's Linkedin Profile

Steve Bett, Head of Asia-Pacific

How long have you worked in search?
Since October 2000

What do you like most about your job?

Changing people's lives (hopefully!) for the better, ever since I started in search the opportunity to speak with people and have them move cities or even countries has always excited me and it all starts by me contacting them.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Keeping fit, catching up with friends, cooking, travelling, going to gigs, spending time with my wife and generally enjoying life!

Favourite food?
Asian food

Favourite iPhone App?
The music app, Pandora is one I use the most, also any app that keeps me up to date with my favourite sports teams.

What would you call your autobiography?

Remember Me?!

If you had superpowers, what would they be?

Seeing into the future, thus making sure I find the perfect person for a role every time!

Which celebrity do you most resemble?

My wife says Adrien Brody!

What sport(s) do you follow? Which team?

Football, NFL, NBA, unfortunately I follow a football team that no one will have heard of, Scunthorpe Utd, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, NBA, NY Knicks

What could you not live without?
Apart from my wife ;) I'd have to say the beach, I'm very lucky to live in Sydney

Favourite movie?
Goodfella's or Scarface, slightly out of left field, Bad Boys 2 is a movie I can watch over and over again and still laugh as much as I did the first time!

Favourite holiday destination?
I recently had an amazing trip around Europe, Croatia, Italy and the Greek Islands will take some beating

What would you do for a million bucks?
Anything that would keep my ethics and dignity in tact

Thing that annoys you most?
Adults who ride bikes on the pavement!

Three guests for dinner – who are they?

Dave Grohl, Richard Branson and Stephen Fry

Akascia People Background
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Our Approach

We aspire to be the world's best and well-known executive search firm for startup companies in the technology sector. We're not there just yet but we wake up everyday thinking of ways to be better.

Our whole company, ethos, culture, process and vision has been developed to ensure that we always find the best people. This is because we know how damaging average candidates can be to a growing business.

We relish being an agonising thorn in the side of our incumbent competitors, like Korn Ferry, Heidrick & Struggles or Spencer Stuart and we go out of our way to ensure nobody can accuse us of being slick-talking or bland!

We strive to be outstanding; being only better than them is just not good enough.

We believe the only way to achieve this is by consistently delivering results with flawless service that rocks our customer's world.

We are passionate about treating people with courtesy, honesty, decency, openness and humility. We like to work with people like us; people who are smart, have acute attention to detail, do everything to the best of their ability and who aren't afraid to make mistakes, take risks or enthusiastically disagree.

Honestly, if you don't enjoy collaborating with partners, rewarding hard work and having fun, then we're probably not the right firm for you.

Akascia Approach Background
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Don't Hire Us...

...unless you're committed to building unbeatable teams and crushing your competition. We don't do average because your company needs more than average. We suspect you knew that already because you're here reading this page.

It's no secret that great people can be the difference to a company's success. It has been well-written and reiterated over and over again by almost every Venture Capitalist, Entrepreneur and CEO on the planet. In fact, some VCs say that a startup CEO should spend at least 50% of their time on hiring.

So why don't many companies devote enough time and attention to hiring? Well, average is so attainable, so in reach and sometimes so seductive it's difficult to ignore, even by the most well-intentioned companies.

Average is so middle of the road, neither great enough to promote nor bad enough to fire. Average teams and people will kill a startup before it's had a chance to flourish by eating away at your culture, productivity and motivation.

Hiring amazing people will make your existing team better, they'll get everyone to step up their game and increase productivity across the board. They're able to produce almost miraculous amounts of work that you previously thought would take 10 people.

We can't emphasize enough how much better it is for a company to have fewer brilliant people than many average people. And the best part; awesome people also make it easier to attract other amazing people.

Akascia Hire Awesome People Background
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Our Expertise

A typical Akascia client designs, creates, builds, deploys and sells software, hardware or services to other businesses. They are ALWAYS awesome, usually have less than 1000 employees and have probably been around for less than 10 to 15 years. Often they are private, pre-IPO with VC funding and sometimes they are publicly-listed.

If you're a VC, incubator or early-stage startup then you should definitely contact us to find out about our equity-based fees for you or your portfolio companies.

We really get a kick out of working with companies who are challenging larger incumbents. We understand their need for outstanding people who can handle a somewhat chaotic environment; autonomous, tenacious people who don't need a department of people behind them to make a sale or resolve a support case.

We've worked for companies with cloud-based, on-premise, perpetual, subscription, XaaS, indirect, direct, high-touch, channel and virtually every other license or sales model you can think of (and probably some you can't).

Our clients often use us to find their first people in a region and generally that starts with sales staff. Once we're dialled-in to a client's culture, we are then really effective at handling most of their hiring, regardless of the department or seniority.

Our extensive network and search expertise gives our customers access to the very best people from Senior Individual Contributors to VP-level across Sales, Marketing, Services, Support and Research & Engineering.

Akascia Expertise Background
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Our Search Process

Our process is thorough, considered, well-honed and designed to reach only the very best candidates. We believe working in a retained or exclusive manner is the only way we can commit to the level of service required to ensure you consider only the most awesome people that bring real value to growing companies.

We never have and never will use online resume databases or job boards and we only use proven executive search and headhunting techniques. This means you will see candidates from us that you would otherwise never have known about; those who rarely need to pursue an application, have neither the time nor inclination to engage in talent pipelining and who are seldom found by other methods.

The headhunter's diary
Akascia Process Background
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Our Success

Finding and keeping amazing customers is hard work. But working and collaborating closely with them makes it easier for us to find and attract the best candidates.

We consider our clients to be part of the family and just over there --> you can read about what they have to say about us. And the best part is that hardly any of these testimonials were coerced from our clients under duress!

Roxana Tsougarakis
VP HR and Operations, Aspera Software

"I love working with Akascia because.both Chris and Steve follow through on their commitment to present qualified candidates that spot on met our requirements. They also have wonderful personalities and are extremely easy to work with. We definitely have them on our list for future recruitment needs."

James Peutherer
Director of Sales APAC, BlackLine Systems

"Steve has been great to work with; he took the time to understand our requirements, kept the line of communication open, and continuously modified his approach based on our feedback. I would highly recommend Steve."

Erin Tierney
Channel Marketing Manager, Kobo

"Steve is fantastic to work with, driven to obtain the goals of both parties and ensures that the communication channel is flowing both ways, a challenge when dealing with people on a global scale."

Steve Beach
Director Customer Services EMEA, Tellabs

"Chris helped us to secure the right candidates intelligently managing our involvement to make the selection process an efficient and successful exercise. From my perspective, they are one of the most competent recruitment teams in the Telecoms industry. Working with Akascia is like having your own specialist recruitment department. Thanks Chris!"

Judy Williams
Director Staffing, Aspera Software

"Steve took on two projects that had been difficult for our U.S. based recruitment operation to hire due to timezone differences as well as understanding the local market conditions. We worked well together to move candidates through the stages of interviewing. Steve kept me informed as to his progress, concerns or questions candidates were asking, and he successfully helped close out both positions with well qualified and motivated new hires. I felt that I had found a partner in the Asia Pacific region, and am very happy to recommend his services and firm for any challenging technical hire. He is very pleasant to work with as well!"

Angus Thompson
Managing Director, Headtap

"Steve was very helpful and quick to turn work around at short notice. His efforts are much appreciated and he was always polite, focused and results driven."

Paul Jackson
Managing Director ANZ, Ceragon

"Steve operates in a very professional, non-intrusive manner, and quickly identifies the right person for the right job."

Jew Kok Lim
Director of Sales APAC, Aspera Software

"Steve has in depth knowledge in his field of work and was very professional every step of the way in helping me secure my current position at Aspera, Inc. He communicated well and was very timely with his advice. I will recommend Steve to anyone who is looking for professional help with a career move."

Oliver Fueckert
APAC Technical Director, Redback Networks

"Akascia provided extensive recruitment services for Redback in Europe and Asia and helped us to identify the right talent to drive our business forward. I look forward to working with him again."

Mark Stevens
Quality Director, Ciena

"Chris is a really efficient and creative recruiter, demonstrates strong negotiation skills and also a keen and personable approach. I would recommend the engagement of Akascia whenever you have a requirement need that requires an attentive and technically skilled approach."

Akascia Success Background
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Startup & Fast-Growth Success

Here you will find a few resources and tips to help you build and develop an awesome company. If you want a bit more advice, we're always happy to have a conversation about your hiring plans, strategy and some of the best ways to go about it. Just contact us to set up a time in our schedule.

Articles & Infographics

Average vs Great Sales Hires

You've just been funded, now what? It's all about the execution. We've curated some of the best content we could find from CEOs and VCs of funded companies about how they sustained their success.

Average vs Great Sales Hires

Are your sales hires kickin' ass? Or just...meh? You do want to hire better sales people don't you? Check out this infographic about what we think about this problem.

Akascia vs the Rest

Tired of working with annoying, average recruiters? Take a fun look at how we stack up against our competition and why we're a great fit for companies like yours.

Akascia vs the Rest

Made a hiring mistake? We've all done it at some stage and this infographic highlights some of the costs to your business. Read it and make sure it doesn't happen again!

Essential Tips Lists

10 Essential Question to Ask a Headhunter

Can a Headhunter Help you? To make life a bit easier for you, we bashed our heads together and thought of 10 essential, straight-to-the-point questions we would ask a headhunter to be sure they wouldn't waste our time and money.

7 Startup Hiring Tips from Leading Tech VCs

VCs have a huge amount of experience in hiring great people and have seen first hand how important building unbeatable teams is. So we put together a few essential tips from leading tech VCs about how to hire the best.

8 Average Methods (to Avoid!) of Hiring Average People

Eight average ways average companies find average people. Which ones are you using? Maybe you should think about avoiding them for your most critical hires!

5 Tips to Stop Your Best Engineers Being Poached

Headhunters are out to get your engineers! Here's five tips to stop your best engineers from being poached and probably make them much happier.

Our Brochures

Akascia in a Nutshell

Want more information about Akascia? who we are? who we work with? and what we do? Look no further.

Using Social Media for Your Job Search

Whats the difference between retained and contingent recruiting? This is our way of explaining why a retained search is still the First Class method of hiring for your business.

Other Articles

An Introduction to Crowdfunding

Want to know more about crowdfunded investments, check this article out

Using Social Media for Your Job Search

If you're not on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter, you really should be. A great article about the death of the job board and the birth of job hunting on social media.

Akascia resources Background
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Contact Us

Does your company scream 'I should be an Akascia client'? Do you want to work with a vibrant, challenging firm that doesn't accept anything average? Do you enjoy a similar culture and approach to us? Then we'd love to speak with you about your next recruitment project so contact us now and let's do this!

Looking for Your Next Move?

Don't worry, we'll find you! If you are great at what you do, then when we have the right assignment, we'll almost certainly call you before you call us. So instead of contacting us you should spend more time talking to the people who might hire you. We spend our days working hard for our clients and to make our clients look good, hence, the unfortunate truth is that we're unlikely to have time to give you the response you deserve.

Europe & Americas

Chris Sargent | About Me | Chris' Linkedin ProfileLinkedIn | Read @Chris_Akascia TweetsTwitter Feed
☎ +44 2070 787 665 / +1 (415)-418-7870

Alicia Seri | Alicia's Linkedin ProfileLinkedIn | ☎ +33 606 58 69 60


Steve Bett | About Me | Steve's Linkedin ProfileLinkedIn | Read @Steve_Akascia TweetsTwitter Feed
☎ +61 2 9977 1184

Akascia Contact Us Background
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Privacy Policy of www.akascia.com

This Website collects some Personal Data from its Users.

Data Controller and Owner

Akascia Ltd, 29 Crick Road, Rugby, CV21 4DU (United Kingdom), admin@akascia.com

Types of Data collected

Among the types of Personal Data that this Website collects, by itself or through third parties, there are: Email, First Name and Last Name.

Other Personal Data collected may be described in other sections of this privacy policy or by dedicated explanation text contextually with the Data collection.

The Personal Data may be freely provided by the User, or collected automatically when using this Website.

Any use of Cookies - or of other tracking tools - by this Website or by the owners of third party services used by this Website, unless stated otherwise, serves to identify Users and remember their preferences, for the sole purpose of providing the service required by the User.

Failure to provide certain Personal Data may make it impossible for this Website to provide its services.

The User assumes responsibility for the Personal Data of third parties published or shared through this Website and declares to have the right to communicate or broadcast them, thus relieving the Data Controller of all responsibility.

Mode and place of processing the Data

Method of processing

The Data Controller processes the Data of Users in proper manner and shall take appropriate security measures to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, modification or unauthorized destruction of the Data.

The Data processing is carried out using computers and/or IT enabled tools, following organizational procedures and modes strictly related to the purposes indicated. In addition to the Data Controller, in some cases, the Data may be accessible to certain types of persons in charge, involved with the operation of the site (administration, sales, marketing, legal, system administration) or external parties (such as third party technical service providers, mail carriers, hosting providers, IT companies, communications agencies) appointed, if necessary, as Data Processors by the Owner. The updated list of these parties may be requested from the Data Controller at any time.


The Data is processed at the Data Controller headquarters, unless stated otherwise in the rest of this document.

Conservation Time

The Data is kept for the time necessary to provide the service requested by the User, or stated by the purposes outlined in this document, and the User can always request the Data Controller for their suspension or removal.

The use of the collected Data

The Data concerning the User is collected to allow the Website to provide its services, as well as for the following purposes: Contacting the User and Google Remarketing.

The Personal Data used for each purpose is outlined in the specific sections of this document.

Detailed information on the processing of Personal Data

Personal Data is collected for the following purposes and using the following services:

Mailing List or Newsletter (This Website)

By registering to the mailing list or to the newsletter, the User’s email address will be added to the contact list of those who may receive email messages containing information of commercial or promotional nature concerning this Website. Your email address might also be added to this list as a result of signing up to this Website or after performing a purchase.

Personal Data collected: Email, First Name and Last Name.

Google AdWords

This website uses the Google AdWords remarketing service to advertise on third party websites (including Google) to previous visitors to our Website. It could mean that we advertise to previous visitors who haven’t completed a task on our site, for example using the contact form to make an enquiry. This could be in the form of an advertisement on the Google search results page, or a site in the Google Display Network. Third-party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to www.akascia.com. Any data collected will be used in accordance with our own privacy policy and Google’s privacy policy.

You can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Preferences page, and if you want to you can opt out of interest-based advertising entirely by cookie settings or permanently using a browser plugin.

Additional information about Data collection and processing

Legal Action

The User's Personal Data may be used for legal purposes by the Data Controller, in Court or in the stages leading to possible legal action arising from improper use of this Website or the related services.

Additional Information about User's Personal Data

In addition to the information in this privacy policy, this Website may provide the User with contextual information concerning particular services or the collection and processing of Personal Data.

System Logs and Maintenance

For operation and maintenance purposes, this Website and any third party services may collect files that record interaction with this Website (System Logs) or use for this purpose other Personal Data (such as IP Address).

Information not contained in this policy

More details concerning the collection or processing of Personal Data may be requested from the Data Controller at any time at its contact information.

The rights of Users

Users have the right, at any time, to know whether their Personal Data has been stored and can consult the Data Controller to learn about their contents and origin, to verify their accuracy or to ask for them to be supplemented, cancelled, updated or corrected, or for their transformation into anonymous format or to block any data held in violation of the law, as well as to oppose their treatment for any and all legitimate reasons. Requests should be sent to the Data Controller at the contact information set out above.

This Website does not support “do not track” requests.

To understand if any of the third party services it uses honor the “do not track” requests, please read their privacy policies.

Changes to this privacy policy

The Data Controller reserves the right to make changes to this privacy policy at any time by giving notice to its Users on this page. It is strongly recommended to check this page often, referring to the date of the last modification listed at the bottom. If a User objects to any of the changes to the Policy, the User must cease using this Website and can request the Data Controller to erase the Personal Data. Unless stated otherwise, the then-current privacy policy applies to all Personal Data the Data Controller has about Users.

Information about this privacy policy

The Data Controller is responsible for this privacy policy, prepared starting from the modules provided by Iubenda and hosted on the Iubenda's servers.

Definitions and legal references

Personal Data (or Data)

Any information regarding a natural person, a legal person, an institution or an association, which is, or can be, identified, even indirectly, by reference to any other information, including a personal identification number.

Usage Data

Information collected automatically from this Website (or third party services employed in this Website ), which can include: the IP addresses or domain names of the computers utilized by the Users who use this Website, the URI addresses (Uniform Resource Identifier), the time of the request, the method utilized to submit the request to the server, the size of the file received in response, the numerical code indicating the status of the server's answer (successful outcome, error, etc.), the country of origin, the features of the browser and the operating system utilized by the User, the various time details per visit (e.g., the time spent on each page within the Website) and the details about the path followed within the Website with special reference to the sequence of pages visited, and other parameters about the device operating system and/or the User's IT environment.


The individual using this Website, which must coincide with or be authorized by the Data Subject, to whom the Personal Data refer.

Data Subject

The legal or natural person to whom the Personal Data refers to.

Data Processor

The natural person, legal person, public administration or any other body, association or organization authorized by the Data Controller to process the Personal Data in compliance with this privacy policy.

Data Controller (or Website Owner, or Owner)

The natural person, legal person, public administration or any other body, association or organization with the right, also jointly with another Data Controller, to make decisions regarding the purposes, and the methods of processing of Personal Data and the means used, including the security measures concerning the operation and use of this Website. The Data Controller, unless otherwise specified, is the Owner of this Website.

This Website

The hardware or software tool by which the User Personal Data is collected.

Legal information

Notice to European Users: this privacy statement has been prepared in fulfillment of the obligations under Art. 10 of EC Directive n. 95/46/EC, and under the provisions of Directive 2002/58/EC, as revised by Directive 2009/136/EC, on the subject of Cookies.

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Startup Hiring ResourcesResources

Check out some free, ace hiring tips for tech startups and fast-growth firms.

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★  Don't Hire Us  ★
If you want average candidates. Find out why...
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