Executive UK & Global Payroll

  • 15 years of recruitment experience across the payroll and financial accounting space

    Partnering with a myriad of firms from financial/professional services as well as commerce and industry sectors on a global scale

  • A comprehensive knowledge of payroll

    An understanding of payroll encompassing both BAU, projects/implementations and governance requirements across the UK and global markets

  • A reputation of excellence, honesty and delivery

    A strong reputation within the executive marketplace of payroll including the establishment and continued facilitation of the banking and insurance forums


Having been brought into Oakleaf to build out the payroll division, John’s ambition was to provide an offering that was first class in delivery and would allow payroll professionals to be taken seriously and the reputation of the industry to increase its profile within HR.  Due to John’s continued success and relationship building skillset, he has been able to build the payroll offering to now facilitate a team of 7 consultants and a reputation for being the luxury recruitment solution within payroll.  John prides himself on an honest approach and genuinely partners with his client to not only advise and consult but build long term relationships that have allowed him to now be the major player within the UK and global payroll executive market.


Having first met John 6 years ago it was apparent that his approach to payroll recruitment was different and that his intentions to dominate the Executive Payroll Market were for real.

6 years on and John is now the leading recruitment figure within the Executive Payroll Market space and his knowledge and network across Financial & Professional Services in unrivaled.

His understanding of the payroll market is phenomenal and has an in-depth knowledge of UK and Global payroll, systems, compensation and benefits and the close links to Reward put him at the very top.

John has worked with me as both client and candidate and has never failed to produce what I’ve been looking for and has the best candidates and jobs on the open market.

His by far and away the best consultant that I have worked with and have no hesitation in recommending John and his services.

Mike Webster - Global Payroll Manager

I have worked with John and Oakleaf Partnership as a candidate during the recruitment process for both my current and previous roles as well as a recruiting manager.

My experience of both situations has been hugely positive. I've found John to be highly professional, responsive and John demonstrates a full understanding of both the UK, EMEA and Global payroll recruitment market and the way in which the payroll profession is evolving.

As a candidate, I found the contact and feedback during the recruitment process to be excellent. While as a recruiting manager, I found that John was able to provide the strongest range of strong CVs that demonstrated a full understanding of my requirements within a very short timeframe.

Timothy Reed - Director Global Payroll

I have worked with John at Oakleaf  Partnership for over five years  as a trusted advisor on payroll recruitment.

In a short period of time after meeting John he found my next career move a Head of Global Payroll, throughout the recruitment process John demonstrated great candidate care and understanding of my requirements for my next role.  I have also personally referred my professional payroll colleagues and friends to John, who he has successfully placed in fantastic career progressive roles both in the UK and in Europe.  Therefore I am confident to recommend John to prospective candidates and clients.

Robyn Brack - Global Head HR Operations (Reward, Payroll, HR Technology & HR Home)
John O'Brien

If delivery and an honest style of communication are of supreme importance to you, along with the strongest network within the UK and Global payroll market, then please do get in touch to discuss how I can partner and satisfy your recruitment needs.

T: 0207 337 7692
M: 07747 723 945



Don't miss the latest news, roles and thought leadership from Oakleaf Executive