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Career Q&A: Julien Fabius

28 March 2017


Heading up our Benelux division, Julien Fabius has had a career of exceptional highs at Oliver James Associates. Here's the story so far...

1. When did you join OJ, and what is your title?

I joined the London office in March 2010, and I’m now the Managing Director of Oliver James Benelux.

2. What is your professional background?

I spent two years at a major LSE-listed recruitment business developing a specialist offering to the banking sector in Amsterdam. I was promoted three times in two years before coming to OJ to start building our presence in the Benelux region. I have been promoted five times in the last seven years, and helped Benelux make £17 million in revenue from last year’s performance. We still have healthy growth ambitions for the coming years.

3. What attracted you to a career in recruitment?

I was raised in a very enterprising family, and have been interested in the commercial world since high school. In fact, as a kid I always wanted to drive a fast sports car and build a successful business.

Recruitment gave me the avenue to develop my entrepreneurial skills and grow a business within a vibrant, energetic, go-getter environment, where success is totally personal yet collectively celebrated.

Working for a great recruitment firm gives you the chance to learn about business from all perspectives. The learning curve is huge due to the masses of data and resources we share, and the experience truly is an asset for life.

4. Why OJ Benelux?

Benelux is a well-developed market for recruitment, and has been one of the EU’s leading regions for businesses to set up their EMEA headquarters because of low core tax rates. The labour market is strong with a high percentage of well-educated professionals and good initiatives for individuals from outside of the Netherlands to live here, such as 30% tax ruling. In addition, the Benelux region is very developed in using contracting for project work, which enables us to foster long-term partnerships with both candidates and clients – a healthy platform for sustainable growth.

5. What does your role entail?

I’m responsible for P&L and management of our Benelux teams, so cover everything from day-to-day duties and client relationship management to process improvement, strategic growth plans, internal recruitment and inspirational leadership. I also take time to understand everyone’s ambitions and career goals, so they can realise their full potential.  

6. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Internally, it’s all about seeing people succeed at something they love, and the energy that comes with that. At the same time, we work in partnership with our clients, building great relationships with them to fill a broad range of roles across contract and permanent vacancies. Receiving positive feedback about our consultants is hugely rewarding, as it earns us solid repeat business. On a personal level, the responsibility and freedom I’m given is really gratifying and very important to my own motivation.

7. How would you describe the culture at OJ?

Best in class is definitely how I’d describe us. Extremely ambitious, we stand at the forefront of the recruitment sector, with a culture that oozes both positivity and competitiveness. Furthermore, we have fun on the job, enjoying drinks provided by the company on Friday nights, going to the gym four times a week in our extended lunch breaks, and attending monthly boot camp sessions as an office. To be part of an organisation that’s so successful whilst still being as fun and fast-growing as we are is a great feeling.

8. How has OJ recognised your achievements?

By giving me more and more responsibility, whilst continuously investing in my team. From starting on my own without a single client in the region to now leading an office – with a second on the horizon – is the best recognition anyone can wish for.

9. What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of applying to work at OJ?

Go for it! I’ve worked in recruitment for nearly 10 years, and can honestly say this is the best place to be. You’re in for one hell of a journey.

10. What are your future plans for the Benelux region?

One important aspect on my agenda is the opening of the Belgium office, where we will expand on our work in the technology sector. Our new location opens in Brussels in October 2017, and will employ 14 staff in 2018, with exponential growth expected from there onwards.

For the Amsterdam office, we’ve primarily focused on financial services for the last three years. Because of our success in this market, we’re currently expanding rapidly outside of financial services via our technology and accounting disciplines. I’m proud to say we now work with some of the best businesses in the world. Our view is further domination of the Dutch market, with expected growth of around 80 staff by 2020 in Amsterdam alone – great career prospects for all the budding recruiters out there!

Lastly, we’re looking with a keen eye on Luxembourg, as we believe this market will grow exponentially due to Brexit and the potential relocation of EMEA headquarters to the country.

For opportunities in the Benelux region, contact Elza Dorjee on +31202900048, or

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