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Lookahead Search
Level 5, 63 York St
Sydney NSW 2000

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Meet Steve

What do you do at Lookahead and how long have you been working with us?

I’m the founder so my start date was Mar 2012 :) I’m a technical recruiter but nowadays it’s my job to get things out of the way for others. Helping out with advice and running business improvement projects. I have recruited for all of our long term clients at some point, so can offer context and chip in on searches.

What’s your background? Where were you in the tech industry before joining Lookahead?

I was a nerdy kid and grew up loving computers. In the late 90s I played way too much Quake II and started a clan (basically, a team). Looking back I realise that was an important moment - it accidentally gave me a taste of leadership and a reason to learn how to make a website. The site got hacked by a now famous Aussie entrepreneur who then came to our LAN party and taught us how he did it. Good times.

After finishing high school my uncle got me to set up a network for his business. Before I knew it, other referrals came in and I found that fixing computers and making websites paid my way through uni. About 2 years into my degree I landed a big project so one of my best friends Myles and I deferred our degrees to start a company.

Some of our clients were recruiting firms. After observing what they did I figured recruiting for a year or two would be a good experience. Here I am nearly 14 years later.

What do you like about Lookahead?

Amazing people in a work environment that’s perfect for me. That was the idea at the start - make Lookahead somewhere I love going to every day. We’ve never grown for the sake of growth which has helped keep it that way. Our hires tend to be opportunistic - we are always looking and ready when someone incredible comes up.

There’s a light + plant filled office space that feels nice to be in. Through Covid, Kat and I have been venturing into the city just to water those plants :D

We are nerdy foodies. We eat well and buy nice computers. We pick our clients and they’re all rad in their own way. That becomes clear each year at our birthday party - you’re in a room full of friends. I pinch myself because I get to call this ‘work’.

What are you passionate about?

People. They’re all so interesting and you can learn something from everybody. I feel rich because I have amazing people around me all the time - both at work and at home.

I’m also passionate about being in the water and food. 40 years from now I’ll still be trying to get better at surfing and cooking.

What was the last book you read or podcast you listened to?

“Primed to Perform” – it’s about motivation at work and actually uses science to back up their theories. Long story short- focus on play rather than money. They have a survey you can take to measure your total motivation score: https://app.vegafactor.com/take_the_survey

Podcast: I’m subscribed to 34 😳. My faves are: 99% Invisible, Derek Sivers, How I Built This and Making Sense with Sam Harris.

If you weren’t at Lookahead where would you be working or what is your dream job?

This is my dream job - recruiting is a craft and you could work on it forever and still be getting better.

It would be cool to one day build a product - I’ve seen many startup journeys as an early stage investor as well as a recruiter. Would love to test myself in that arena.

If I had to work in another company it’d be Basecamp. We used their product back in ~2005 to manage client projects, and it’s how I heard about Rails. Ended up subscribing to their blog and have taken a lot of lessons in business from them, which has helped make Lookahead what it is.

First Car?

A ‘93 Corolla Hatch. That was what I could afford and it’s probably for the best. Over the years I’ve worked my way up and have a car I take to the track.

Hidden Talent?

Finding things underwater.

I’m a divemaster and a trained free diver. Can dive 32 meters on a single breath! At our team hang some idiot dropped their sunnies off the pier (me). Managed to find them hours later and it was a glorious moment.

Proudest Accomplishment?

Lookahead. Maybe one day I’ll have kids and it’ll be them, but for now it’s this wonderful little place we get to call work. From day 1 it’s gone surprisingly well and continues to surprise me.

The Most unusual item in your office or home?

A balance board.

It used to be in the office and it’s the first thing I took home when we went Covid-remote. When you are feeling burned out from back to back meetings, jump on that and move around. It’s a great reset.

Favourite Sports Team?

Not really a sports fan but I was huge on basketball cards back in the day. The Chicago Bulls in the 90s were incredible, and I’m not just saying that because of the Netflix series.

What makes you weird?

I say I’m a minimalist but also own five surfboards. Wait, seven.

What piece of technology seems like magic to you?

AirPods. How is it that I have a computer dangling out each ear? Went for a run with my partner Jess and we’re sharing the one audio source. She had to run back to get something and even though I lost range the music buffered for ~40 seconds. When I think back to my Discman that would skip constantly I realise we are living in the future.

Guilty Pleasure?

You know the bit of the sourdough starter you’re meant to discard? We make them into crackers. That with cheese or peanut butter are my kryptonite.

What’s on your Bucket List?

Chuuk Lagoon in Micronesia. During WWII a fleet of Japanese ships were sunk and now lie on the bottom of the ocean. Many still mostly intact. It’s a wreck diver’s paradise and basically an underwater museum.