Peter Forshaw is the founder and managing director of leading facilities management recruitment consultancy, Maxwell Stephens. He set up in the company in 2006 which now has offices in London and Darlington.
Facilities management recruitment has been the dominant theme running throughout Peter’s career. Having qualified from Northumbria University at Newcastle in 2000, his first role was on the front line at a well-known global recruitment firm. Peter steadily rose through the ranks, becoming the office manager for the Permanent FM Department, later being the company’s lead at filling positions with salaries of £40,000 or more.
After 5 years in the job and with a rising reputation as a highly effective and successful recruiter of the best facilities management talent, Peter was headhunted to work for an ambitious new start to lead their premium team. His role was to find, register, and build relationships with top quality candidates and household name employers. Soon, he and the new start company were placing people at very high positions within services providers, property firms, and corporates with their own FM department.
It was a rollercoaster year packed with success, fun, and variety. Peter became the key stakeholder in James Cracknell and Ben Fogle’s Atlantic Crossing, a role which required him to fly out and meet & greet this adventurous pair. Needless to say, Peter did not put up much of a fight against this extra responsibility!
Even before leaving university, Peter had harboured ambitions to set up his own business. In 2006, he realised his ambition when he set up Maxwell Stephens, a dedicated FM recruitment consultancy with a speciality in placing mid-management and board-level roles. Success came quickly and six years later, he was named as one of the “Forty Under 40” to watch by industry magazine, FMX.
Maxwell Stephens continues to flourish and now counts among its clients prestige and diverse organsations include the Financial Conduct Authority, King’s College, All England Lawn Tennis Association, BUPA, CBRE, MTV, and Calvin Klein.
Peter’s enthusiasm for the industry still shines very brightly. For him, finding a candidate their dream job is still the biggest buzz running the company, particularly when the person did not know what he or she wanted to do to start off with. Going out and meeting clients is something he also looks forward to – building a relationship, solving problems, and he loves site visits. “The types of buildings I’ve been to. Architects I’ve met. And the Swiss Re building also known as the Gherkin. Amazing feat of engineering and imagination”, says Peter.
One thing that differentiates Maxwell Stephens is the sheer variety of positions they’re asked to recruit for. Many FM recruiters look to place candidates in the same type of job again and again and again. A lot of Maxwell Stephens’s client have one-off requirements and there’s a lot of professional and personal satisfaction that comes from filling the roles as bespoke as ones the company gets from clients.
Away from work, the movie he finds himself watching over and over again is Star Wars and he even has a soft spot for the one where Jar Jar Binks was a major character! Musically, his favourite song ever is “One” by U2 and his desert island album would be “Only By The Night” by Kings of Leon.