Introduction to our Associate – Dr. Leighton Freeman

It’s that time again, where we’ve got our hands on another team member and we’re diving in to find out more about their role, why they joined Gibson Watts and what they enjoy doing outside of work. The individual in question today that we’re getting to know more about, is our Associate Dr. Leighton Freeman.

Leighton has been with Gibson Watts as an Associate for nearly nine months and he is part of the executive search team, which is rapidly expanding (get ready for more team introductions!). He sat down with us and answered some questions.

What is your role at Gibson Watts?

My role at Gibson Watts is an Associate. An aspect of this role involves conducting company and candidate research and approaching candidates to carry out initial engagement interviews and determining how well suited they are to our client’s role.

Alongside this, I also look at the suitability of the role for the candidate, and whether it is the right step for them, to understand ultimately if they’re right as a long-term strategic hire for clients.

Once the suitability has been established, I facilitate the process to a successful conclusion through setting up interviews and organising leadership assessments, as well as providing any ongoing support the client and candidate will need throughout the process, even after they have started with our clients.

What types of projects have you worked on since joining Gibson Watts?  

The main projects I have worked on since joining Gibson Watts have been Executive Search and Senior Level placements. As part of the executive search function, my focus is on the placement of senior-level executives.

My clients are primarily involved in the energy transition or are focused on a sustainable future. For example, a recent project was a search for a Head of Ops to run a £50 million turnover factory in east Germany. Another is a VP of Engineering for a start-up business developing green steel technology and a further project has been to recruit a Head of Commercial Development for a Hydrogen Infrastructure business.

What is your background?

I have worked in research for just over 10 years, mostly in academia. I have a PhD in cell biology and a masters and undergrad both in the sciences. My previous work has been within another executive search practice.

Why did you decide to join Gibson Watts?

There were several factors as to why I joined, but a major one for me was the nature of the clients we work for. I’m passionate about the sustainability sector and mix that with my desire to be constantly learning, it was a great opportunity. I’m a very curious person by nature and enjoy finding out more about technology and sustainability, so this job is perfect for me!   

How important is sustainability to you? 

Being sustainable is incredibly important to me and has been for many years.  I’m vegetarian, and in the process of transitioning into veganism. I became vegetarian around thirteen years ago from a desire to not eat animals and decrease my impact on the planet. I try to keep my flying to a minimum which has meant that holidays over the last 6 or 7 years have all been on the road. I have driven with my family to Italy five times and to Slovakia and Netherlands, all instead of flying.

How do you try and be more sustainable?

There are several ways I try and be more sustainable. Some of these include going to zero waste shops, and growing some fruit and veggies in the garden – I enjoy foraging wild garlic during the spring and bay leaves, fruits and herbs where I can. All our fruit and veg come from local farm veggie boxes, which means we are often eating seasonally.

Another way I try and be more sustainable is to buy second-hand clothes and fix things rather than throwing them in the bin at the first sign of wear. And, when I do decide to make purchases, I buy vegan where I can. My dog of 7 has also always enjoyed a vegan lifestyle!

How would you describe the company culture and environment at Gibson Watts?

The environment at Gibson Watts is a positive and highly supportive one. Every member of the team is very approachable, and the environment is focused on helping you to grow and learn. The team also encourages you to take a more holistic approach, to take more ownership within the business. It’s a very empowering place to work.

What are your hobbies? Outside of work, what is important to you

My main hobbies are rugby, which I play every weekend, and I’m currently learning Italian.

If you’re interested in becoming part of the Gibson Watts team, contact a member of the team today to find out more.

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