You may follow them on LinkedIn, but who are the CrimsonXT team and what are they really like? Get to know the people behind the profiles in our ‘Meet the team’ series.



Chris Pickles founded CrimsonXT in 2018 and has taken the business from strength to strength since then. You may know that he’s an experienced technology recruiter and leader; you may not know about his cooking skills or interesting choice of toast topping…

You can watch the interview here or read the whole conversation below:




To start off Chris, could you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Chris. I’m the Managing Director at CrimsonXT, having founded the business in 2018.


How did your career develop from recruiter to director?

I started a long, long time ago as a recruiter. I was a specialist in technology recruitment and ended up running the technology division at a large global recruitment business before founding my own company in 2018.


How do you like to do to start your day?

With three cups of tea! I feed and walk my dogs, feed my kids and then cycle to work.


What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I’m probably biased, but I love the culture of the business. I love the fact that we’ve got a great team here, everybody wants to come into work, and everybody wants to support each other as an amazing team. I just love that about my job.


What do you like to have on your toast?

I have Marmite and cheese… I’m going to hell aren’t I?! Actually, it’s better on crumpets –  Marmite and cheese on crumpets is just the one.


What do you use the company’s flexible working policy for?

Honestly, nothing too exciting. Spending more time with my boys, going to the gym and trying to balance out trying to run a business with having a good home life.


If you could trade places with anyone for the day, who would it be and why?

Gordon Ramsay. He’s basically got everything that I ever wanted! When you watch him on TV, everybody just sees him shouting and swearing but you don’t often see the way he cajoles people and tries to build them up, and gets them to do stuff they wouldn’t usually do. He just has this passion for food and perfection and it’s just such an amazing quality in somebody.


What’s a work-related accomplishment you’re really proud of?

I started the business from scratch, just me and a laptop. I picked a name out of thin air and went for it. Four years later, we’ve got a great team with some of the people that joined us right in the beginning.


What’s a lesson you’ve learned?

I can’t do everything myself. I’m a complete control freak and I probably have the opposite of imposter syndrome, whatever that is. I’ve learned to trust people to take ownership of parts of our success and those people have consistently come through and really helped us to improve the business.


If you could write a book about your life, what would it be called and why?

“Feeding Off Chaos”, because that’s what I love to do; that’s where I’m the happiest when everything around me is insane (in a good way!) and I can just feed off that energy.


What drew you to recruitment?

It was an accident! I was trying to show my brother how to apply for a job online and I applied for a job by accident. Some guy rang me up and offered me a job in recruitment. It sounded great so I took it, and that was 15 years ago.


What’s something people don’t know about you?

I originally trained as a chef. That’s what I wanted to be. But, as the famous phrase goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out the kitchen”, and I really couldn’t stand the heat. But I retain a love for food.


Why should people want to come and work for CrimsonXT?

Again, I’m biased, but I think we’ve created an amazing culture, we’ve got a fantastic team here. The management style particularly is one of coaching and developing rather than just setting blanket KPIs and micromanagement.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Probably from the boss I most respected in my career, who told me to “Play everything with a straight bat”. I think that’s a cricket thing, I’m not completely sure, but it basically means for every decision – whether it’s unpopular or it’s a tough decision – make sure you play it straight and make sure you play it fair. And if you can look at yourself in the mirror and know that you made the right decision, then that’s all that counts.


What are your day-to-day tasks?

I’m responsible for running the day-to-day business – everything from the hiring, training and development, driving the culture, the values, and making sure that we continue to hit our growth targets as a business.


Who is your most-listened to artist on Spotify?

Paolo Nutini. And the algorithm keeps throwing up The Smashing Pumpkins because that’s all I tend to listen to.


What are your professional goals and how do you hope to achieve them?

I’m incredibly ambitious for this business. I know it’s got amazing potential and the main thing for me is I want to create a business that I’m proud of, that we’re all proud of, that enables everybody within the business to have a really rewarding career and achieve their own goals in their own life and provides an invaluable service to our clients and customers.


What’s on your bucket list?

I’d love to go to Australia and watch a State of Origin final. It’s a three-game series, and everybody who could qualify for Australia’s national team play on either side, so you get teammates playing against each other and it’s just an insane level of rugby.


What advice would you give to an aspiring recruiter?

My biggest piece of advice is to learn your market, be as niche as you can and really become the specialist in that area. But on a work basis, day-to-day, plan out your day, plan what you want to achieve and move forward every single day. Finish that day with something that you’re proud of achieving. Never beat yourself up about the downfalls and probably don’t ride the highs too high, but I know that’s hard.



Follow us on LinkedIn to see the rest of this series and – if you’d like to join the CrimsonXT team – email your CV to