Oliver Sanderson Group makes the recruitment process easier for businesses, so they can engage and develop a long-lasting working environment. With the help of technology, from creating a resume database to deploying employees to prominent companies, Natasha is excelling in the recruitment field.
We at Fortunes Crown got into conversation with Natasha Makhijani, the CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group, to know more about the company and how it is helping the businesses as a whole.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief us in detail about the current scenario of the business. How have the customer preferences changed over the years?
The executive search industry is changing in a number of ways, and this is reflected in the evolving preferences of our clients. There is now a greater focus on EDI challenges. We are seeing a growing recognition of the importance of inclusivity and the value of diversity, and clients come to us to tackle their EDI challenges, reach out to under-represented groups, and achieve more diversity in their boardroom and senior leadership teams. Digitalization is also transforming the industry, changing the way we advertise roles, discover candidates, and engage with our community. Finally, recruitment companies are increasingly aware of issues around sustainability and the environmental impact of our work. We are taking steps to minimize our impact and operate more sustainably and more responsibly as a business.
Could you please walk us through your educational/professional journey? What was the moment that triggered you to step into the business?
I, Natasha Makhijani, am not your average headhunter. As CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group, I am pioneering new approaches to executive search through tech innovations and D&I initiatives, all while breaking down barriers as an Asian woman business leader.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from City, University of London and a Master’s from DePaul University in Chicago, I began my recruitment career on the Graduate Scheme at Hays in 2000. Fast-tracked into management roles, I achieved four promotions in four years and took a team from billing £10,000 to £80,000 a month. From Hays, I moved to Michael Page, and quickly gained recognition as a “super biller”. But I always felt that there was another path for my career, and having set up executive desks at both Hays and Michael Page, I set my sights on establishing a business of my own.
I founded Oliver Sanderson as a start-up in 2011 and have since grown the firm into an international business at the cutting edge of executive search. Oliver Sanderson has built up a strong track record in recent years, having placed CEOs and senior leaders at FTSE 100, FTSE 350, and Fortune 500 companies. Specializing in both permanent and interim executive placements across a wide range of sectors, the firm provides clients with an end-to-end executive search process, drawing from the experience and creativity of its research team to solve complex recruitment challenges.
New technology has been central to Oliver Sanderson’s rapid growth, and I am a pioneer of digital innovations in executive search and recruitment. I co-founded Snapp Resume, the world’s first mobile job board with voice technology capability and Amazon Alexa connectivity. The app currently has a database of over 25 million candidates in the UK and the USA, with over 250,000 positions listed on its mobile job board.
My forward-thinking leadership was recognized with a CEO Today Global Award 2021. I appeared in the winner’s magazine in February 2021 alongside some of the world’s most inspiring executives in a feature story on her journey and achievements. I have recently been shortlisted for the prestigious Recruiter Awards 2021 in the category of Agency Recruitment Leader of the Year.
Under Makhijani’s leadership, Oliver Sanderson is poised to remain at the forefront of an evolving industry.
When was Oliver Sanderson Group established? What are the prominent services/solutions offered by the company?
Established in 2011, Oliver Sanderson is an executive search firm with a difference, combining experience and expertise with innovation and fresh thinking. We specialize in finding permanent and interim talent at the board and senior leadership levels for FTSE 100, FTSE 350, Fortune 500, and PE-backed businesses. With our suite of digital recruitment apps and our award-winning diversity and inclusion work, we are leading the way in discovering the next generation of business leaders.
What measures do you incorporate to ensure motivation and productivity within the workspace? How do you respond to criticism and disagreements?
I focus on keeping my team motivated by challenging, supporting, and inspiring them. At Oliver Sanderson, no two weeks are ever the same – we are always working on new roles with new organizations, and making new connections and relationships with candidates. It is this aspect of our work that ensures that we are constantly learning, keeping the working week fresh and challenging. We set monthly and annual targets to hit for our team across a number of areas, from sales to social media engagement. But we also support each other, understanding that growth isn’t always linear, and we sometimes learn more from failure than from success. Dialogue is crucial – daily conversations, feedback and brainstorming sessions. These help us stay connected and supported together, constantly learning, and constantly striving to improve as individuals and as a team.
What was/is your response to the current unprecedented situation?
The global pandemic has had a major impact on our daily business operations, but we have managed to survive and thrive since the first lockdown. Our firm has had to adapt to meet new challenges, becoming more flexible in our delivery models. The Oliver Sanderson Executive app has enabled the team to make an effective transition to remote working, with the digital platform offering video interviewing to substitute for the face-to-face meetings made impossible under lockdown. Our apps helped candidates engage with the job market at a time of unprecedented difficulty and uncertainty, and we received exceptionally positive feedback about our contribution to the economic recovery. Thanks to our flexibility, we have managed to grow our revenue and expand our team, and we look forward to a brighter future as corporations and wider society begin to rebuild.
What are the services/solutions we should anticipate from Oliver Sanderson Group in the near future?
Our digital recruitment solutions set us apart from the competition and pioneer a new direction for the industry. Snapp is a software platform designed and created by Oliver Sanderson. This suite of digital recruitment apps offers a pioneering mobile job board and integrated video interviewing options.
Co-founded by me, Snapp is a first-in-class mobile job board providing digital solutions at every stage of the recruitment process. Featuring a voice technology-enabled search function, introductory candidate and client profile videos, integrated job applications, and a video interviewing tool, Snapp unlocks a new world of talent, connecting great people with great jobs all around the world. Our tagline – “From application to placement, all in a SNAPP!” – highlights the speed and simplicity of the platform.
Snapp currently has a database of over 25 million candidates in the UK and the USA, with over 250,000 positions listed on its mobile job board, while Snapp InView has processed over 1,500 interviews. Our exclusive integration partnership with Amazon Alexa provides Snapp with access to over 100 million devices, including (as of March 2021) every Smart TV. Snapp powers Amazon Alexa’s ‘Find me a Job’ skill, and currently has over 25 million candidates registered in the UK and the USA, with over 250,000 positions listed on its mobile job board.
Oliver Sanderson harnesses the power of its Snapp suite of digital recruitment apps to discover the next generation of business leaders.
As a decorated leader, what would be your piece of advice for entrepreneurs seeking careers in the business?
Always remember, doubts and setbacks are part of everyone’s journey – the road to the top is never simple! So be resilient, and never give up. I have been doubted in the past, but I used those doubts as fuel to fire me onto greater successes. Whoever you are, wherever you come from – with hard work, a bit of luck, and a good team around you, you can do it too!
Believe in yourself but be open to constructive criticism – use it to learn and grow.