Updated: Apr 7, 2021

'SPEAK UP, STAND OUT' WEBINAR SERIES Our Speak Up, Stand Out webinar programme runs on Fridays at 1 pm. We want our members to finish their week on a high, feeling inspired and motivated.

Content runs for roughly 20 minutes followed with a Q&A session that will give the audience an opportunity to engage and develop their own ideas. During the session speakers will have the opportunity to present content and instantly poll to pulse check the audience to make this a truly interactive event. You can find the recordings below, or register for a live upcoming session here.


Updated: Apr 7, 2021

As the coronavirus spread invisibly across the globe, HR professionals’ role changed to ensure the safety of employees and hire the right candidates. Also, they have to focus on safety procedures, sanitation measures, emergency numbers, quarantine and isolation guidelines, and much more. Understanding the importance of these elements and the evolved role, Natasha Makhijani, CEO and Founder of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC, believes that it is essential to work with clients to understand their mindset and be a sounding board of knowledge, compassion, and advice during these challenging times. She also states that tenacity, lean thinking, creativity, and innovation are the core ingredients to make a value-add service for their clients and candidates.

Natasha’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Natasha began her professional career with Hays Logistics on their graduate scheme. She set up the Victoria office with her manager and managed the Victoria office and eight employees (the country’s highest-performing office) within two years. The industrious leader was then given the opportunity to work with Michael Page Human Resources and was their top HR biller in her first year. She helped set up their office in St Albans and then moved to London to set up permanent recruitment for the Public Sector. Natasha proudly asserts,“I believe this helped to shape me into a somebody who is vibrant and enthusiastic and with a keen interest and passion for business.” A desire for something more led her to set up her own business.

Today, as a Founder and CEO, Natasha has numerous responsibilities to perform and oversee. She has to make sure that their P&L is successful, but it also about working with the accountants, the consultants, and the business NEDs to ensure a successful growth journey. Together with her team, she has been reshaping their business strategy and forecasts to accommodate the changing times.

I firmly believe that a leader should have passion, drive, energy, honestly, integrity, and humor, to name a few! – Natasha Makhijani

A Dynamic Brand In The Recruitment Space, Maintaining A United Culture

Oliver Sanderson is a dynamic brand in Executive Search & Selection who look after Permanent and Interim assignments to FTSE 100 & 250 clients. The company offers retained and the contingent end to end recruitment in various disciplines and serving major UK sectors. To deliver the perfect recruitment and consultancy solution, it offers access to new products such as its mobile job app, including candidate attraction, Drag & Drop, and a 1st stage video interviewing platform, all accessible through its sister company Snapp CV Group PLC. Furthermore, the expert team of Oliver Sanderson ensures there are strategies created around new topics matters, IR35, BAME, COVID-19, to satisfy client and candidate needs. Developing an alternative recruitment approach through their technology strategy has helped them move forward in the recruitment space. They are eager to develop the digital recruitment side by using Artificial Intelligence.

At Oliver Sanderson, the culture is close-knit, where everyone is supportive of each other. This culture encourages creativity and innovation and has created individual development plans tailored to each consultant and their goals when home working. To sustain this culture during the pandemic, the company has regular drop-ins, communications, and engagement via video platforms and kept traditions such as team lunches, coffee breaks, and even drinks on a Friday. Natasha states, “Our culture is one of inclusivity, trust, partnership and is an enjoyable one, it is important we retain that – even through a computer screen.”

Combating The Pandemic

According to Natasha, employee safety is of the utmost importance to Oliver Sanderson. Therefore, the company has created a working from the home policy under which all employees will remain home until January 2021. Along with her team, as successful businesswomen she has adapted the business to the new needs of their clients and candidates and encourages them to operate via virtual tools such as SNAPP InView to carry out interviews. In addition to psychometric testing, Natasha has been able to provide 3 stage interviewing processes and guidance on virtual onboarding and remote work to ensure that their clients and applicants get the closest possible experience to the “old way” of recruiting. She also provided strategies and practice on socially distant interviews when a face-to-face interview is required and accommodated their office space and board room. During this process, they have ensured that candidates did not rely on public transportation by verifying the offices’ local parking sites and ensuring their protection by providing air time for the room and being cleaned for each interview.

Future Endeavours

Natasha has ambitious plans in 2020 to expand its interim company in the right spaces. This involves launching their new division Justinterims.com powered by the Oliver Sanderson Group. Along with this, the company will lay the groundwork for establishing offices in the Netherlands, India, and America for expansion in 2021. It is also expanding its reach and working with Associate Directors in their specialist areas to heal grown and expand its knowledge and impact on the market. “We are currently in talks about a potential investment with a Venture Capital firm and have also spoken with companies about potential joint ventures. Despite the current climate, it’s all go at Oliver Sanderson,” says Natasha.

CEO’s View Point On Pandemic

“There is no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic is forcibly reshaping global economies, companies, and industries. While some may look at this phenomenon negatively, opportunities are also right around the corner. Although companies tend to freeze-hire and downsize to reduce costs, now is the best time to hire. There are less competition and a growing pool of talents, from diverse backgrounds with transferable skills,” says Natasha. She believes that this is a perfect opportunity for visionary business organizations to make the best out of this predicament: seeking the right applicants to fill executive roles and who are capable of coping through this crisis. Business organizations are now engaged with their recuperation and development of strategic planning. As such, new jobs are sprouting, with interim projects in between to mitigate the risks and minimize the loss brought about by Covid-19. There is an immediate need for companies to fill these empty roles if they want to survive the pandemic onslaught’s troublesome outcomes. The only problem with conducting an executive search during this time is the limited opportunity for interviewing an ideal candidate face-to-face. To overcome this, Natasha suggests, “There are recruitment apps that use special algorithms to match hiring managers with ideal applicants such as our Snapp CV mobile app already launched and our OS Executive App launching shortly.” http://www.inspirezones.com/inspire-stories/natasha-makhijani-an-industrious-leader-reshaping-the-recruitment-space/

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Tell us about your current leadership role?

As a CEO of an Executive Search firm in the permanent and interim space for the FTSE 350 I firmly believe that a leader should have passion, drive, energy, honestly, integrity, and humour, to name a few! It is vital to be aware of the needs of the sector, the job market, and the requirements of one’s company and people.

A leader has to be open-minded and find solutions through difficult times. Leaders must be challenged, actively listen, constantly know that they are always learning, and be open to others guiding you. As a business grows, a leader should be apt at identifying and cultivating talent; proper succession planning can lead to great leaders. it is essential to know what your goal is, devise a strategy and a business plan, and continuously refer to it. It would help if you never lost focus on what your goal is and where you want to go.

In the whole of the journey, is it essential to focus on the beginning but always be open and adaptive to how things can change? There will be stumbles and knockdowns, but you can’t let them define you. Failure not what sets you. "It is how you get back up and get back on track."

And the career journey that led you there?

Degree Qualified from City University and a Masters in HR from the USA, I began my professional career with Hays Logistics on their graduate scheme. I set up the Victoria office with my manager, and within two years, the Victoria office and the staff of eight became the top-performing office in the country. I was offered the opportunity to work with Michael Page and Robert Walters.

I started with Michael Page Human Resources, and she became their top biller within HR during her first year. I helped set up their St Albans office and then moved to London to set up permanent recruitment for the Public Sector. Later, I was promoted to Managing Consultant and contributed to the growth of the Public sector office.

I consider myself lucky to have had a revelation to an entrepreneurial community from an early age, and I believe that this helped me shape into somebody who is vibrant and enthusiastic and with a keen interest and passion for business.

What would your advice be to your younger self?

Believe in yourself, you can.

What’s your biggest ambition/what inspires you?

The one thing that I would like to accomplish is growth to an exceptional level in the interim side of our business. I would also like to open offices internationally, and I have already started exploring New York, India, and The Netherlands. It is essential to diversify the working practices and reach out; there is still so much for us to learn and expand. We also recognise that we must be mindful of a changing workplace due to the Global Pandemic and companies changing working practices and how they hire. The next six to twelve months will affect how business strategy is taken forward depending on the Global economy. There is a rise for change and it is about embracing new ways of working for everyone.

Change brings opportunity it’s about navigating your way through the choppy waters to ensure a successful outcome. http://www.womeninrecruitment.org/article/natasha-makhijani-ceo-oliver-sanderson-charts-her-personal-ca-143.aspx

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