Natasha Makhijani, CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC, is changing the face of executive search. A pioneer of new digital platforms and a powerful advocate for diversity and inclusion programmes, Makhijani has led Oliver Sanderson to the forefront of an evolving industry.
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC is a Staffing & Recruiting firm with over 22 years of experience. Oliver Sanderson Group’s strategy is unrivalled in the business. Its presence in the UK and internationally allows it to provide a collaborative approach to clients. Client connections are critical to the company’s success, since they ensure that the company’s values, organisation, and future vision are all understood.
The Story of Natasha
Makhijani started her recruiting career at Hays on the Graduate Scheme after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from City University of London and a Master’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago. She rose through the ranks quickly, earning four promotions in four years and taking a team from £10,000 to £80,000 in monthly billing.
She went from Hays to Michael Page, where she worked on a hybrid desk that included both permanent and interim senior leadership positions. Makhijani was given the task of expanding Michael Page’s Public Sector business from its London headquarters. She quickly rose to become the company’s top biller in HR across the UK. Makhijani, on the other hand, saw a different route for her career, and after setting up executive desks at both Hays and Michael Page, she set her sights on starting her own firm.
Starting Oliver Sanderson Group PLC
Reflecting on the entrepreneurial ambitions that motivated her move, Natasha said: “I come from a very entrepreneurial community, and I always felt that there was something more out there. People questioned whether it was the right thing to do, but I took the risk. I knew it was the right thing to do, and I have never looked back.”
Oliver Sanderson was founded in 2011, and what started out as a single girl and a laptop has evolved into a global executive search firm. She recounted, “I quit a good job, sold my vehicle to combine my funds, and set up an office in the dining room.” She developed an international executive search business with a dedicated research team in just a few years.
“Things have snowballed – we’ve made exceptional progress.”
Comprehensive Offerings in Staffing & Recruiting
The Permanent Practice of Oliver Sanderson provides end-to-end executive recruitment and consulting services. The firm breaks the mould by delivering a truly consultative and personalised partnering approach, helping customers accomplish their objectives by attracting, developing, and keeping high-calibre business leaders, thanks to a team of experienced consultants and researchers. Oliver Sanderson also provides unique industry research and information, candidate profiling, succession planning support, and project insights to help businesses adapt and grow.
In recent years, the business has established a good track record, placing CEOs and senior executives at FTSE 100, FTSE 350, and Fortune 500 firms. CEOs for a FTSE 100 business services firm and a Fortune 500 technology company, a Group HR Director for a FTSE 100 client, and a Global Head of Learning and Development for a FTSE 100 FMCG company are just a few of the highlights.
Makhijani’s team discovered the potential benefit of a dedicated executive interims division after seeing the need for expert interim executives to help steer organisations through moments of transition. Oliver Sanderson’s newly formed JustInterims business now specialises in interim executive search, notably in the areas of board practise, business change, organisation development, and HR Transformation.
After recognising the necessity for skilled interim executives to help lead organisations through times of transition, Makhijani’s team saw the potential value of a specialised executive interims division. JustInterims, Oliver Sanderson’s newly established interim executive search firm, currently specialises in board practise, business change, organisation development, and HR Transformation.
Recognized as a Transformational Business Leader
Makhijani is a pioneer of digital advances in executive search and recruiting, and new technology has been fundamental to Oliver Sanderson’s quick development. Snapp CV & Snapp Resume, the world’s first mobile employment board with speech technology and Amazon Alexa integration, was co-founded by her. The app now has a database of over 25 million individuals in the United Kingdom and the United States, with over 250,000 jobs advertised on its mobile job board, and its founders are looking for a serious investment to grow further into the United States and India.
Makhijani has released a dedicated Oliver Sanderson Executive app, after the success of the Snapp suite, which includes Snapp Resume US & Global, Snapp CV UK, and Snapp INView video interviewing software. The app, which was designed and developed by her in-house tech team, includes introductory candidate and client profile films, fingerprint and password-protected online NDA signings, digital applicant packets, integrated job applications, and video interviews, among other features.
Oliver Sanderson is leading the way as digital platforms become more prevalent in the executive search and recruiting market, using the power of contemporary technology to identify and connect with the future generation of business leaders. “Although digital platforms are simplifying some of the manual tasks of recruitment and sourcing, they will never replace the headhunter,” Makhijani observed. “However intelligent they are becoming, machines still can’t match great people with great jobs like we can. But digital platforms can help us unlock a new world of global talent.”
In 2020, a series of global events pushed diversity and inclusion to the centre of the business agenda, and Makhijani has used her unique experiences as an Asian woman CEO to help Oliver Sanderson create an inclusive culture. “Being a BAME woman CEO in the recruitment industry has not been easy, but I’ve always seen it as a strength. I have always been unique, slightly different. Most importantly, I have had to be extremely assertive to get where I am today.”
Building an Inclusive Work Culture
Recent events have drawn more attention to race and gender equality issues, but they are nothing new for Makhijani and her team at Oliver Sanderson. “Building an inclusive culture has been pivotal to our success, not just for us but also for our clients and our candidates. It’s not just something we do as a check box.”
Passion that Leads to Success
Makhijani is enthusiastic about helping her clients address issues of diversity and inclusion. Her activism has aided development throughout the industry and beyond as a founding member and co-chair of APSCo’s HR Sector Group. She is now forming a non-profit with a group of industry executives to address issues such as race equality, disability, and gender equality.
Makhijani has a big plan for the next five years, in addition to the debut of her new organisation. She is looking for fresh funding possibilities to assist Oliver Sanderson’s development goals in Europe and the United States.
The global workforce has recently been pushed to adjust to unprecedented difficulties, and firms now more than ever require strong and savvy leadership. Oliver Sanderson is at the forefront of an industry that remains crucial to the corporate world, discovering and positioning these leaders in places where they can make a genuine difference.