Natasha Makhijani is the Founder and CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the City, University of London and a master’s from DePaul University in Chicago, she began her recruitment career on the Graduate Scheme at Hays. Fast-tracked into management roles, she achieved four promotions in four years and took a team from billing £10,000 to £80,000 a month.
She then moved to Michael Page, where she worked on a hybrid desk across permanent and interim senior leadership roles. She was given responsibility for growing Michael Page’s Public Sector division from its offices in London. She soon became the company’s number one biller in HR across the UK, but she always wanted to pursue an entrepreneurial path.
Having already set up executive desks at both Hays and Michael Page, Natasha switched her focus to establishing a business of her own, and in 2011, Oliver Sanderson was born. What started as one woman on a laptop in her dining room has grown into an international business at the cutting edge of executive search, working with big clients, winning awards, and making a difference internationally!
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC
Oliver Sanderson is an executive search firm with a difference, combining experience and expertise with innovation and fresh thinking. Their Values of Honesty, Integrity and Passion are at the heart of everything they do.
Their aim is to help clients achieve greatness by attracting, developing and retaining professionals of the highest calibre. They ensure clients strengthen their organisations by identifying and recruiting the best individuals and supporting their progression into accomplished leaders.
Oliver Sanderson has built up a strong track record of senior and C-suite appointments at FTSE 100, FTSE 250, and Fortune 500 companies. They offer end-to-end recruitment and consultancy solutions, and their team of highly experienced consultants offer a bespoke service designed to satisfy all recruitment and consultancy requirements. Unlike other recruiters, they offer a genuinely consultative service that ensures they listen to the client’s needs and tailor the search process accordingly. This ensures that they can comprehensively search for candidates that are the best possible fit for the company and role.
Oliver Sanderson is a pioneer of digital innovation in executive search and recruitment. Natasha is also the co-founder of Snapp CV, the world’s first voice-technology-enabled mobile jobs platform with exclusive Amazon Alexa integration. If you ask your Alexa device to “find me a job”, the search will be powered by Snapp.
The platform recently featured on the Mayor of London’s TechInvest programme; an initiative delivered in alliance with the UK Business Angels Association to showcase London’s most ground-breaking tech start-up businesses. It also won Recruitment Technology Innovation of the Year at the 2022 Recruiter Awards.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
As an Asian woman in the recruitment industry, Natasha has had to be extremely assertive to get to where she is today, and it has been far from an easy ride. Building an inclusive culture has been pivotal to Oliver Sanderson’s success, not just for themselves but also for their clients and candidates.
Natasha is passionate about tackling DE&I challenges with clients and ensures it is far more than a box-ticking exercise. Having built a strong track record of high-profile appointments of candidates from minority backgrounds across a wide range of industries, more and more companies are approaching Oliver Sanderson for help finding top level candidates who can help them improve representation in their organisations. During briefing meetings, Natasha and her team are often asked: “how do you ensure a diverse shortlist?” There are a number of steps that Oliver Sanderson take to provide an industry-leading diversity shortlisting process for their clients, including:
– Collaboration with diverse organisations and networks, such as BWHR (Black Women in HR) and HR Girlfriends. These networks and communities, often anchored and organised on LinkedIn, provide vital forums and support networks for minority candidates.
– The use of gender-neutral language in all job postings to avoid any gender bias in the selection process. They also remove any identifying information from CVs to ensure that candidates are selected based on their qualifications, experience, and skills rather than their gender, race, or ethnicity.
– Conducting structured interviews with all candidates to ensure fairness and minimise any unconscious bias. They use a standardized set of questions and assess all candidates on the same criteria, which helps to objectively evaluate their qualifications, experience, and skills.
– Providing diversity training to their team to raise their awareness of unconscious bias and encourage a more inclusive workplace culture. Their recruiters are trained to recognise and mitigate any potential bias that may affect the selection process.
– Tracking and monitoring diversity metrics throughout the recruitment process to ensure that they are meeting diversity goals. They measure success by tracking the percentage of diverse candidates in their pipeline and the number of diverse candidates hired.
Going ahead in the Future
Natasha would like to accomplish growth to an exceptional level in the interim side of her business over the next 5 years. She would also like to open offices internationally and has already started exploring New York, India, and The Netherlands. She believes it is essential to diversify her working practices and reach out – there is still so much more room to learn and expand.