Natasha Makhijani: Driving Change and Fostering Talent in the Recruitment Industry
Natasha Makhijani
Natasha Makhijani

The world of executive search or recruitment thrives on a simple truth—the right leaders are the engine of growth and innovation. In this robust field, businesses grapple with the challenge of pinpointing those exceptional individuals who can propel them forward. As industries progress, so too do the demands for strategic HR, business change expertise and interim leadership. Companies navigating these complexities turn to trusted firms like Oliver Sanderson Group PLC, headquartered in London.

At the helm of Oliver Sanderson is Natasha Makhijani, a seasoned leader known for pioneering recruitment initiatives. She not only serves as the Founder and Group CEO of Oliver Sanderson, an award-winning executive search firm specializing in HR, business change, and interim board practice, but also holds the role of Founder and Director at Snapp, a digital recruitment platform revolutionizing talent acquisition processes.

Under Natasha’s leadership, Oliver Sanderson connects exceptional talent with leading organizations across diverse global industries. By understanding each client’s unique recruitment needs, Natasha and her team are dedicated to crafting tailored solutions that propel businesses forward.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

After completing a Bachelor’s degree at the City University of London and a Master’s at DePaul University in Chicago, Natasha launched her career in recruitment through Hays’ Graduate Scheme. Swiftly advancing into management, she garnered four promotions in as many years, elevating her team’s monthly billings from £10,000 to £80,000.

Transitioning to Michael Page, Natasha broadened her expertise across permanent and interim senior leadership roles, focusing notably on expanding the Public Sector division from their London offices. She excelled as the top HR biller across the UK, yet her entrepreneurial spirit beckoned.

Having already established executive desks at Hays and Michael Page, Natasha embarked on her own venture. In 2011, Oliver Sanderson was founded, initially as a solo endeavor powered by Natasha’s laptop. Over time, it burgeoned into an international leader in executive search, renowned for its innovative approach and partnerships with major clients, earning industry accolades and fostering global impact.

Natasha’s journey was not without challenges. Natasha and her team encountered early hurdles in establishing their brand in a competitive market. However, these obstacles fueled innovation and differentiation. A pivotal moment arrived with the need to navigate rapid technological shifts in recruitment. The solution came in the form of Snapp CV, their proprietary platform, which revolutionized their operations.

Throughout the journey, Natasha’s leadership has been defined by resilience, adaptability and an untiring commitment to excellence. These qualities have shaped Oliver Sanderson’s trajectory and further solidified its reputation as a transformative force in the executive search industry.

Connecting Talent and Opportunity

Natasha found her calling in recruitment due to her passion for people and a keen interest in sales. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood, she envisioned leveraging entrepreneurship to empower individuals like herself and her peers and provide them with avenues for career advancement.

I have a passion for connecting talented individuals with opportunities that match their skills and aspirations,” Natasha emphasizes. She derives motivation from candidates’ success stories and clients’ satisfaction, driving her relentless pursuit of excellence.

Her leadership style revolves around empathy, inclusivity and empowerment. “I believe in fostering a supportive environment where every team member feels valued,” Natasha affirms. This approach has enabled her team to forge strong bonds with clients and candidates, ensuring they deliver exceptional service and significantly impact careers and businesses.

Fostering Growth Mindset and Adaptability

Natasha points out the importance of leading by example in fostering a culture of resilience and adaptability within her team. “I encourage a growth mindset, where challenges are seen as opportunities for growth,” she affirms. Continuous training and development programs are integral, ensuring team members are equipped with essential skills to navigate change adeptly.

Open communication and collaboration play pivotal roles. Natasha emphasizes, “We create a safe space for team members to voice their ideas and concerns.” By celebrating successes and learning from setbacks collectively, they cultivate a resilient and adaptable workforce ready to tackle any challenge head-on.

Creating a Culture of Inclusion

At Oliver Sanderson, fostering diversity, equity and inclusion is a core commitment reflected in the organizational practices. “We have implemented blind recruitment processes to eliminate unconscious biases,” Natasha explains. Internally, policies are continuously reviewed and updated to nurture an inclusive environment.

We provide training and workshops on diversity and inclusion for our employees,” Natasha adds. These efforts extend beyond internal policies to influence hiring practices, employee engagement programs and community outreach initiatives. Embracing diversity not only drives innovation but also strengthens the capability to serve clients effectively.

Empowering Teams Through Dialogue

Oliver Sanderson’s leadership approach encourages open communication and transparency. “We hold regular town hall meetings where leadership updates on company performance, strategic initiatives, and organizational changes,” Natasha explains. These meetings offer a platform for employees to “ask questions and share their feedback.”

Our open-door policy encourages team members to discuss ideas and concerns directly with managers or executives,” Natasha emphasizes. Collaborative tools and platforms are utilized to ‘ensure seamless information flow across departments,’ fostering a culture of transparency and collective problem-solving.

Pioneering Digital Recruitment

At Oliver Sanderson, fostering innovation is integral to the company’s approach to business growth. “We have systems and ways of working in place to foster creativity and innovative thinking,” Natasha emphasizes. The company specializes in digital recruitment and leads with pioneering digital innovations in executive search.

We prioritize staying ahead by investing in technology and leveraging data-driven insights,” Natasha states. The Snapp CV platform exemplifies the commitment to integrating cutting-edge technology into recruitment processes inspired by client needs in remote and hybrid work environments. “Innovation came from openness,” Natasha reflects.

Continuous learning is central to the company’s culture. “We encourage our team to stay updated with the latest industry developments through regular training sessions, industry conferences and strong research and development,” Natasha notes.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are integral to our strategy. We engage in environmentally conscious practices and support community initiatives, ensuring our growth is sustainable and positively impacts society,” Natasha affirms.

Keys to Leadership Excellence

“To emerging leaders, I would advise focusing on building strong relationships and continuously learning,” Natasha advises. She emphasizes embracing challenges as ‘opportunities for growth’ and urges leaders to ‘never stop innovating.’

Inclusivity should be prioritized,” Natasha underscores, advocating for fostering a culture where “diverse perspectives are valued.” She notes that maintaining integrity in all business dealings is crucial.

Remember, success is not just personal achievements but also about the positive impact on others and the industry,” Natasha emphasizes. She encourages emerging leaders to embody resilience, adaptability and empathy to navigate business complexities and create a meaningful, lasting impact.

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