Director, Employability & Strategic Partnerships
The Power of the Network – how Millar Cameron used the strength and reach of its contact base to find an exceptional individual for a highly specialist role in Africa’s largest pan-African private education group.
- Director, Employability & Strategic Partnerships
- Location: Pan-African remit based from Ghana
- Sector: Education
- Service: Executive Search
Honoris United Universities is the first and largest pan-African private higher education network committed to educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals. It delivers Education for Impact, regionally in a globalised world. Backed by leading emerging markets investment firm, Actis, Honoris is an ambitious, rapidly expanding and dynamic network of private education institutions serving 57,000 students on 70 campuses, learning centres and via online channels in 10 countries and 32 cities.
Honoris had been growing rapidly, acquiring and expanding educational institutions across the African continent. Supported by funding from Actis, the group was actively evaluating further acquisitions and expanding its offerings and geographic coverage. The Director, Employability and Strategic Partnerships position was established at corporate level to bring focus and best practice to student employability initiatives in Africa and worldwide. This appointment was also to build strategic relationships with major corporate employers in Africa and beyond to position Honoris as the preferred source of high calibre graduate employees.
Candidates for the position required a detailed understanding of youth employability, workforce and capability development and strategic relationship building across Africa, a highly specialised area of expertise. As the leading educational group in Africa, Honoris was already the market leader in this field presenting the challenge of where else to find suitably qualified individuals who not only had relevant expertise but also shared Honoris’ passion for Education for Impact.
The recruitment process can be filled with anxiety as one tries to navigate the interview and negotiation phases. Working with a recruitment firm can be tricky because they may not be knowledgeable about the technical field or context for which they are recruiting. Millar Cameron’s company values of “people, passion and persistence” were exemplified in their recruitment team’s exceptional knowledge of the client’s mission and vision, and the high level of professionalism balanced with care in interactions with candidates. The Millar Cameron team were supportive in preparing me for my interviews, and responsive in sharing updates about the recruitment process. I had a great experience with Millar Cameron and would definitely recommend them for their professionalism, transparency, and support during the recruitment process.
With few competitors in Africa, we had to think laterally in order to identify suitably qualified individuals. We would need to make the most of our in-house research team and leverage our broad base of relationships especially those working in International Development in Africa and internationally. Through a combination of structured networking and first principles research into the international education sector and youth employment initiatives specifically, we developed a clear understanding of the operators in the sector. A particularly fruitful strand of activity came via conversations held with key senior individuals in the US government administration, overseas aid organisations and those working with a range of UN and other development agencies.
Through our networking and research, we built a strong shortlist of qualified individuals from a range of backgrounds, each with the requite skills and passion for youth education. After an extremely thorough interview process involving a detailed presentation and discussions with the leadership team and CEO, a very high calibre and experienced individual with a substantial career in workforce development was appointed. A dual US/Ghanaian citizen, the successful candidate had been working at governmental level across emerging markets including a number of challenging environments in Africa.
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