Meet the Team: An Interview with Millar Cameron’s Senior Partner Marta Koczorowska
We sat down with Marta Koczorowska to find out what led her to a career in executive search and to discuss how she anticipates the industry will develop over the next few years.
MARTA’S ROLE AS SENIOR PARTNER
1. What led you to a career in executive search?
Like many in the sector, recruitment and more specifically executive search, wasn’t the ‘by design career’ for me. I have a degree in Cultural Studies from the University of Warsaw and initially planned to pursue a career in academia.
However, after returning from a scholarship in Croatia, where I ran research about the importance of public spaces, civic movements and grassroots initiatives, I had an opportunity to move to London. What was supposed to be a ‘gap year’ turned into a 13-year-long journey, supporting large corporations and SMEs in their search for top talent. My first professional experience was in qualitative market research and then, almost by accident, I landed my first recruitment role.
Looking back, I believe that the unique opportunity to speak to so many people – clients and candidates - and to learn about their aspirations and address real-life business problems, is still one of the most exciting parts of the profession.
As professional talent advisors, I believe we have a moral obligation to advocate change in terms of diversity and equality in the organisations we support, making executive search such a meaningful career even after all those years. But there is still so much more that can be done!
2. What’s your current role at Millar Cameron?
I joined Millar Cameron earlier this year from a large talent consulting firm, where I led the Client Services for EMEA. Here, in the role of Senior Partner, I oversee account management and support my extremely talented and dedicated team in delighting our client partners by strengthening our product proposition, processes and overall project delivery.
MILLAR CAMERON’S UNIQUE CULTURE AND ETHOS
3. What made you choose Millar Cameron?
I wasn’t looking for a new role when I was approached about the opportunity at Millar Cameron. However, the sheer passion and ambition of the leadership team got me thinking about the developing markets – how I can apply what I know about best practices in the industry whilst learning about this hugely exciting, diverse and growing market from the experts.
4. How would you describe Millar Cameron and the work you do?
Millar Cameron is a talent consultancy specialising in executive and professional search services. The wealth of market and sector knowledge, depth of networks and technology allow us to support our clients with other consulting services, including market and talent mapping, salary benchmarking surveys and other bespoke talent projects to address clients’ particular needs.
In the ever-changing world, it is not enough to hire reactively. We are committed to partnering with our clients in their strategic resource planning as part of broader business initiatives and strategies. We can do so by providing them with access to information and data to enable them to make informed decisions. It is an area that I’m hugely passionate about and excited to develop further at Millar Cameron.
5. Millar Cameron is unique in its passion for and focus on roles in sub-Saharan Africa and emerging markets. Do you have a tie to these countries?
Before joining Millar Cameron, my experience working with clients in African countries was limited. I suppose this was my personal pull factor to join, as I wanted to learn more. The opportunities in Africa and broader developing markets we support (SE Asia, LATAM) are plenty.
I am very proud of the partnerships we form within our core sectors, including International Development, Agriculture and Power to name but a few - the companies we represent are driving a tangible positive impact on the local economies and societies.
The time to invest in Africa is now, and we see this happening with the influx of international investment and local initiatives. So, I’m genuinely humbled and excited to see what the future holds.
6. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the sector, as we move towards 2023?
The search industry can no longer afford to operate in a transactional manner. Instead, it must step up and operate as a true partner, providing strategic counsel and added value that clients demand.
Greater transparency and accountability are necessary as companies expect more for their money from executive search partners.
To remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market, search firms need to provide companies with in-depth competitor management information, industry insight, diversity mapping, compensation benchmarking and new geography product analysis to aid strategic decision-making.
Organisations need agile search partners who combine traditional, proven methodology, with the latest technology and data-driven insights. Using technology and cutting-edge research techniques to map competitors and company structures more efficiently, provide market insights and intelligence. This ultimately means more informed decisions and cost benefits to our clients seeking executive-level/professional talent.
7. What’s next?
Diversity continues to be one of the key topics as it is essential in building a sustainable workforce. Executive search firms need to develop propositions beyond diverse talent mapping to include nurturing the DIE talent networks and supporting unbiased interview processes internally and at the client end.
Looking to the future, organisations and search partners need to innovate, utilising technology in ways that embrace diversity and inclusion, transparency and collaboration.
And they need to be ready to implement this innovation quickly or risk being left behind by the competition.