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18th Dec 2023

Meet the Team: An Interview with Shelmith Mwangi

Filed under: Meet The Team, Blog Articles

18th Dec 2023

We sat down with our Senior Consultant, Shelmith Mwangi, to find out more about her career, why she chose Millar Cameron and executive search.

What’s your current role at Millar Cameron?

I hold the position of a Senior Consultant specialising in the International Development sector, with a focus on Food Security and Agriculture, Development Finance, Sustainability and Climate, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure sub-sectors.

My role is a vibrant mix of steering projects, nurturing client relationships, leading targeted search assignments, reporting and business development within the specialised sub-sectors I champion.

Why executive search? What led you to a career in this space?

I come from a background in human resource management and am also a certified psychometric assessor. While I initially found joy in talent acquisition from the beginning of my career, I took a detour into broader HR consulting, which I really enjoyed. But my true passion has always been executive search, as talent acquisition comes naturally to me.

Moving into a career in executive search with Millar Cameron simply felt right. I love connecting exceptional talent with transformative opportunities and shaping leadership teams that drive organisational success.

In my current role, I use the experience I've gained over the years not only to recruit the best talent for my clients but also to be a trusted advisor. My understanding of HR and general operations allows me to bring a valuable perspective to the table.


What made you choose Millar Cameron?

Millar Cameron's sector focus and extensive portfolio initially drew me to the organisation. However, what truly sealed the deal for me was the interactions with the hiring team. Their openness, transparency and genuine interest in client welfare stood out.

As someone of Kenyan/African descent, Millar Cameron's deliberate focus on the continent and investment in local teams resonated with me.

The team at the Kenya office is an absolute delight to work with. They bring an incredible mix of collaboration, enthusiasm, and, of course, a generous dose of fun to the table.

How would you describe Millar Cameron and the work you do?

Millar Cameron provides a holistic range of talent solutions, encompassing executive search, project recruitment, talent mapping, assessments, and benchmarking.

What particularly excites me is the prospect of future talent solutions. It's an exciting avenue where forward-thinking strategies meet the ever-evolving landscape of talent, ensuring adaptability and resilience in leadership structures.

Millar Cameron is unique in their passion for and focus on roles in sub-Saharan Africa and emerging markets.  Do you have a tie to these countries?

Having grown up in Kenya, I proudly embrace my African roots in this vibrant continent.

The work we do is truly meaningful. I am privileged to be part of the growth and development of my continent. Each executive placement, to me, is a purposeful step in shaping the leadership landscape of Africa- building a more resilient Africa.

Recruiting for senior management, director and C-suite positions requires a unique skill set. How do you prepare your candidates for the recruitment process at this level?

We go beyond the basics; our approach is thorough. We take the time to understand the client brief, ensuring our delivery meets the expected standards. Along the way, we also take special care of candidates, offering tailored guidance and insights into role expectations. We are committed to maintaining strong relationships with both clients and candidates.


Can you share an exciting project you're currently working on at Millar Cameron and its potential impact on the communities in sub-Saharan Africa?

I’m thrilled to be currently supporting MEDA, one of our key clients.

MEDA is an international economic development organisation that creates business solutions to poverty- working in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South for decent job creation.

MEDA has an ambitious goal to create or sustain decent work for 500,000 people in emerging economies by 2030. To achieve this, MEDA is shifting its focus beyond project-specific efforts to establish lasting alliances that bring about systemic change.

We are supporting MEDA to achieve these goals by providing retained executive search services to identify the appropriate talent for key positions such as a Senior Vice President for a newly created Partnerships and Business Accelerator Division and Project recruitment for an initiative in West Africa. I am also providing ‘future talent solutions’ through talent mapping to build pipelines for critical roles.

The International Development sector is key to developing economic and social growth in communities across Africa, what is it like to interact with people in the sector?

Engaging with people in the ID sector is truly exciting.  Their dedication and passion is seriously inspiring, especially when you see the real impact on local communities. Not forgetting the friendly atmosphere…

What do you see as the biggest recruitment opportunity and conversely challenge, currently playing out within the International Development space over the next 12 months?

As many INGOs prioritise a localisation agenda, there is a foreseeable surge in demand for talent in the Global South as there is an emphasis on recruiting from the regions where impact is intended. It’s a big deal for us because it aligns with our market focus.

But here’s the tricky part, the challenge lies in the varying accessibility of talent pools across different regions.

The good news; Millar Cameron has proactively invested in establishing local networks, enabling us to efficiently tap into these regions. We have a good understanding of the talent landscape, cultural nuances and regulatory aspects, positioning us to assist our clients in accessing this talent and making informed hiring decisions.

We are well-equipped to navigate the intricacies of local markets while upholding a global perspective.

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