Finding the right Search Partner for Africa

The benefits of operating in Africa have long been recognised and while these economies can be unpredictable but with both South African and Nigeria emerging from recession, many global organisations are looking to enhance their investment and growth plans.  Population growth in many African cities is attracting greater investment.  In his  Agenda column published on 24th June 2018, Iain Dey former Business Editor of The Sunday Times explained that ‘HSBC economist Stephen D King had suggested Africa could account for 40% of the world’s population by 2100’ that  ‘there should be opportunities aplenty from this baby boom for UK plc’, but that Brexit distractions meant that this prospect is likely  to be an opportunity lost.  British businesses should act now. Looking at their talent pipeline and talent succession to make the most of this high growth market. *

The OECD Business Insights on Emerging Markets report from last year described how. “ Urbanisation in Africa is rapidly occurring at an unforeseen pace – the population of cities has doubled in 20 years to reach 472 million in 2015. With such unprecedented growth, coupled with an expanding population in the middle-income range, African cities are an important and growing market for the private sector to build infrastructure and provide goods and services .”**   With this renewed optimism and business expansion comes increased competition for talent at the senior level with many organisations increasingly developing local talent.

For organisations where the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa are prime emerging markets,  identifying, securing and retaining key local leadership talent is still a major challenge.

Finding effective talent solutions is possible, if organisations look outside of their tradition pools.  Using a search partner with an established network of African talent who is also networked with Africans in disapora can provide a competitive advantage.

The cost of failed searches is high and choosing the right search partner, with the right network and highly skilled research capability, is the key to preventing this.  If an organisation enjoys a successful relationship with a particular search partner for their Head Office search needs, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their affiliates are best placed to replicate that relationship in another market.

For more information on how Norman Broadbent Executive Search can help you please contact    or 0207 484 0119 for an exploratory conversation.

*Reaping riches of Africa’s baby boom, Iain Dey, Sunday Times 24/6/18


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A Norman Broadbent Breakfast: Maximising ROI Through People: HR Analytics

A Norman Broadbent Group Breakfast Briefing
‘Maximising ROI Through People: HR Analytics’


Keith McNulty
Global Director, People Analytics and Measurement
McKinsey & Company


Norman Broadbent Group and Calimere Point were delighted to welcome clients and guests to an enlightening and incisive presentation from Keith McNulty – people analytics expert and LinkedIn Top Voice of 2017.

Keith trained as a pure mathematician before pioneering people metrics within McKinsey.  Now part-organisational psychologist and part data-scientist with deep knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, he is uniquely placed as a Human Capital Leader and forecaster of workplace trends.

As the world of HR undergoes seismic changes, he highlighted the critical role of data-driven decision-making in maximising talent and business potential. Keith’s key insights included:

  • Automation is creating unprecedented disruption. Already, 50 per cent of current work activities are automatable and we are only just at the beginning of the revolution.  By 2030, automation will have displaced between 15 and 30 per cent of total global work.
  • How companies manage their talent in the next 50 years will become the main differentiator of high-performing organisations.
  • HR is going to have a predominant role to play, but it needs to up its game. We’ve seen HR transform from its administrative and industrial relations function to the business advisory role.  Now it has to become the strategic partner with an equal voice alongside CEOs and CFOs.
  • People analytics will be the main enabler of HR professionals by giving them hard evidence, and therefore credibility, at the top table.
  • Leading innovators of advanced people analytics include McKinsey, who have adopted a data-driven approach to understanding individual skills and better matching them to roles. At Google, the people analytics team used 250 data points to characterise high-performing teams and concluded that the team environment is more important than individual constituents.  They also found that the teams generating highest revenues were those that felt psychologically safe.  At Microsoft, creative examination of email and calendar data revealed the patterns and habits of the most effective managers.
  • Research by Bersin by Deloitte shows that two thirds of organisations have embraced people analytics, but too many are limiting their use to reporting functions.
  • To thrive, HR needs to break out of straightforward recordkeeping with people data and focus on predicting and improving business outcomes.
  • People analytics will underpin all elements of HR in the future – recruitment, engagement, development and retention. McKinsey’s assessment process now includes a video game that captures not just right or wrong answers, but the way applicants think.
  • While people analytics won’t ever replace human judgement entirely, they are making human judgement more efficient. Data driven processes are already giving organisations the ability to measure skills such as critical thinking, decision-making and creativity and tailor candidates to roles accordingly.

In summary, the business world is working towards a moment – maybe 20-40 years from now – in which people won’t apply for specific jobs, they’ll apply to organisations who have the tools to place them in positions that best fit their talents.

The Norman Broadbent Group provides leadership search, interim and consulting services and works closely with Calimere Point to deliver expertise and experience in HR data and data analytics.  If you would like to learn more about how we may be of help to you or your organisation please contact:


Dr Paul Aldrich
Managing Director
Norman Broadbent Group
T: 0207 484 0000

Peter Griffiths
Managing Director
Calimere Point
T: 020 3170 7745


About The Norman Broadbent Group:

The Norman Broadbent Group is a leading Professional Services firm specifically focussing on Leadership Acquisition & Advisory Services. With an emphasis on ‘Total Talent Solutions’ the Group offers clients a range of complimentary services including Board & Leadership Search, Senior Interim Management, Research & Insight, Leadership Consulting & Assessment, and executive level Recruitment Solutions.

 About Calimere Point Risk Advisory:

Calimere Point Risk Advisory is a leading business and data analytics consultancy, with experience across a number of industry verticals including financial services, commodities, utilities and retail.  We have developed a strong track record of delivering value from applied analytics for our clients, by leveraging cutting-edge data analytics technologies combined with high calibre execution capabilities. We have extensive experience in implementing advanced data analytics techniques to address human resource challenges by delivering evidence-based insights.

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The Inaugural Future HR Leaders Programme

Norman Broadbent is proud to be sponsoring The Guild of Human Resource Professionals’ new HR Leadership Programme, aimed at HR professionals (both generalists and specialists) who have the potential to fulfil a “Head of Function” role in the next 3 to 5 years.

Applications to join the HR Leadership Programme are open until 30th June and it commences in September. Should you have any members of your team who would benefit from the programme – or wish to self-nominate for the programme – then please visit the HR Guild website to register an interest. Inquiries can be sent

As many of the contributors are providing their time pro bono to “give back to the world of people management”, the course is being offered at £2,500 per person, with three scholarships available for individuals whose organisations are unable to fund this cost

Delivered by Heads of HR from world-renowned organisations and supplemented by personal mentoring by leaders in this field, this one year programme comprises the following:

  • 8 Masterclasses representing a deep dive on topics ranging from Governance, Ethics and Reward through to the Future of Work, the Future Role of HR and the impact of technology. Each session will additionally feature the career paths, personal experiences and insights of the Heads of HR delivering these sessions
  • 4 mentoring sessions, by current or former Heads of HR, to help individuals acquire the credibility, influence and self-awareness to operate at the top level
  • Expert input from both an occupational psychologist and an employee communications specialist to ensure maximum personal impact.

Please see the below the HR Leadership Brochure and also click here for a recent article from the HR Magazine, which describes the programme, its objectives and learning outcomes.

Finally, Heads of HR, or potential candidates, who would like to find out more about the programme, are invited to the Open Evening on 20th June, which will be hosted at 1 Churchill Place London, E14 5H within Barclays from 6 pm to 7.30 pm. This will also provide an opportunity to meet with the HR Leaders and Course Tutors who are managing this exciting new programme for the HR community.

If you would like to find out more information regarding the Open Evening then please click on this link:

The HR Guild look forward to receiving expressions of interest and hopefully seeing you at the launch event.

If you would like to find out how The Norman Broadbent Group can help your organisation, please contact a member of our HR Practice which can be found below:

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Shifting the Needle: Strategic Female Talent Pipelining

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the UK’s Representation of the People Act. This legislation enabled all men – and some, but not all, women over the age of 30 – to vote for the first time, eventually paving the way for universal suffrage.


As we quite rightly remember and celebrate this monumental shift towards greater equality, we should pause and applaud how many businesses increasingly recognise that gender, race, and cultural diversity boost innovation and creative problem-solving. Put simply, it is proven that more diverse workforces create better businesses.


But what levers can a business pull to impact its mix of Talent quickly? Here, we evidence how a few simple actions can make all the difference.

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5 digital workplace trends for 2018

The worlds of digital, work and everyday life are converging more and more – and the impact can be seen in ways we never imagined – for good and bad.

1. Digital Democratizes……

….fill in the blank. I have heard it said that digital democratizes entrepreneurship, creates more social justice and is behind some significant protest movements – including the rise of the female voice.

It does create a platform on which, to miss-quote Oprah, “one can speak one’s truth” and be heard – probably by likeminded people – as the search engine algorithms skew page results to reflect opinions, thoughts and beliefs closely related to our own.

Nevertheless, like a new puppy barking innocently as it discovers its new ability and likes both the sound of it and the response to being heard, underrepresented minorities are using digital to claim their rightful share of voice. Business, employees and candidates all need to get wise to this, Its impact is showing to be it’s impact it showing to be both far reaching and ground shifting.

This new transparency I hope will prove healthy for all, however, I suspect like the daughters of Lord Grantham, watching how we all behave and minding our reputations will become central to all decisions we make – in and out of work, for and on behalf of our organisations.

2. Stakeholders will flex their muscles to influence digital businesses for good.

In January 2018, Apple investors urged action on ‘smartphone addiction’; in 2017, advertisers pulled YouTube ads when they were found to be appearing next to videos promoting extremist views or hate speech; research by the Children’s Commissioner for England found children were seeking validation from social media.

For me, the most remarkable muscle flex effect was the speed in which All the Money in the World was reshot with Christopher Plummer, when Ridley Scott reshot with the new lead in 9 days.

Businesses will move quickly when stakeholders are not happy and voice that unhappiness.

3. Digital enables a more diverse and inclusive workplace

As employers continue to respond positively to the voices calling for change, digital will underpin this drive to make the work place fairer and more inclusive. Digital removes obstacles that were once barriers to inclusivity – it allows remote working, flexible working, a “gig” portfolio of work contracts, increasing accessibility through smart software tools like voice recognition software and,  a personal favourite of mine, hardware such as Doro phones – which are hearing aid compatible. The pool of talent widens and employers can fill those open vacancies with a more agile and flexible approach to hiring and workplace cultures.

4. Learning and development

Continuous learning and development underpins the digital workplace and the employee has an ever increasing responsibility to themselves to continually upskill and develop.

The recent call for everyone to code went too far for many – for me it was too big a step to ask. With the growth of MOOCs….[Massive Open Online Courses] from providers like Udacity and Coursera and even more educational content on YouTube, the opportunity to learn has never been greater – offering flexibility and “future proofing” you career.

As a head hunter in digital, let me assure you, demonstrating a commitment to learning has a very positive impact at interview

If you would like to find out how Norman Broadbent Solutions can help your organisation, please contact Jo Cumper, for an initial confidential discussion.
DDI: +44 (0) 20 7483 015 600
Mobile: +44 (0) 48 3015 600

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Talent Access: Finding and Tapping into Missed Talent Pools

Whilst Norman Broadbent’s Executive Search team successfully closes 95% of assignments, the market average amongst traditional competitors is as low as 60%. And of that 60%, the time from instruction to start date ranges from 9-12 months. There are many reasons why ‘traditional’ search firms fail to deliver and why the process takes so long. These range from average (or no) in-house research capability, a limited understanding of the role and/or market, lack of candidate engagement due to poor brand recognition, poor talent pool management, or quite simply a lack of imagination and going beyond the obvious to identify more diverse or hidden talent.

In the last year, around 50% of talent acquisition assignments managed by Norman Broadbent Interim Management have been the result of another Search firm failing to deliver. Driven by a need to meet commercial objectives, or to relieve the pressure on a heavily burdened management team, hard-pressed clients cannot wait up to 12 months for critical talent. With businesses now facing increasingly complex and time-sensitive issues, clients need urgent talent acquisition solutions which deliver value and outcomes quickly, often within days.

But how are business critical Interim appointments made so quickly without there being any dilution in quality of candidate, process or due diligence?


  • We have built up dynamic talent networks which are the foundation of our Interim business. We do not advertise, nor do we rely on social media to ‘scrape’ anonymous data. We know from experience that quality talent operates via trusted discreet talent pool networks such as ours
  • We are able to tap into a hidden market of high calibre Interim managers. They are often available for a variety of positive reasons and will not be easily accessed by traditional research methods as they are no longer attached to an organisation
  • When shortlisting, we do not rely on a LinkedIn profile as others do, but instead seek references based on personal experience. Such recommendations from other professionals are vital as they give genuine, meaningful insight into the skills and experience of shortlisted candidates.

Respected and recognised by senior professionals and business leaders, Norman Broadbent is a trusted brand. For those who are exploring new possibilities or seeking market advice, we are the firm of choice. This enables us to engage with, and get access to, exceptional talent who, in many cases, have made a conscious decision to explore new opportunities or have taken professional time out. Such talent often drops off the radar and is disregarded by traditional Search firms who focus on the more obvious candidates. We recently helped a client in the retail sector who had been let down by one of the larger Search firms. After waiting for 10 months, our client instructed us to introduce an Interim to help the CEO with his increasingly busy workload. Having successfully introduced the Interim within days of being instructed, the successful candidate said “I’m not sure why I was missed by the first Search firm. I knew them very well and was a client of theirs, but that is now a year ago and before I took my sabbatical.”

Finally, as an Interim Provider, we meet many Career Interims who are committed to this particular professional lifestyle, which sees them move from one assignment to another. However, this is only one of the many diverse talent pools we tap into. As the world of work changes, we meet those who are between roles, women who are returning to work, candidates wanting to change sectors and those relocating to the UK.

Markets wait for no one. If your business is suffering because of a delayed Executive Search and you feel opportunities are passing you by, we could have the solution.

Stay ahead – call us.

For an initial and confidential discussion please contact Angela Hickmore, Managing Director of Norman Broadbent Interim Management.
DDI: +44 (0) 20 7484 0153
Mobile: +44 (0) 74 8301 5584

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