2023 might seem like it’s just started but as we hit February we’re excited about the continued growth of our team. One such new face is Sandy who is going to be working alongside Michael Thomas in our Engineering and Manufacturing Practice, and in particular, Aerospace.
It’s so exciting to have growth in headcount as well as new industry specialisms and we’re set for a fantastic year continuing to grow our contribution into leading organisations throughout the UK and internationally.
So, we wanted to give you a little more insight into Sandy, who she is, how she will be specialising and just what she sees as the priority for business leaders looking to grow their executive teams this year.
Can you tell us a little about your career so far and how you developed your specialism as an executive search partner within this niche aeronautical and engineering industry.
I’m passionate about relationships, connecting with people, solving their problems and really making a difference to their lives and careers, which is why the talent industry appealed to me at an early stage of my career.
Starting my career as a grad, with minimal experience but the tenacity and work ethic to keep going served me well as I climbed the ranks and eventually built and managed fifteen teams and branches across the UK; specialising in technical engineering, technical sales and marketing. I even grew the Leicester branch to 15 staff whilst pregnant with twins!
After this period, I decided to go out alone and actually ran my own executive consultancy for ten years. This was a lifestyle decision which really gave me the time and opportunity to spend with my family and it was the perfect choice for all of us.
Whilst this was a perfect for that time, as my children grew I knew I wanted to rejoin a business from which I could contribute to a wider culture. I’m really excited to have joined bpesearch in November and to be part of a business from which I can thrive.
We’re very happy to have you join us! What about bpesearch made it the right place for the next step in your career?
The passion and authenticity in bpesearch’s stance on diversity and inclusion was a huge deciding factor. It is an ethos which is lived and breathed in every decision. As a woman who has spent her entire career in male dominated spaces, this outlook is invaluable and refreshing!.
This alongside a culture of deep care for every individual they work with. Additional service offerings such as the six month onboarding package with Open Reflexion are incredible. This service matches successful candidates to a coach who will work with them during the first six months of their job transition to enable success. It’s such a unique level of investment which portrays the dedication to get every project right.
There is a real opportunity to continue to build the bpesearch brand whilst giving it my own stamp.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities for those looking to grow or rehire within their executive team in the next 12 months?
This is the year to really be confident in your business and strategy. Whilst there are factors which may make the year more challenging to organisations, there is a huge amount of potential and growth to be grasped.
Your organisation needs the right people, culture and strategy to thrive. I would challenge every leader at present to really analyse where they want to be in 12-months and what resources they will need to get there. Ultimately, if you don’t have the right senior leadership team and are only driven by surface level metrics, you won’t reach your goals.
Secondly, organisations will gain a competitive edge if they’re open to talent from outside of their industry; focusing on transferable skills as well as an outward view and fresh perspective. Whilst someone may not have a direct product-market fit, at an executive or c-suite level they will have alignment in core skills and values.
This level of outward thinking, also enables the prioritisation of diversity, key in a traditionally male industries like aerospace and defence. By working with a search specialist, you can mitigate risk by being advised of who and what best aligns with your needs whilst stepping outside of those stereotypical boundaries.
Every shortlist presented to you is of people who are capable, the decision from there is based on cultural alignment.
As flexibility and hybrid working models become crucial in attraction and retention, how can site based sectors continue to offer attractive working structures?
In aerospace, manufacturing, and engineering; some presence in a site based workspace is necessary.
However, there are other ways to offer flexibility and translate the crucial feeling of trust whilst also widening your search catchment area.
Businesses we have seen gain the most success with candidates have offered alternative work patterns such as working fewer but longer days, flexible working hours or dedicated work from home days to complete strategic tasks. Crucially, the value of respecting and caring for staff can be as valuable as the tangible benefits of flexibility themselves.
If you’d like to start the conversation about your strategy, get in touch with our team today.