Executives in Africa: how to choose the right candidate
Sarah Fitzgerald, Managing Director of Executives in Africa recently returned from a meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she delivered an exciting new recruitment product to a financial services client making a critical group level hire who wanted total objectivity delivered by an independent and suitably qualified Executive Search firm.
Executives in Africa has a long track record of assessing and delivering senior level candidates to their relevant discipline, as well as understanding the challenges faced by such a candidate working in a pan-African organisation.
It was for this reason that the company was selected to design a full Internal Assessment Process to contribute to the successful selection of the right candidate, with the right leadership, strategic, behavioural, and technical competencies for the role.
READ the Top 10 African Employers of 2015 here.
EiA designed a thorough ‘Three Stage Assessment’ to ensure that all aspects required for the specific role were investigated, and each candidate was then considered further using the bespoke job profiling tool which is now available to all of its clients.
A job profiling tool was used with key stakeholders relevant to the position, and this enabled EiA to understand the critical behaviours required for this position at this particular point in time. Using the information gained from this tool and additionally considering both internal and external factors, EiA then originated competency based questions which were highly specific and relevant to this role.
Candidate assessments included an objective ‘fit/gap’ analysis. This technique measured multiple aspects of each candidate’s personality and behaviour against the job requirements. These elements were then explored by the consulting team during the final Assessment Interviews.
By understanding the personality traits of each candidate, their key needs and the individual’s current level of work-related motivation, both the EiA team and the client were able to understand each person in more detail and what type of environment is likely to set them up for mutual success.
READ Africa's Top 10 Wealthiest Businesspeople, here.
Having made recommendations on the final two candidates, EiA designed four separate Panel Interview questions, with a clear marking system to assess different elements of the role while allowing each interviewer to feel they had had the opportunity get an overview of each candidate and ask any bespoke questions within the same marking framework.
These Panel Interviews were overseen and managed by Fitzgerald in Tanzania leading to the final recommendation and appointment.
Fundamentally, each ‘internal’ candidate taken through this process felt they had been assessed thoroughly and objectively, and accepted that the best candidate for the role would be appointed. This process offers the client the opportunity to assess areas where talent retention is key.
SOURCE: [Executives in Africa]
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.