We are excited to announce that Steve Hasson has recently joined the Executives in Africa team. A Zimbabwean by birth, educated in both Zimbabwe and South Africa, and with nearly ten years’ experience recruiting senior level hires for PZ Cussons in Africa (and globally), Steve has already had a positive impact on the EiA team, enabling us to offer wider services and insights to our clients.
Steve tells his story of how he has brought together his two biggest passions in one job, Executive Recruitment and Africa.
Having started my career in Public Relations, I returned to Zimbabwe and started my HR career with Coopers & Lybrand as a generalist HR advisor. It was here that I first got my taste for recruitment and was assigned the Graduate Recruitment Programme for the firm.
In 1999, I moved over to the UK for my next adventure, only planning to be in the UK for 2 or maybe 3 years! My first role was with The Post Office, IT Services, tasked with the build up to the Y2K ‘event’. The world as we knew it was going to end, with planes falling out the sky and everything electronic coming to halt!
As such the IT team of the Post Office was in dire need of developers, architects and a host of other technical roles which they had to fill in a short space of time and in an aggressive recruitment market where there were not enough candidates. This was my first introduction to ‘selling to candidates’, rather than approaching recruitment with a ‘presumptive’ client hat on.
Interestingly what honed my ‘Search’ skills and creative thinking when approaching ‘hard to fill’ roles, was working for The British Library. What an exciting organisation. Most people think ‘quiet dull librarians’ but all I can say is, try recruiting for the conservation team when they need a ‘Medieval Manuscripts Expert’ and, of course, someone who is also au fait with Velum.
My next role was with Hilti, crème de la crème of power tools, technology and fixings into the global construction industry, an organisation with 27,000 staff in 120 countries. Being part of this organisation taught me true multi-culturalism, networking and the need to all pull as one team.
Then fate, luck and happy circumstance took me to PZ Cussons Int Ltd, with nearly half of their business in Africa, predominantly Nigeria. I was given responsibility for the Global Centre of Excellence for Talent Acquisition across Africa, Asia and Europe.
I introduced a revised recruitment processes centred around their corporate values, profiling tools and recruitment skills training, while creating, managing and empowering multi-site recruitment teams. It was in this role that I first came across Executives in Africa, a relationship that blossomed over 8 years and over 40 senior management hires on the continent.
My speciality therefore is recruiting senior talent globally with a focus specifically on sourcing local talent for operating units, especially in Africa. I am passionate about growing senior talent pipelines for businesses, not just single delivering on critical hires, working with line managers to challenge them to think long term not just short term. This was mirrored by Executives in Africa, allowing the successes that we achieved together.
So, you can imagine the excitement and privilege that I now find myself part of this team. An organisation that has the largest team of executive search experts focused purely on senior positions based in Africa. My two biggest passions brought together in one job, executive recruitment and Africa.
Whilst being predominantly UK based, but with a small team in Ethiopia, the Executives in Africa team consists of experts, like me, who really know the African continent. We are all passionate about making a positive impact on Africa through the provision of quality business leaders who will drive growth, travelling regularly to the continent to meet clients.
I’ve already been out to Abuja in Nigeria to be an SME on Assessment Panels for a significant client, ensuring that the assessment and decision making on high profile appointments is run in a clear, fair and transparent manner. My previous experience liaising with high level Nigerian Executives, as well as supporting an internal recruitment team tasked with delivering a consistent and robust process, was essential to delivering what they required.
I am speaking at the HR Expo Africa at the Landmark Centre on VI on the topic of ‘Employee Engagement’, I will be sharing my insights on Creating an Ethical Culture as a Recipe for Success – How Transparent Should HR Be?
Having been on the client side and now providing the search service myself, I offer the ability to understand your internal challenges and pressures and can bring creative thinking and a wealth of experience to apply to your unique situation.
I would love to speak to you about how I, with the backing of the Executives in Africa team, can support your business aims for growth, through a long-term approach to hiring the right people.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s arrange a time to speak.