Honeywell Group Nigeria is one of Nigeria’s foremost conglomerates with business interests in a variety of sectors including consumer goods, real estate, power generation, and electronic security. Their Pavilion Technology business has traditionally offered physical security services to international and indigenous corporates and to public sector organisations in Nigeria as well as being providers of electronic security solutions. The Group developed a new strategy for the business which entailed it moving wholly to electronic security as its core offering, and this coincided with the retirement of a well-respected and long-standing Managing Director.
As part of our ongoing relationship with Honeywell Group, we were asked to recruit a new Managing Director who would not come from the security sector but rather would have a background of leadership gained primarily in the technology sector. And there was a strong preference to hire someone within the Nigeria market. We were asked to conduct the search anonymously.
We reached out to a considerable number of individuals with leadership experience in Nigeria / West Africa of multi-national technology players and local companies including providers of technology solutions, technology products and systems integrators. A challenge was that we were not able to share with prospective candidates the name of our client and needed to persuade individuals most of whom were content in their existing roles to be willing to explore this opportunity and to commit to being interviewed for this role. We were aided by a thorough and well-crafted job description and person specification, and perhaps by Rockpools’ credentials of working on senior hires in Nigeria over a number of years.
We attracted an impressive field of candidates who met with our client (including the executive head of Honeywell Group, and the Head of HR plus other stakeholders) and the field was narrowed down to a few individuals. By then of course, these individuals knew who our client was, and we lost no candidates from this process once the name was revealed, reflecting the strong reputation Honeywell Group Nigeria has.
As it happens, the candidate that became the preferred candidate was someone of French origin who had a background in general management in technology products and telecoms including working at Siemens, Phillips and Alcatel-Lucent and who had worked across Europe, the Middle East and East Africa, and latterly had been leading a Nigerian conglomerate. He had returned to Europe and all interviews were conducted through video conferences. Once successful, he relocated back to Nigeria. With the advent of the Covid19 pandemic, he had to spend some time in isolation but was able to commence the role by working virtually while in Nigeria.
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