Millar Cameron secures a Managing Director for an Agribusiness company based in Zambia

Sector: Agribusiness and farming

Helping a private equity fund, specialising in agribusiness, source a Managing Director for their upheaval in Zambia.

The Challenge

Our client, an equity fund specialising in agribusiness in Africa asked us to find a replacement Managing Director. The company were looking to exit in the next two years and did not feel that the operation was in an adequate state for them to sell it for its full worth. They had not yet started searching and agreed for Millar Cameron to be the sole recruitment partner for the role.

The client had purchased the business and did not feel that the Managing Director who was in place was doing a sufficient job. They were specifically looking for someone who had experience turning around a failing business within the poultry sector in Africa.

The Solution

Upon taking a brief from the client, we devised a list of over 50 poultry organisations in the sub-saharan African market that we could target. We had established that the client would either be looking at someone already at General Manager or Managing Director level, or someone looking at making the move up from being an Operations or Financial Director - which allowed us to broaden our search profile.  

We first looked into who we knew that could either do the role or refer us to potentially relevant candidates. We then carried out a comprehensive search through direct headhunting and LinkedIn, as well as by advertising the role on the relevant job boards.

We found that whilst there was a large pool of candidates to talk to, there was a lack of credible candidates. A number of the candidates we spoke to had strong CVs but upon talking to them or after speaking to mutual connections, we realised that they were not at the standard our client needed.

There were also geo-political issues that meant Zambia was a harder location to recruit for. Avian flu was still a real threat in the country and the local currency had been devaluing, meaning it was more of a challenge to convince candidates of how big an opportunity this was.  

The Outcome

We devised a shortlist of ten candidates who we interviewed ourselves, asking them 20 questions that we had agreed with the client. From this, we chose the strongest six candidates and submitted them to the client. Along with their CV, we sent the answers to the interview questions and a full remuneration document, allowing the client to make a decision based on more than just a CV.

Throughout the interview process we were highly involved; we booked in the initial Skype calls with the candidates that they liked, then for the final stage interviews we worked closely with the client to book flights and get the candidate in-country.

There were many stakeholders involved on the client side and because the interview process happened during the summer months. For a lot of the time they were travelling, meaning that there were often periods of time before we received any news. Millar Cameron’s consultant regularly kept in contact with candidates to ensure they were happy and to understand if anything had changed their end in order to make sure they had a positive recruitment experience.

The candidate that was finally chosen had been working in the poultry industry for over ten years, working his way up from Financial Manager to Managing Director previously. The client felt that his strong financial background, along with his senior management experience, gave him the ideal blend of experience to drive the business forward and so he was offered the position.


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"I have collaborated with Millar Cameron for different managerial positions in our African subsidiaries. Specifically I’m working closely with Tom Jeffes and his team – Tom is a very dedicated and focused recruitment professional, who takes full ownership in providing the best talent. I’m happy to recommend Millar Cameron to other German companies in their talent search in sub-Saharan Africa."
Global Human Resources Director - Leading agriculture corporation, Africa
"I have dealt with Millar Cameron on many occasions and have been particularly happy with the service provided. Their level of understanding of agribusiness is extremely high and covers a wide geographical spectrum. My requirements have always been handled with extreme care, aiming to achieve a fast and meticulous service delivery. I highly recommend Millar Cameron."
Global Human Resources Director - Leading agriculture corporation, Middle East & Africa
"Millar Cameron have successfully recruited a number of management positions for our business in Ethiopia, which is located in a fairly rural environment. They have been pro-active and flexible in their approach in trying to best match our needs with the candidates available in the market and vice versa. They have obtained a good understanding of our business, our challenges, our culture and overall business environment, which is essential in the process of finding and screening potential candidates. We are continuing to use Millar Cameron for further recruitment and strongly recommend them to other companies looking to resource positions in emerging markets such as Africa."
CEO - European food processor, Africa
"Millar Cameron have an excellent database of candidates in Africa and elsewhere, and are able to provide us with skilled personnel that we are unable to find locally. Millar Cameron take the trouble to understand our business and the roles we need to fill. As a result, we only receive a few CVs, but they are all of the calibre that we are interested in. We are a 24/7 operation and, if necessary, the Millar Cameron team have been available outside of normal hours to attend to queries on our behalf."
Group Human Resources Manager - Plantation agricultural company, Africa
"“Over the past 25 years I have worked with many recruiters in the aviation Industry. Understanding that recruitment has changed over the past years to a more on-line process, I have been presently surprised by the way Sarah and her company perform recruitment processes. Millar cameron use modern techniques, however they still believe in having a personal contact and doing thorough research to deliver a great result. Particularly, working with Sarah is different. She has great knowledge about the industry and is always happy to help with advice in various areas. She continues to surprise me with her knowledge and passion about the aviation industry. It’s a pleasure working with Sarah with her never-ending enthusiasm and drive. I look forward to working with her in the future on new projects as a client with ongoing recruitment requirements.“"
Chief Executive - Aviation
"Millar Cameron offered a fast and professional service in the recruitment of a new Account Manager in Turkey. Within a few days a short-list of candidates was identified and phone interviews set up. Generally, the candidates matched the profile well. As Millar Cameron participated in these interviews, they quickly got an even better feeling of what our target candidate should look like. They followed the process to the end and facilitated the interests of both the hiring company and candidate well to ensure a good match. Millar Cameron is responsive, service oriented and supportive. I can highly recommend their recruitment service."
Regional Industry Sales Director - European FMCG company, Europe
"We have undertaken a recruitment campaign for projects in Nigeria and Kenya. We have approached Millar Cameron with job profiles and details of the constraints under which the job functions would be carried out. On each occasion, I have been very impressed with the response I have received as you have understood the requirements very well and only proposed candidates that have been worth consideration. The professionalism is commendable in that you communicate with the candidates and the employer precisely and quickly, and it has always enabled me to reach a quick resolution."
Director of Engineering - Global utilities company, Africa
"Over the past 25 years I have worked with many recruiters in the Aviation Industry. Understanding that recruitment has changed over the past years to a more on-line process I have been presently surprised by the way Sarah and her company perform recruitment processes. Using modern techniques, however still having a personal contact and doing thorough research deliver a great result. Particularly working with Sarah is different. She has great knowledge about the industry and while working in recruitment is always happy to help with advice in various areas. She continues to surprise me with her knowledge and passion about the aviation industry. It’s a pleasure working with Sarah with her never ending enthusiasm and drive. I look forward working with her in the future on new projects as client with recruitment requirements."
CEO & Principal Consultant - Aviation Company, Africa
"We began our collaboration with Miller Cameron in 2016 and they were able to support us in recruiting for experienced asset/property managers with a drive, open approach, and keen to succeed in a demanding and changing environment. After a couple of discussions, we were able to identify the key success factors of the a successful candidates. This was well understood by Millar Cameron. Millar Cameron maintained a good level of communication and appropriate response time to all questions/topics raised by us during the process. We remain in contact and would use their support in future."
HR Business Partner - Leading Insurance Company, Europe
"Since I have been in charge of the recruitment for our operations across France and Africa, I can say that working with Millar Cameron is a pleasure. The represented candidates are always from a good professional and strong educational background. Millar Cameron have not missed a deadline, monthly or otherwise during the time we worked together; they are a pro-active agency."
Recruitment Manager - European construction company, France and Africa
"Having experienced the French way of sourcing and chasing talent with national partners, Millar Cameron managed to fulfill the crucial elements that were definitely missing from the local market: trust, simplicity, daily follow up, proactivity and responsiveness! An example of Millar Cameron’s work was to find a French Controlling Director to be based in France, with extensive international travel to Africa and otherwise. Throughout each recruitment process, it has been obvious that the job description is prepared and understood, screening is done, deadlines are respected, and talented people are traced and consequently hired. None of our requests or tasks are what we would consider to be easy, but Millar Cameron were able to integrate our corporate culture and way of working quickly even if we were overseas."
HR Director - European engineering company, France and Africa
"Thanks to Millar Cameron we have found excellent candidates for some of our vacancies in Europe in Africa. Millar Cameron acted quickly, was always available and ready to adjust the search criteria. The consultant that supported us was professional coordinated the search perfectly. We continue to work with them because of the value for money we get."
HR Manager - Global Logistics Company, India
"Millar Cameron provide highly professional and competent services, in both a friendly and accessible manner. From the first telephone conversation, they were very helpful and honest, making the whole process stress-free. I was very pleased with the outcome and I would recommend Millar Cameron to everyone looking for employment."
DAF Workshop Manager - Agribusiness & Farming Company, Africa
"Thank you for solving our HGM Swaziland staff problem. What I appreciate most is that you sent me only two CVs and both of them were acceptable. The great value in your service is that, unlike other agents, you did not flood us with unacceptable candidates, but sent ONLY good ones. We made an initial choice, then flew the candidate to our HQ for extensive further interviews in ALL of which he did well. You did such a good job I’m going to enjoy paying your fee."
Engineering Manager- FMCG company, Africa
"I have worked with Millar Cameron on identifying a HR Director for our Kazakhstan business after failing to identify a fit profile with other recruitment agencies and wasting a lot of time and energy. Millar Cameron understood our needs and was swift in providing suitable candidates. The follow up and support all through the process were highly professional and effective, which led to a successful placement. I would recommend Millar Cameron for their professional approach, reach to different areas of the world, and deep know how and experience."
International Operations Human Resources Director - FMCG company, Central Asia
"It was a pleasure dealing with Millar Cameron, after they reached out to me about a potential position. When we first made contact, the consultant I dealt with was very professional and always willing to deal with my questions. They provided great feedback, which I greatly appreciated. I will definitely be recommending them to any individual that requires help in seeking employment."
Procurement Manager - Agribusiness & Farming Company, Africa
"I really thought that Millar Cameron did a great job throughout the whole recruitment process. Even after the placement was completed, they kept following up to make sure everything was in place that had been negotiated in the interview. In my 36 years of dealing with recruiters, this is the best level of service offered by a recruitment company that I have ever encountered"
Workshop Manager - Agribusiness & Farming Company, Africa
"Millar Cameron always provides us with a selection of high calibre candidates with relevant experience in our field. Prompt and regular follow up provides good customer service and leaves a professional impression."
Managing Director - Packaging company, Africa
"Millar Cameron have successfully place multiple senior level people in remote, difficult locations across our operations in Africa. The candidates were qualified, eager and available to join our operations quickly to meet our needs. Millar Cameron helped to support us in getting staff on board quickly, making sure candidates had up to date vaccinations, visas and availability. They always provide short lists quickly, and arrange interviews to fit in with my schedule both of which are important to us. Millar Cameron have submitted profiles that were well matched, but not known to us beforehand – something that is trying in a small, specialist industry both in terms of location and skill set."
Director of Production - International forestry company, Africa
"Millar Cameron have always taken time and care to understand our requirements and have followed this up with strong profiles. This approach has led to a number of successful hires. They have filled key positions ranging across multiple countries (this has included hard-to-fill locations such as Iraq) and business units from junior to senior level roles."
Global Recruitment Manager - Logisitcs company, Middle East
"We have recently worked with Millar Cameron on the recruitment of a Real Estate Manager for our Cameroon facilities. They have approached the assignment in a professional manner and provided a broad range of appropriate resumés for local hires in Douala, from which we have successfully appointed a suitable candidate. I am pleased with the work carried out thus far and would have no hesitation in recommending Millar Cameron on similar assignments for other companies working across West Africa."
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