Elevating leadership in the African business landscape: A spotlight on Susan Wakhungu-Githuku

Susan Wakhungu-Githuku, the Founder and CEO of Human Performance Dynamics Africa (HPDA), has recently joined forces with the esteemed InterSearch Network. With her extensive professional background and a commitment to transformative leadership, Susan brings a wealth of experience to the global executive search landscape.

Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Psychology from St. Lawrence University, New York, USA. Her illustrious career spans over 25 years, during which she has navigated diverse functions and sectors.

Before founding HPDA in January 2009, Susan played a pivotal role as the Eurasia Africa Director for Learning and Development at the Coca-Cola Company. In this capacity, she oversaw talent management in 90 countries, contributing significantly to the global HR leadership team based in Atlanta. Susan’s remarkable achievements also led to her appointment to the Coca-Cola Global Women’s Leadership Council in 2006, where she provided advisory insights on advancing women within the organization.

As the Founder and CEO of Human Performance Dynamics Africa (HPDA), she stands at the helm, steering the course of the firm’s executive search and selection services along with its consulting endeavours. With a role encompassing oversight of operations, strategy, and overall success, Susan shares her wealth of experience and sheds light on the intricacies of executive search, dispelling misconceptions and exploring the evolving dynamics of talent acquisition in Kenya and beyond.

We had an opportunity to interview Susan and she shared several insights:

Distinctive Aspects of Executive Search in Kenya

In a candid exploration of executive search practices, Susan addressed the uniqueness of the Kenyan landscape, where affordability challenges influence executive selection and talent recruitment fee structures. While drawing parallels to global practices, she emphasized the critical distinction between executive search and traditional recruitment, highlighting the specialized focus on identifying high-level executive talent for pivotal leadership roles.

Challenges and Trends in Talent Acquisition

Addressing the challenges of finding quality executive-level employees, Susan outlined the potential shortage in certain industries and the escalating competition fuelled by the globalization of businesses. She underscored the evolving skill requirements in the face of technological advancements and the increasing emphasis on diversity and inclusion at the executive level.

Qualities of an Exceptional Executive Search Consultant

Susan delineated the essential qualities for an outstanding executive search consultant, ranging from a deep understanding of the search process and industry dynamics to strong interpersonal and analytical skills. Her personal strength lies in the depth and breadth of her network, a testament to her efficacy in building meaningful connections.

Navigating Red Flags in Recruitment Practices

Switching gears, Susan cautioned against common pitfalls in recruitment firms, urging professionalism, ethical standards, and a positive candidate experience. Emphasizing transparency and communication, she advocated for avoiding conflicts of interest and upholding confidentiality throughout the recruitment process.

International Recruiting and the InterSearch Advantage

In the realm of international recruiting, Susan accentuated the importance of understanding local dynamics. As a member of the InterSearch network, she highlights the network’s global presence, knowledge exchange platforms, and collaborative tools that empower members to provide seamless solutions across borders.

Adapting to the Changing Work Climate

In response to the changing work climate, Susan advocated for executive search firms to leverage technology, deepen industry knowledge, and embrace flexibility. She stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion as integral components of organizational success, urging firms to actively promote diverse candidate pools and assist in building diverse leadership teams.

Future Trends in Recruiting and Executive Search

Susan Wakhungu-Githuku, InterSearch Kenya

Looking ahead, Susan envisions the future of recruiting and executive search shaped by automation, data analytics, virtualization, and an unwavering commitment to positive candidate experiences. She emphasizes the ongoing transformation of the industry and the need for adaptability in the face of evolving work environments.

As an industry leader with a keen eye on global trends and a commitment to ethical, client-centric practices, Susan Wakhungu-Githuku’s insights provide a valuable compass for navigating the ever-changing landscape of executive search and talent acquisition. Her journey serves as an inspiration for professionals in the field, offering a roadmap to success in an industry where agility, innovation, and a people-centric approach reign supreme.

Welcoming HPD Africa to Intersearch Global

Alexander Wilhelm, Managing Partner at InterSearch Executive Consultants and a member of the Board of Directors at InterSearch Worldwide, welcomes Susan Wakhungu-Githuku and her team to InterSearch Worldwide. He emphasizes Susan’s experience as a testament to the increasing global demand for diversity and inclusion stating that “in this phase of workforce evolution, the focus is no longer just on ‘men and women,’ but on attracting the best talent to companies”. Alexander underscores the interesting observation of varying degrees of flexibility in companies, highlighting the ongoing learning curve in bringing the best talent on board.

About InterSearch Executive Consultants

InterSearch Executive Consultants is one of the leading personnel consultancies and specializes in the recruitment of executives (Executive Search) and systematic analyses of executive potential (Management Audit / Executive Diagnostic). Founded in 1985 under the name “MR Personalberatung”, the company is now represented in Germany with three offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Cologne and was a founding partner of InterSearch Worldwide in 1989. Today, InterSearch operates worldwide in the field of executive search with more than 600 consultants in over 50 countries with more than 90 locations.

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