‘Education underpins all the Sustainable Development Goals.’
Sabre Education is a partnership between two linked education charities, registered in the UK and Ghana. The organization works across the three regions of southern Ghana in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education to improve the futures of poor and marginalised children. Sabre’s multi award-winning methodologies have been tested, independently evaluated and replicated at a district and regional scale, and in recent years Sabre’s experience and expertise has contributed significantly to national policy development and education reforms.
Oxford HR worked with Sabre Education in early 2020 to appoint the new Chief Executive Officer. The role required significant senior leadership experience in a complex environment, with a strong understanding of the Global South and excellent communication and stakeholder navigation skills. The successful individual appointed by Sabre was Susan Place Everhart.
‘I thought this is an opportunity for growth and impact as a new CEO coming in.’
Susan says that she was attracted to the role as it presented a good opportunity for growth, and that Sabre Education was at a very exciting time in its life. She particularly notes that the candidate pack provided by Oxford HR gave a very comprehensive overview of not just the role, but the ambition of the board, which further aided her understanding of Sabre Education.
‘I’ve seen a number of Oxford HR candidate packs over the years and they’re very professional.’
Susan also mentions that she built a good rapport with the consultant for the role, Sarah Engerer, and that she had a very clear understanding of the brief, and was extremely transparent throughout. This was of notable importance as the recruitment took place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and all communications were virtual.
‘Sarah, I think, brings all the nuances to life. She was really trying to explore what my motivations were and what drove me.’
One aspect of the process that Susan felt beneficial was the individual interviews she had with each board member, which helped her learn a lot about what their priorities were. She also mentions the socially distanced walk arranged by David Main, the Chair of the Board. This really helped her get to know more about the organisation, and provided the critical ‘chemistry check’ that can sometimes be missed in virtual processes.
‘I think that’s what an organisation is paying for when they hire Oxford HR; you’re taking the time to really get to know the clients.’
David also speaks highly of the Oxford HR process, stating that it makes a big difference when the service provider gives you confidence, clarity and belief. He notes that Oxford HR have good experience and knowledge in the space, which is extremely important when placing senior roles.
Looking forward, both Susan and David talk about the importance of technology, in the sense of both technical expertise and integration. They see this as an opportunity for Sabre Education; moving forward with blended learning and making sure there are impactful solutions that include those who may otherwise be unconnected.