Pedro BrancoBusiness director at Header™
With over two and a half decades of professional experience, Pedro Branco is the business director of Header™, a boutique office based in Portugal, specialized in the executive segment and leadership issues.
Previously, he worked as commercial director at Vantagem+, executive director at NEXTMOVE, human resources manager at Banco Finantia and consultant at TAP Victoria. He was also responsible for tourism information and promotions at aicep Portugal Global and worked at ES Viagens.
Master in Human Resources Management and with an executive master in the same area, Pedro Branco is one of the special guests at Connecting Stories of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS.
1. With a vast curriculum, you are currently a business director at Header™. Can you tell us a bit about this position and about your journey and professional experience?
I finished my first higher education in Tourism in July 1995. In August of the same year, I started working at aicep, in a tourism promotion and information department. In 2003, with the centralization of all national tourism institutes in the current Tourism of Portugal, the area where I was was extinct and I started my activity as a travel manager, which eventually led me as a travel manager to an investment bank. With the subprime crisis, in 2008, I was invited to join the human resources department, allegedly because of my elasticity and common sense. After eight years at home, I felt it was time to tread new paths, so I accepted an invitation to be executive director of a headhunting company. Meanwhile, along the way, I completed an executive master in Human Resources Management and an academic master's degree in the same area.
At the end of 2018, I went to a company linked to training, as commercial director, but also with the purpose of boosting, even operationally, the area of human resources consulting, which was completely stopped. I quickly realized that I was the wrong person in the wrong place and that it would be convenient to seek – or create – a new challenge. Then, the opportunity came up to create and launch Header™. Today, at 46 years of age and 25 years of professional career, one year after the beginning of this adventure, I feel that I am the right man in the right place.
2. How did this project come along?
At the end of July 2019, I was on vacation in Gerês when I received a contact from an HR director friend of mine informing me that there was a shareholder willing to launch an Executive Search company in Portugal and that they were looking for the person to make this idea happen. He asked me if I could establish this bridge, as this project was my face. After a few conversations, we quickly arrived and I started work on December 2nd. Exactly one month later, we launched Header™, with a brand, image, office, decoration, team and a defined strategy. It was a very intense month, but extremely rewarding.
3. What are the main business areas of Header™?
We started with executive search and headhunting. Everything was going great, when the pandemic happens and, in March, the economy closes and everything practically stops by the end of August.
In March, we ran right behind the loss and tried to diversify the business, so we invested in extending the scope of headhunting to functions below the executive segment and a very high quality career management service, which we called executive placement. We are currently accompanying CEO's, CFO's, COO's, Marketing directors, former government members, entrepreneurs, among several other profiles. We are accompanying people who are in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil and the USA.
We also have a skills development area aimed at top and middle management professionals, with an executive coaching base, but reinforced with mentoring and training of skills also technical. In a more reactive way, we have also developed leadership and teamwork programs, essentially for boards and executive committees.
4. How can Header™ distinguish itself in the market?
Our customers have told us that we came to bring some color and some freshness to a sector that was very grey and very stagnant. Organizations have been weirding out our very professional way of developing our business and our candidates have been weirding out even more. They went from a reality where they didn't receive any feedback from headhunting and executive seach companies to a reality where, after each interview, they receive a phone call from us asking how it went; they started receiving answers to emails and constant feedback.
So, the quality of our work and our communication are our distinguishing factors. Now all that's left is for the market to get used to and become even more loyal to this way of doing things.
5. This is a project that values leadership skills. What is the basis of this ideology?
Leadership is one of the pillars of organizations. Besides the mission, vision and values, which are naturally very important and look very good on the web pages, organizations need results to ensure their continuity. And good results are achieved through the good leadership of competent and motivated people. No matter how good the employees are, without effective and positive leadership, results do not show up – at least, in most cases (I know some exceptions). Leadership creates the necessary conditions for success, draws the strategy and points the way.
We seek to help our clients to have the best leaders and the best professionals in their staff, so that they can guarantee the best organizational culture and the best results.
6. What is the target audience to be reached?
We have two distinct target audiences:
- 1. Organizations, which seek the best professionals (executive search and headhunting), which seek to develop them (executive coaching) and which seek outplacement for those who are not aligned with their projects (executive placement);
- 2. Executive professionals, with a top or middle management positioning, who are looking for new opportunities in the market and need help to position themselves.
In fact, we have two different teams, one for each service.
7. What challenges has Header™ found?
The biggest challenge we found was really the Covid-19 pandemic. It is very complicated to launch a new company with the closed market. The quality of our offer is a great competitive advantage in the market, but this pandemic was cruel for this sector, particularly for a company that had just been launched.
It was very hard, we worked a lot in the months when the market was practically closed, but it was worth it. At the beginning of September, the market opened and we didn't have hand to measure with so much work. The months of September and October were fantastic in terms of results, considering our structure. We worked a lot again, but this time for the best reasons.
8. What projects do you have in mind for the future?
We have many projects for the future, such as partnerships related to executive placement, an executive program for top management, a specific product for recruitment of large structures, the division of Header™ into two levels of service (Header™ TOP for the executive segment and Header™ PRO for middle management and specialized technical functions). This is all I can say at this stage, although we have more news.
On a personal level, I am teaching in a postgraduate course at the European University, I am executive coordinator of another postgraduate course at the FCH of the Catholic University and I am writing my first book which, if everything goes as planned, will be launched in the year 2021. I believe it will be a great stoner in the waterhole.
9. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a leader in the development and export of digital billboards and multimedia kiosks to the international market, what is your opinion about PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, its products and its internationalization strategy?
The future is digital and I believe that monotonous and repetitive tasks will be replaced by intelligent technology. Not being an expert in digital billboards or multimedia kiosks, it seems to me that this is a road with no return and, from what I can see, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is an unavoidable player in Portugal and already with an international strategy that seems to me unquestionably a winner. The impact they are having in very mature and demanding markets, with highly technological products and significant success is impressive. Continue the excellent work that you have been developing.
Connecting Stories is an editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.