Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Richard Westney

Hello, you may either be back again to read my blog, or you have come here for the first time, and so please let me give you some background.

I created this list of my top 50 HR and Recruiting bad asses in APAC to help our industry over this side.

I did so so we can share our stories, profile ourselves amongst peers who need to learn, to set a precedence to be better, but mainly because I am really proud of the work my fellow HR and Recruiters do.

It has caused some controversy and this is great. It means people are passionate about being better and raising the bar of our industry.

I decided to share the stories of some people on this list, because you should follow these people. learn in what they do and engage with them to help yourself and them by continuously improving our industry.

The next person on the list I have known for about 4 years or so. Again when I was an agency recruiter, I used to follow Richard online and was always amused and sometimes aghast at some of his tweets. The first time I actually met him in person was when he tweeted something along the lines of: “I am sick of working with bad agency recruiters” to which I replied, “Well meet me for a coffee and you can work with someone that who works his ass off.” We met, though this is not the happy ending agency story either as I never worked with him in the agency capacity.

As soon as I went internal at Vend – he shot me an email saying we should catch up though.

Might be something in that. 🙂

Anyway Richard, Ross, Dan and I have been debating #FBombgate online like some of you would have seen. What you might not have seen though is Ross Clennentt’s follow up blog yesterday “The F Word: To use or not to use? The sequel

In this blog you will see a fantastic comment at the bottom from Vend’s Chief Marketing Officer Nick Houldsworth who actually wrote the ad talk about why he did. (and I think, won the internet yesterday by doing so.)

I hope this puts the debate to bed now and we move on from this taking one side but respecting both.

(I certainly did.)

So onto #25 on the list Richard Westney who has answered my questions below with only a few smart ass quips.

Richard describes himself as “an Englishman in NZ who is an experienced HR generalist trying to raise the HR/recruitment bar.”

unnamed

What do you do in the HR/recruiting scene?

I have recently joined an awesome and growing company called HR Shop.  After many years in corporate HR roles I wanted to do something different and put my experience to a wider use. I am very fortunate to be working with a brilliant team, in a great culture and with a variety of fascinating smaller businesses. While predominantly an HR generalist, I have a particular interest in recruitment and branding so have always straddled the two fields and led the recruitment function at KPMG for a few years with much success.  I’m not one who believes in divisions between the two areas. We are all people professionals at the end of the day and I know many great people who have skills across both disciplines.

Why did you get into the industry?

In my previous life I was a career public servant, or so I thought. Hard to believe that now.  Early in my career I spent a couple of years supporting two Personnel Managers (as we called them back then) and realized I found the whole people thing fascinating.  A few years later and with a bit of management experience under my belt, I got the opportunity to go into HR and get qualified in the UK. I have to be honest and say that the customer experience I had from the HR function where I was working was awful and I thought there had to be a better way of doing it. The manager knew he needed new blood so the timing was perfect. Within weeks I was working on a massive merger project. I never looked back.  .

What is something we don’t know about you?

That I used to play drums in a punk band or have appeared topless on TV while drunk at a football match? Take your pick. One I am considerably prouder of than the other.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 8.37.51 am

Which people inspire you globally?

Anyone who thinks a little bit differently about their profession, whatever that may be.  One of the joys of social media is being able to connect and correspond with interesting people all over the world.  There are many people in HR and recruitment who inspire me but there is a guy in the UK called Perry Timms who has influenced the thinking of a few of us here in NZ. He’s everything an inspirational person should be – thought provoking, accessible, generous and asks for nothing in return other than to be challenged himself.

What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the industry?

Be open-minded and curious first of all. Don’t ever think you have cracked it. You have to keep learning and moving forwards no mater how old and experienced you are. If you aren’t learning you are well on the road to becoming irrelevant. Take all the feedback and opportunities that come your way and manage your own self-development. It is no one else’s responsibility but yours. Connect with interesting people you can learn from and find yourself a good mentor you can use as a sounding board.

 

What is your favourite drink?

What sort of a dumb-arsed question is this, Troy? If this is typical of what you ask candidates at Vend, it’s no wonder you need to swear in your job ads to attract people. Seriously though, why have a favourite drink? Arguably you can’t go past the purity of water as without that we are nothing if not thirsty. But really, there are so many great and varied beers, wines, spirits, teas, coffees etc. Why restrict yourself? Get out there and explore, be curious, enjoy different experiences and tastes.  Ultimately though, your favourite drinks are the ones you share with great friends and people who make you laugh and think.

Troy – There is a lot to be said about what your drink you choose and the psychology behind it. Yours tells me that you are not as stubborn or as hard as you ‘pretend’ you are. Also someone who sees you in a bar might actually buy you a drink that you like now. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I am going through a phase of reading autobiographies, mainly music and business people. Sir Alan Sugar’s was a recent good read. He’s a bit up himself, but the story of how he built his business empire from nothing and the values and culture he tried to instill in his companies is fascinating.

 

Why do you love the HR and recruiting industry?

It’s at the centre of everything in businesses and so full of possibilities. You get such a great view of how businesses work and all the intricacies of cultures and behaviours that other staff don’t get to see. It’s like looking under the bonnet of a business all the time.  I think we are on the cusp of a great revolution in how both HR and recruitment can be done. We are starting to see the different thinkers and the disruptors coming to the fore and that’s a good thing.  There has never been a better time to be in HR.

keep-calm-and-love-hr-8

Who would be on your top 5 list?

I am not a fan of these “top influencer” lists, although always honoured to be on one because it’s nice to be recognized by others who appreciate what you do. I feel strongly that experienced pros like us should try to put back as much as we can and encourage and mentor the new generation of practitioners coming through so, rather than pick a top 5, I am always looking for new and interesting people to follow and connect with. That said, there were some notable local omissions from your list Troy that I think deserve a mention. In the New Zealand HR space I urge people to connect with bloggers like Amanda Sterling, Angela Atkins, Megan Borrie, Kylie Telford, Vanessa Pye, Vaughan Granier, Vaughan Rivett etc.  All interesting thinkers and great writers. I mentioned most of these in a blog post I did last year on New Zealand’s HR bloggers. Also, have a look at the 12 Blogs of Xmas series I have curated over the last 2 years where I have encouraged awesome people who perhaps don’t blog to find their voice and share their views. There have been some truly great pieces written. There are others as well out there but these will lead you to them.

Thanks Richard, you certainly have been great for the NZ HR industry finding a voice globally with some others you mentioned in your own list. I am sure you and I will disagree on many issues now and in the future, though I hope they are all handled with the same passion of #FBombgate. 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s