Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Vanessa Payne

Hello again,

I have been recognising the amazing people we have in HR and Recruiting in APAC, you can catch up here if you have not visited this series before.

Before you hear from #16 on the list I wanted to ask (NZ peeps) if you have got your tickets to www.it18.co.nz yet?

It’s a great conference that I have really learned a great deal from and so suggest you all get a ticket.

IT18 is the first and only event dedicated to talent management and recruitment in the IT sector. The event exclusively focuses on talent management in the tech sector, with a special focus on the attraction, recruitment and retention of IT professionals in NZ.

Some of the most innovative technology companies, large corporations, new start-ups, research houses, professional associations will speak at the event. Speakers will offer a wide range of perspectives and stories. Subjects will range from hiring top technical talent to building great workplaces for IT professionals. Agenda includes exploring the latest trends in attracting, hiring and managing technology professionals in NZ. IT18 is a must-attend event for those who manage or hire IT professionals.

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Now, onto the reason why you actually came here. I first met #16 Vanessa Payne when I joined Vend.  She is one of those hard-working recruiters who does an amazing job and is not as vocal on SoMe as some of us and so her abilities probably go largely unnoticed (Unless you work at Vend.) I can testament that she really is a phenomenally talented recruiter and I learn things from her all the time. Also she is she is one of the funniest people I have met and can find a snack in world record time.

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Vanessa, what do you do in the HR/Recruiting scene?

I’m a Talent Manager at Vend. I’ve been here for nearly ten months now and time has absolutely flown by. When I started it was just Kirsti and myself looking after recruitment (now we have a team of four). My role initially was to focus on growing our product, engineering, and technology teams here in Auckland. I still do all of those things, but my role has expanded to include recruitment for our customer success team, our analytics and insights team, our marketing team.. The list goes on! I’ve recently been tasked with setting up our grad programme too #allthethings

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Why/How did you get into the industry?

Before coming to Vend I worked at Potentia (IT recruitment agency) for three and a half years. I started at Potentia straight out of university in an administration role, not really knowing what I wanted to do career-wise. After about five months in that role, Josh Comrie gave me an opportunity to transition into a resourcing / talent management role and I never really looked back.

 

What is something we don’t know about you?

When I was in my mid teens I was absolutely obsessed with WWE (or WWF, depending on your vintage). I got to meet Dave Batista and Shane McMahon when they came to NZ and I nearly cried with happiness

Which people inspire you globally?

I’m inspired by anyone in any sort of spotlight that still manages to maintain a sense of authenticity. I love Chelsea Handler – she’s hysterically funny, she does and says what she wants, when she wants, and I feel like what you see is what you get with her. We’re also very privileged to have Claudia Batten on our board here at Vend, she kicks asses and takes names. I’m also really inspired by the wonderful people I work with – anyone who is doing something they love.

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What about companies then, which inspire you globally?

I really like Etsy and The Little Market – companies that try to do good for others. Givealittle is a cool company doing nice things here in NZ.

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

If you’re looking to enter this industry as a graduate or somebody that has relatively little experience in the workforce I would say choose your employer carefully. Make sure there are people who you can learn from and be mentored by. I think it’s also really important, no matter how many years’ experience you have under your belt, to have a realistic view of company culture. The day-to-day experience of working there needs to line up with that company’s projected values.

What is your favourite drink?

Champagne. Unlike a lot of Vend-ers I’m not a fan of craft beer.

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Hehehe, I found this on Facebook VP and it was too perfect not to use.

What are you currently reading?

Not much! Unfortunately reading has taken a bit of a backseat for me over the past few months. The most recent book I read was ‘The Goldfinch’ and that was fantastic. If anyone has any fiction recommendations then I am all ears!

Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?

This has changed and evolved over the past few years but what I keep coming back to is that moment when you offer somebody a role and they say;

‘REALLY?? ARE YOU SERIOUS?? I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”.

I had one of those moments the other day and it was awesome. People and culture is just so integral to business and success. I think working in recruitment gives you a backstage look at lots of other departments, and what’s not to love about that.

Who would be top 5 on your list?

This is so difficult – I’m going to limit it to people who I’ve actually met to help narrow it down..

Julian Lambert, I’ve been lucky enough to work closely with him for many years. Julian is so smart, really genuine, and just a nice guy to be around.

I must mention Kirsti Grant – we all know that Kirsti is great at what she does, but her “do the impossible” and “break all the rules” attitude never ceases to amaze.

Dale & Simon from Weirdly definitely get a shout out from me. Weirdly is such a breath of fresh air in this industry and the whole team is so down to earth.

Matt Bartlett deserves a place too. He gave a very inspiring presentation about how The Warehouse does talent acquisition at RHUB last year – there was an audible gasp from the audience when he talked about the number of people hired last year vs. number of people in the talent team. Super efficiency over there.

There are so many others that are tied for my fifth place! You, Troy. You’re awesome. There are lots of people from Potentia that I’ve learned from and who are much better recruiters than me. A very wise person once said to me “most recruiters are dicks” and I generally tend to agree, most of us out there are hustlers. If you love the companies you work for and respect the candidates you work with, there’s a place for you on my list.


Thanks Vanessa, yes I also agree there is a lot of ‘dick recruiters’ out there and thus why I am hoping that we are helping our industry to get better and learn from this.

I look forward to a future where the HR and Recruiting industry is looked at in admiration and respect across all businesses and business units.

Until that day, everybody should go out there and do your bit to raise our profile.

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