Companies that use blogs to talk about how awesome and amazing they are don’t really get what the whole point of content marketing is about and are surprisingly adept at swiftly turning off their already meager audience.  Which is why over seven years of blogging I have very rarely ventured into that digitally-narcissistic realm.

But this week I have to make an exception.  Kind of.

I don’t want to talk about how amazing our company is, but I do want to talk about how amazing two of our team members are. The reason for that is that they are both leaving today and, as indulgent as I know it might seem, I wanted to use this platform to tell you about them and to thank them for everything they have given over the past two and a half years.

_47Q3270Mary Rowley joined us at the beginning of 2015 and has had a transformative impact on what was a fledgling virtualRPO offering. Originally from Auckland, Mary had been in Christchurch for one year before joining us and immediately scuttled the urban myth that you had to be from a certain Canterbury school to make any headway in that market. Mary’s relentless drive, energy, belief and sense of ownership has been incredible to behold. Starting from absolute scratch she has built v.RPO into a force to be reckoned with across the whole South Island, constantly pushing, innovating and challenging me as a leader. It’s been a privilege to watch Mary take my vision for v.RPO and not only make it a reality but make it even better than I could have ever thought, with the lives of many freelance HR and recruitment professionals changed for ever along the way too.

Mary has ticked off a few of life’s major moments in her relatively short time with us, buying a house and marrying Arran. Now she is due to become a Mum for the first time next month, so will be taking a well-deserved break to concentrate on a totally new challenge. Mary, switch off that phone, forget about us for a while, and enjoy this special time with your baby. We will still be here going strong when you’re ready to return.

_47Q3639Sarah English is also leaving us today but, sadly for us, is leaving on a more permanent basis. Well, that’s what she thinks anyway! Sarah joined us from Adecco a little over two years ago and has become an integral part of the culture and make-up of our Auckland team. Sarah originally joined us on the v.RPO side too, but soon switched across to the Rice Consulting side of things, building up a desk recruiting industrial recruiters, in-house recruiters and HR professionals. I have never met a recruiter with such warmth, selflessness and authenticity as Sarah, sadly fairly uncommon traits in high-performing recruiters, but ones that I know her clients and candidates appreciated her for. Sarah is also a champion of helping recruiters see a career within recruitment, rather than just a way to make a quick buck for a few years, and was instrumental in launching our new-to-recruitment speed interviewing evenings, the Freshman Draft, this year.

Sarah leaving us is a loss not only to our company but to the recruitment industry as a whole. However, her natural leadership and mentoring abilities were never going to be fully realised in a business of our (current) size and when Adecco came back to entice her away into a senior leadership role I couldn’t stand in her way. In typical Sarah style, she leaves us billing her best month ever, and has conducted herself during her notice period with complete professionalism and dedication, something I know many other recruiters can’t bring themselves to do. Good luck in your next challenge Sarah and keep in touch.

OK then, I think that’s enough nostalgia and sentimentality for this particular blog.  Back to scathing indictments and irreverent parodies next week, I promise.

Oh and while we’re on the subject of us, it’s only a couple of weeks away from the 20th Rice Powwow – the 5th Anniversary – so please do come and join us for some relaxed but essential recruitment networking, mingling and general japery. RSVP here.

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Jonathan Rice

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.

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