Rewarding Futures

As we saw it: The Year in HR

A lively market, the growth of disrupters, the quest for the next generation of digital talent, Brexit anxieties… and learning the ukulele... just some of the things that defined 2017-18 for Vana Resourcing. With the recent conclusion of our business year, co-directors Debbie Flowers and Jo White assess the current HR landscape based on their candidate and client connections from over 15 years as specialists, and many more working in the industry itself...

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The partnership that defied convention to assess talent

When Ideal Standard’s HR Director considered inviting in an external resourcing business to interview the company’s talent, colleagues thought he’d “be nuts” to do so. But Jonathan Edge went with his convictions and turned to Vana HR Resourcing for their support...

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School’s Out… and Life Lessons are in

When Vana's Debbie Flowers was recently approached to be a speaker, her clients weren’t on the corporate circuit. They were an audience of 11-year-olds about to embark on the next stage of their educational journey. So how inspire a group who make the millennials look positively middle-aged?

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Creating their kind of future: Vana partner with the UK specialist connecting business and future talent

As school leavers and graduates anticipate impending exam results, these are equally uncertain times for a business world under pressure to change, become more diverse, and effectively engage the next generation. So how bring the two together for their mutual benefit? Among the numerous strategic partnerships that Vana Resourcing have formed, one in particular seeks to address this challenge...

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Email: The longest goodbye?

The death of email has long been speculated upon. But are we being too hasty in writing it off, blinded by the hip new applications all around us? We take a timely assessment of the health of workplace email, getting the verdict of users and expert insight as to its future.

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And the winners were... Awards showcase experience at its best

Innovation delivered with passion were the abiding impressions from last week's Employee Experience Awards. So, given a wide range of organisations in the room - including a few household names - whose entry caught the imagination of guest judge, and Vana Co-Director, Debbie Flowers?

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Staying energised through blurred lines

As organisations attempt to keep up with a world where social and technological change has radically blurred old boundaries, we’ll look at the implications for the 21st century working family, assess flexible working as one solution, and how people are physically and mentally coping with modern working life.

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Reflections on an HR landscape at Half Year

With the halfway point of Vana Resourcing’s business year approaching, once again we’ve taken a step back to contemplate HR industry trends and developments based on our own experiences. So what's different to this time last year, and what do we anticipate for the remainder of 2018?

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Festive Greetings from Debbie and Jo at Vana HR Resourcing

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
As part of our Giving Back approach, our tradition is to donate to charity at this time of year instead of sending Christmas gifts and cards.
 This year our chosen charity is Children’s Hospice South West. CHSW provide care and support to families who have children with life-limiting conditions by providing hospice and professional family support services. It’s an incredibly important cause that, as parents ourselves, we strongly believed in giving our backing to. You can read more about their amazing and inspiring work here.

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The rail company that got culture back on track to win

The transformation of Great Western Railway’s employee experience since 2014 saw its HR team win the Vana-sponsored ‘HR Impact’ category at this week's Personnel Today Awards. So what did GWR do to get staff culture back on the rails?

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Awards beckon for HR with impact...

The stage is set for the 2017 Personnel Today Awards this week, with innovative HR teams from seven major organisations competing for a Vana-sponsored award.

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Realising People Potential: Global Needs and Local Experiences

Nations are neglecting or wasting well over a third of their talent according to the World Economic Forum in their latest Human Capital Report. But Vana Resourcing argue that many UK businesses - and HR functions - are already delivering on the Forum's call to upskill and invest in people.

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How coaching Resilience can overcome stress

As businesses open up to the financial - and human - cost of work-related stress, one of Vana Resourcing’s partners is seeing positive results from coaching aimed at helping executives handle the pressure of corporate life. And they share that building ‘resilience’ in leaders is more than just exercise and vitamin tablets…

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Quitting your job… (or the art of when - and how - to move on)

It’s a key time of year for people seeking new career opportunities - so why is our latest update focusing on leaving rather than beginning a job? Industry analysis - and our own experience - suggest that, in the right circumstances and done well, quitting a job could be one of the most positive career moves you make.

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A rewarding future? The state of reward and recognition in 2017

The need to keep pace with changing expectations in the workplace has been a regular theme of Vana Resourcing’s blogs. And recent industry media analysis of reward & recognition got us thinking about how, amidst changing times, organisations have been forced to revisit this area of policy. So what does the reward and recognition landscape look like in 2017?

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I’ve worked with the team at Vana on many occasions over the years, engaging them to hire senior talent in a number of businesses. Both Debbie and Jo offer great insight and expertise, but above all they deliver results. I would happily recommend their services.

Scott Fishburn, HR Director, DFS

“Debbie and Jo are high-integrity recruiters who take time to understand organisational needs; commercial and cultural. VANA have worked in partnership with us a number of times, enabling us to secure some excellent senior HR hires.”

John Burgess, Head of Talent & Leadership Development, AXA Group

“I have worked with Debbie both as a candidate having introduced me to ING Direct and Invensys, and as a client supporting me with key hires in both organisations and more recently at DAS.  Both Debbie and Jo are exceptionally well networked, I trust their judgement completely and would highly recommend Vana.”

Kate Banks, ‎Group Director of HR & Legal Services at DAS UK Group

'Debbie and Jo are first class headhunters of HR talent. They take the time to fully understand the brief and culture of the organisation before suggesting any candidates for opportunities. Thank you Vana for sourcing quality hires for my team.'

Helen Norris, Head of HR - Nationwide Building Society

I have worked with Debbie both in the search for talent and also as a candidate, in both situations Debbie has been faultlessly professional. Debbie builds strong relationships exploring briefs to ensure she has a deep understanding of what the business and candidate need, allowing her to deliver a real match.

Ian Marchant, Retail HRD, Greene King plc

Candidate experience is really important to me in recruitment, because that is someone's first experience of an organisation - your organisation. As I see it, the recruiter is part of YOUR brand and their actions impact on YOUR reputation when they act for you. The candidate remembers the experience of applying for a job and not always the recruiter involved.

My experience as a candidate of Jo's was exceptional. Jo kept me informed at every stage, questions were anticipated and I always knew where the process was. Also, Jo was present as a person and not as a remote handler. This shows me that any candidate that Jo places would be treated in exactly the way I'd want them to be. I recommend her without hesitation.

Geraldine Buckland, Director of People, Bristol Water

Debbie and Jo are great recruiters of HR talent; they have successfully worked on a number of key senior hires for us both in the UK and internationally.

Jonathan Wright, Group HRD, Murphy Group

Debbie has recently supported me in securing my first HRD role. Her observations and feedback were very insightful and assisted me greatly in navigating the recruitment process and learning about the company and environment I'll be stepping into. Totally dependable, unbiased and a good judge of character, I would highly recommend her to act on your behalf with prospective employers. I haven't worked with Debbie yet as the employer but wouldn't hesitate to do this if the need arises.

Anita Calverley, HR Director, Yeo Valley Farms

The thing about Vana Resourcing is that Debbie and Jo actually care – about you as a person, your career and your business. Yes they deliver great candidates and opportunities but they make sure that the fit / opportunity is right, challenging both sides in a positive way when needed. They’ve supported my career for the last 10 years, including introducing me to my current HRD role, and I have no hesitation that they will be my first point of call for future candidates and opportunities.

Suzie Noble, Chief People Officer, Brightside

“I have worked with Debbie and Jo several times, they stand out from the crowd as a sourcer of talent and when managing you as a candidate, I simply haven't worked with anyone better. Commercial, thorough, expert and with a sense of integrity that means you are only ever recommended to organisations that suit you - and as a hirer you only get talent that works for your organisation. As a hiring organisation, working with a partner like Vana is simply irreplaceable.”

Head of OD, Vodafone

Debbie brings accurate and current insight on HR Talent. Her ability to recognise top people in their field and actively nurture relationships over a long period of time sets her apart from her peers. Debbie is refreshingly honest , she keeps confidences and is not afraid to challenge both candidates and hiring Executives to ensure the right outcome for all parties. I would have no hesitation in recommending Debbie or Vana Resourcing for a critical HR hire.

Barbara Duffy, International HR Director leading on Talent, L&D, Resourcing,OD

“Debbie introduced me to OVO Energy, and she not only found me the right role, but an organisation whose ethos matched my values.  I have since worked with Vana to recruit almost my entire senior HR team! From HRBP's to a Reward Lead and most recently a HR Director. Vana really understand the importance of culture fit."

Kim Atherton, Chief People Officer, OVO Energy

I have worked with Vana Resourcing for a number of years representing me in my own search and as a client. Debbie and Jo are professional and efficient but unusually for this sector, genuinely caring about both client and candidate experience in equal measure.

Jonathan Edge, HR Director UK & Ireland at Ideal Standard International BVBA

“Jo is highly professional, knowledgeable and proactive. It’s not often that a recruitment consultant really interviews you in the same way a prospective employer would.”

Simon Amesbury, SuperGroup plc

What a refreshing delight to work with a commercial partner who understood my business, had national and regional awareness, a handle on the market, an effortless connection with candidates and could tolerate my Everest-like expectations.

I will continue to work with Debbie and Jo again on my incessant drive to solve the talent conundrum of the coming years.

Keep up the great work, you are a credit to the industry.


Stephen Robson, HR Director, Global O&Supply Chain at Kingfisher plc

"The team and I have worked with Jo now on a number of occasions for various recruitment assignments. I have always found Jo to be consultative and considered in her approach but above all honest and straight forward! She has a great understanding of her market place and is always at the end of the line to offer insight and market knowledge. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Vana and look forward to our continued relationship."

Resourcing Partner, Nationwide Building Society, Resourcing Partner, Nationwide Building Society

I've known Jo for a number of years and worked with her as a client and candidate. What's great about working with Jo is that you're guaranteed an honest perspective and terrific insight to the market. She nurtures her relationships in a natural and engaging way: put simply - she knows her stuff!

Marie Aitken, Chief People Officer

I initially engaged Debbie to undertake a search for a Head of OD. She is consultative in style, and took time to gain a comprehensive insight into our organisational culture and HR journey, delivering an excellent shortlist of candidates and a super hire. The feedback from our candidates on their engagement with VANA has been equally positive. Jo and Debbie has since supported me with several other senior hires within the People organisation at RLG, and we enjoy an effective working partnership.

People & Corporate Affairs Director, Royal London Group

“I have worked with Debbie as both candidate and client. In both contexts I have found her to be super-efficient, thorough and a pleasure to do business with. She listens really well, responds quickly and is flexible to evolving demands. Debbie is up there in my top 3 recruiters.”

Sue Round, Head of Talent and Organisational Effectiveness, BP

I have worked with Debbie and Jo for many years as a candidate looking for opportunities and a manager looking for talent.  I have always been impressed by how Vana strive to ensure that there is the best fit in terms of candidate values and company culture.

Sarah King, Head of HR, Triodos Bank