Rewarding Futures

My Manager is...

In this week’s blog, Martin Spencer, of Vana Executive Assessment gives us his musings on management...

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Debbie puts best foot forward for 100km challenge

There's just two weeks to go until the Cotswold Way Challenge, with Vana HR Resourcing co-Director, Debbie Flowers, joining several thousand others taking on the hilly 100km course. So what persuaded Debbie to lace up her hiking shoes for this demanding 24-hour test of stamina - and how are final preparations going?

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Does Video Interviewing pass the screen test?

Video interviewing is now a well-established part of the recruitment process. But as tastes, trends and technology have changed, Vana HR Resourcing were keen to assess the application - and value - of video interviewing in today’s job market. So we approached some of the UK's biggest companies to get as complete a picture as possible...

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Breaking new ground: How collaboration and integration offers a future for HR

Breaking down silos and building strategic relationships with other business areas are the bold new ways in which HR can drive people-focused organisations. It’s a big jump for many HR professionals, whilst others might find themselves restricted by company culture. Yet, through our client relationships, Vana Resourcing have seen evidence that individuals - and organisations - are 'shattering boundaries' and taking a more holistic view.

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Vana take up Employee Experience Awards judging opportunity

Vana Resourcing has recently teamed up with the UK Employee Experience Awards, with co-Director, Debbie Flowers, to join the judging panel for the 2018 event. Our association with the Awards provides a great opportunity for Vana to get more involved at major industry events and further develop our strong networks across the HR professional community.

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Pre-onboarding: Why employee experience starts before Day One

Employee experience has always been key to a successful hire process. Most organisations will agree that effective onboarding is important - but not all maximise this opportunity to get the best out of new people from the very beginning. So when should onboarding actually begin, and which businesses are best at rolling out the welcome mat?

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The rise of Wellbeing - and the challenge for HR

Alongside culture and engagement, wellbeing is another intangible benefit proven to have a very real business impact that has consequently seen its stock rise. So given its elevated status, how significant is wellbeing for those seeking their next career move? And what are the implications for HR colleagues as expectations change?

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HR Grapevine Live 2017: What did we learn?

Today, Vana Resourcing joined hundreds of industry colleagues at HR Grapevine Live in London. So which headline messages did we come away with? What are the trends dominating the industry? And who impressed - and surprised - us?

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Vana's Blog: Halfway Through.. So how is 2016 - 2017 Looking?

With March almost here, we thought we'd use this week's blog to reflect on 2016-17 so far - both for Vana and HR in general. From what we're experiencing, and with insight from industry colleagues, we'll evaluate the current demand for different roles, consider employee experience, job-sharing and other trends that could define 2017, and reveal how our work is taking on an international dimension...

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Who do you think you are? TypeCoach offers new angle on Personality and Preference

Most of us are familiar with Myers Briggs as a personality and preference tool. However, we've found from experience that there's clearly a demand for something simpler, more cost effective and accessible to help understanding of styles, aid business-wide communication and get the best out of teams. TypeCoach offers this alternative approach. Vana invited Rob Toomey, TypeCoach President, to explain how it all works - and what sets TypeCoach apart from established practices...

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Seven signs you need to change your job in 2017

We're almost three months in to the new calendar year - so have those resolutions given way to reality, or are you still pondering that next career step? Personnel Today suggest seven indicators that a change may be required and Vana Resourcing co-director, Jo White, was invited to add her insight...

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Behind the scenes with Vana Executive Assessment

With expectations of candidates greater than ever, increasing the need for assessment and selection processes that hire ‘right-first-time’, we recently launched Vana Executive Assessment. Offering valuable insights in talent acquisition and development, we invited the leading Chartered Occupational Psychologist managing this service for us to reveal how Executive Assessment works.

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HR - and the journey from employment to ownership

The recent government green paper on corporate governance shows that employee 'ownership' is topical for politicians as well as business, with a consensus that it's integral to long-term financial stability. So how can companies and HR professionals get employees to see themselves as owning - rather than 'renting' - their jobs?

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KP scoop Impact accolade at Personnel Today Awards

It was a winning night for the famous snack brand as they collected the Vana-sponsored HR Impact award - and an occasion that brought together Vana, their clients and the best of the HR profession for the last industry celebration of 2016.

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Tackling Coaching: What business leaders can gain from elite sport

With many companies pursuing major transformation agendas, executive coaching can enable ‘C-suite’ leadership to prevail through seemingly unending change. Sport is often used in this context, but is there anything new that leaders can draw from this analogy to drive performance? And why are some reluctant to take on coaching despite the perceived benefits? Former England rugby player Lee Mears, now an executive coach with The Preston Associates, shares his views...

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Putting People Centre in a Digital World

We are living through the digital equivalent of the industrial revolution. What the exact impact of this will be on employment is debatable (UK Government statistics suggest 35% of jobs being at long-term risk whilst research from Sweden puts this figure at over 50%), but it’s a fact that technology will only become more integral to life with each passing day.

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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