Home' In The City : Autumn Winter Contents 20
In the City Autumn/Winter
Matching employers with quality employees is a delicate balancing act.
BY NICOLE ROGOWSKI
They are at the top of their game and with more
than 30 years experience between them,
Alison Guy-Richie and Lynette Bender, know a
thing or two about recruitment.
The two directors have cemented themselves in
an industry, which they admit can be cut throat and
competitive at the best of times.
They have interviewed thousands of people and helped
candidates move through their careers from junior roles
to becoming managing directors of large companies.
As they do this they use their high-level communication
skills to maintain relationships with the blossoming stars
of the future.
These relationship skills also play a key role in liaising
with employers looking for staff.
Both women share a passion for their jobs, and go
above and beyond what is required to undertake their
day-to-day roles, which has undoubtedly led to their
success as businesswomen.
For Ms Guy-Richie of PCA People, entry into the world
of recruitment was through her father, who started the
But she wasn't handed the business on a silver platter.
"I always wanted to come into recruitment and when
my youngest was nine I decided I was ready for the
move. I asked Dad and he said he would give me a go
but I would have to work twice as hard as everyone
else,'' she says.
At the time she was undertaking social work and
dealing with people living in crisis.
"Many of the people were not willing to take
responsibility and make a change. It was crisis
after crisis. You would get through one and
then another would follow,'' she remembers.
Ms Guy-Richie says this time in her life
has helped her to understand people on
an emotional level, which she uses in her
"If people are not successful it can
really dent their self-confidence, which
means they don't perform in interviews
and it becomes a vicious cycle,'' she
"If they are unsuccessful I try to get
them thinking about their positives
and what they can offer. I try to coach
them a little bit.''
Now the sole owner of the business, Ms Guy-Richie
says part of her success comes from operating a "family''
service, which has good values.
She says she has worked extensively with her team on
incorporating a good work ethic in the office which relies
on honesty, openness, integrity and of course, having
However she admits there is a balancing act when it
comes to being seen as a family oriented company and
a commercial business.
"Recruitment is quite cut throat, it is very much sink or
swim and you have to hit your straps pretty quickly,'' she
"It is hard work and long hours, but there is so
much satisfaction from helping people find the
This is a sentiment echoed by Wizard People
managing director Ms Bender.
"The job is rewarding and I love the people
contact. I have made a lot of friends so when I
write my Christmas cards, I look at my list and
think I should write two -- one from the business
and one from the family,'' she says.
Ms Bender glows as she talks
about the delights of watching
people move through their
careers, as they rise
through the ranks and
Like Ms Guy-Richie, Ms Bender decided to switch
careers to take on recruitment.
After 13 years in the public service, she saw a chance
to branch out and having the knowledge of this sector
has helped her
no-end in her current role.
She joined Wizard People as a co-owner with three
others before she became the managing director.
With a tumultuous 2009 due to the global economic
crisis now a distant memory, Ms Bender says she
is looking forward to a more solid 2010,
although the impact on the market
place was nothing new for her.
"In 13 years of recruitment I have
seen it all before. It usually goes in
cycles, albeit short cycles,'' she
So given the women work long
hours, seven days a week, their
downtime is valuable.
Ms Guy-Richie says she
enjoys spending time
at her place on
the coast and all
activities that are
at arms reach
such as kayaking,
fishing and she
even enjoys a spot
while Ms Bender
says she likes
nothing more than
a good book, a
movie and some
Photographer: Rohan Thomson
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