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Covid-recovery climate: Waikato HR company near-doubles its recruitment team

Hamilton-based human resources company Everest People has announced the appointment of two new recruiters this month, expanding its core recruitment team from three to five.

Managing Director Senga Allen says the dual appointment of Pavan Benepal and Carly Apps is a necessary response to the steadily growing number of Waikato companies employing staff post COVID-19.

“This time last year was an incredibly scary time for businesses. COVID-19 hit and we saw recruitment come to a grinding halt, not only in the Waikato but nationally,” she said.

“A year later it’s safe to say we’re on the other side of that. The latest SEEK NZ Employment Report shows a whopping 55.3 percent annual growth in March’s job advertising[1]. At Everest specifically we’re seeing a new client approach our recruitment team every week or two.

Everest is finding that businesses aren’t simply filling old roles on hold due to COVID-19 either. “They’re creating new ones, many of which are c-suite positions. From an economic perspective that’s reassuring, because if recruitment is flourishing the economy is typically healthy too,” Senga said.

Senga said the expansion at Everest is attributed directly to the strength of the Waikato economy. “In my role as Chair of Waikato Chamber of Commerce, I’ve been heartened to see many of the key industries that drive our economy doing well and making plans for even further growth. But having growth plans is only the first step – finding the right people to execute those plans is even more important. That’s the role our team is playing in getting the local economy back on track.”

New recruiters Carly and Pavan have more than two decades of employment experience between them. “Adding their expertise to the mix, our team is better equipped than ever to help Waikato businesses employ the right people into vacant roles,” Senga said.


Pavan is a qualified veterinarian with a PhD in Animal Sciences and Molecular Biology. She worked across different operational roles overseas for 15 years before starting her recruitment career in 2016 following a move to New Zealand. She brings to Everest niche expertise in the science and technology space.

“I’ve now worked in recruitment for five years and built strong networks with national and global organisations across Biotech, Food, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Manufacturing, Engineering, Agriculture and Commercial Laboratory sectors. I’ve managed the recruitment process for highly skilled, technical, sales and senior management positions across these fields and others,” she said.

Senga says Pavan’s niche expertise is invaluable for Waikato businesses seeking innovation and growth in the science and technology sectors.

“According to the Waikato Region Economic Profile, ‘professional, scientific and technical services’ is currently one of the top five growth industries in the Waikato[1]. Pavan is highly skilled at sourcing and recruiting specialist and technical people in this space,” Senga said.

“That to say, local businesses who have traditionally sought recruitment help from Auckland companies to fill specialist roles now have Pavan’s niche expertise right here in their backyard. She’s a real asset to our recruitment team and the region, as is Carly.”

Carly brings 15 years of recruitment experience to Everest. She’s worked for multiple large organisations both in the public and private sectors including Ministry for Primary Industries; Child, Youth and Family; Fonterra; Genesis Energy and ACC. Having lived in the Waikato for the duration of her recruitment career, she’s passionate about helping local companies hire the right people.

“Campaign creativity and candidate experience are two things that are really important to me as an experienced recruiter,” Carly said. “Creating tailored, innovative recruitment campaigns is key to success in today’s competitive market – ads alone don’t cut it. I love doing this for clients.

“Candidate experience is equally critical. I believe every candidate interaction during the recruitment process is an opportunity to showcase a business’s offerings, culture and enhance the employer brand,” she said.

Senga urged Waikato businesses to consider the value of a recruitment agency in this post COVID-19 climate. “Recruiters help remove the risk of a bad hire. It’s our job to assess and match the right candidate to the position and culture, whilst letting businesses get on with whatever they do best. Bear in mind a good candidate is often a passive candidate so our networks are vital. It’s also our job to stay on top of any recruiting trends shaped by the pandemic,” she said.

“We’re thrilled to have Pavan and Carly on board. As a team we look forward to finding exactly the right people for Waikato businesses as the employment trajectory, post COVID-19, continues to soar.”

[1] https://ecoprofile.infometrics...