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Penni Hlaca welcomed as new RCSA New Zealand Council Chair

RCSA’s New Zealand Council recently welcomed new Chairperson Penni Hlaca, after they elected her to replace former Chair John Harland who stood down from the role after four years at the helm.

Penni, who joined the NZ Council in July 2014, was nominated for the position of Chair by RCSA Board Director and Council member Ian McPherson and NZ Council member Janice McNabb.

A proven recruitment professional, Penni currently holds the position of Manager, NZ Southern Region, with Stellar Recruitment having previously worked for 15 years with Randstad.

Penni said she felt this was the perfect time for her to take on the role of Chair of the NZ Council and was a positive and pro-active way to support and advocate for an industry she is passionate about.

“This is an exciting time to be involved with the RCSA New Zealand Council,” she said. “There are a lot of upcoming changes and opportunities to promote our industry and profession in New Zealand.

“I would like the focus for the NZ Council for 2018 to be aligned with the critical objective of promoting and protecting our industry.”

She said other key areas of focus would be business enablement of members through training, improving networking opportunities and ensuring the NZ Council celebrates its successes as a team.

“I have always been one to think that you can’t have an opinion if you don’t get involved,” Penni explained. “So for me being involved with the New Zealand Council is about getting involved in something I am passionate about and giving back to the industry”.

“I also like the networking and comradery we have within the NZ Council; it’s a good bit of fun.”

Penni has said there are three specific advocacy goals she would like RCSA to focus on achieving over the next 12 months.

  • Promoting the social contribution made by the recruitment and staffing industry in New Zealand, including how, every day, our members provide access to employment for the young, pathways back to re-employment for our carers, career transition for the new world of work and flexibility for all kiwis.

  • Determine the right role for skilled migration to promote ongoing economic development and prosperity for New Zealand

  • Promoting that the staffing industry offers the right balance between flexibility and responsibility, including advocating for the use of professional staffing and recruitment services to protect the rights of all.

Penni started in recruitment in 1998 and, as so many of those of us in our industry have experienced, describes it as an unexpected yet happy accident.

“Like many in our industry, I fell into recruitment not really knowing what I was in for,” Penni said. “I realised quickly that it suited me and my personality.

“I love the feeling of finding great people for great companies. Dealing with people is my passion and I’m just a little bit competitive which doesn’t hurt in this industry.”


RCSA’s CEO Charles Cameron said Penni’s appointment, as Chair of the NZ Council, was a great opportunity to expand the presence and advocacy work being undertaken for the benefit recruitment and staffing industry within New Zealand.

“Penni brings a lot of new ideas to the role which is wonderful to have when working hard to raise the profile and contribution of the industry” Charles said.

“And with three years’ experience on the NZ Council and almost 20 years in the recruitment and staffing industry, I am confident the New Zealand Council is in very good hands with Penni taking on the role of Chair.

“John Harland leaves a wonderful legacy for our association and has contributed so very much. We are all so very thankful, but John leaves big shoes to fill.”

Penni has high hopes for her time as Chair saying she hopes she can help to spearhead positive change, promotion and growth.

“At the end of my tenure, it is my hope that the Council I have been involved with made positive changes and impacted the NZ recruitment industry in a way we will be proud of,” Penni said.

“The New Zealand recruitment world is all about relationships and being honest and ethical. Recruitment is a real people game; a contact sport. That is something we never want to see changed.”

The November 16 meeting also welcomed new members to the New Zealand Council. Charles Cameron has extended a warm welcome to Blair Cashin from Randstad, Melinda Honeychurch from Hays and Kelly Common from Salt.

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