Covid Collabs bringing people together during tough times


Kelly Common MRCSA, RCSA NZ Council Chair, gives an insight into the Covid Collabs program she facilitates.

Q: When did the Covid Collab sessions start and how do they work?

Rebecca Clarke and I were having a conversation around what we could be doing in New Zealand for our members due to the global pandemic that is COVID-19. We wanted to have an open forum and a chance for our members to connect and to talk about anything that was happening.

And so, CovidCollab was created.

We kicked off the Collabs on April 9 with a half-hour Zoom meeting but soon realised this was not long enough, and it was changed to an hour.

We always start by asking how everyone is and often this is how our sessions evolve. No questions are off limits and I think actually having no agenda has helped. Our sessions are member-led.

Q: Who attends the sessions?

It is an open invitation to any one of our members throughout New Zealand, and we’ve had attendees from the beautiful far north down to the stunning deep south

Q: What have been the benefits of these sessions?

I actually think having no agenda has been beneficial. As these sessions are member-driven, the content varies each week and allows members to raise concerns/points for discussion that are relevant to them.

As you know, great consultants always have something to say and those on the sessions will offer advice, support and it goes from there.

Q: What has surprised you the most regarding these sessions?

The collaboration among those attending and advice and support that has been offered and the honesty among the group and even the sharing of a pregnancy among the group – that was a very special session!

Q: What have these sessions personally meant to you?

I have simply loved being a facilitator in connecting those within our industry and having a forum that allows for people to be open and comfortable to share what they are experiencing.

It’s been simply fantastic each week to see largely the same attendees, and seeing the connections among the members that may not have happened otherwise – how do you otherwise connect with members in Kerikeri, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Napier or Christchurch?

Q: How do you see these collab sessions growing/developing in the future now that New Zealand has emerged from lockdown and returns to life without physical distancing constraints?

Our CovidCollab attendees are very keen for us to all meet in person at some stage this year, and as someone said “I’ll go anywhere be it Queenstown or Hokitika”.

I’d still love for us to continue with these sessions and imagine it will be probably more likely monthly and we can develop sessions around what our members need.

So don’t be shy, reach out and let me know how we can create a session that you would love to be part of.

Get Involved!

For members:

Join our Kiwi Collabs, now taking place on the last Thursday of every month, for more information and to register, check out the details here.

For partners:

Did you know we also have a Partner Collab session which takes place every month, hosted by the RCSA NZ Council for partners and suppliers to the NZ recruitment & staffing sector, for your invitation and to register, contact Rebecca Clarke rclarke@rcsa.org.nz

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