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Meet Jane Kara Temel – part of the Humans of NZ Recruitment project

The Humans of NZ Recruitment is a 100-day project featuring 100 career stories within 100 days. Launched by RSCA’s New Zealand Manager, Rebecca Clarke, the project aims to amplify the voices of professionals within the recruitment industry and highlight some extraordinary stories while revealing the diversity within our industry.

Meet one of the Humans of NZ Rec, Jane Kara Temel, as she shares her career path into recruitment and her ambitions to weave te Ao Maori into HR practice for the benefit of te iwi Māori and all New Zealanders.

Hi, I’m Jane and I’m your face of Recruitment in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I had finished my music degree, majoring in singing performance, and I was in London taking lessons and performing as much as I could. I was making ends meet by temping when I got a call out of the blue from the MD of a recruitment agency. She’d been trawling through CVs, looking for someone to join their candidate management team and she thought my background looked interesting. I had an absolute blast working there. The brand colour was hot pink and we used to sign all of our letters (yep, before email existed) in pink pen. Friday night drinks were epic, as evidenced by the red wine stains on the floor in reception. Back in those days there was still the occasional smoking in offices and we used to have to shoo our MD out of reception when she came wandering through with a lit cigarette. She was quite a character. I loved this new career I fell into and realised I was good at it and I liked the ability to earn well. Music then became a hobby and recruitment took over as my main career path.

Recruitment is a science and an art. There is a science to finding the right people and an art to bringing them together with the right job and organisation.

I’m now at the stage of placing people for the second or third time in their career which is hugely satisfying and the fruit of investing into relationships for the long term. I count it as a privilege to be brought into the confidence of our candidates and clients and helping them to navigate important decisions in their lives.

As a Māori woman in HR, I am also interested to see how te Ao Maori can be woven into recruitment and HR practice for the benefit of te iwi Māori and all New Zealanders. For this next stage of my recruitment career, I am hoping to have a greater impact for Māori and develop my own knowledge and confidence in te Reo me ōna Tikanga Māori.

I’m grateful for the incredible leaders that I’ve had the privilege to work for and with. If you’ve joined the recruitment industry/profession, here’s three key pieces of advice I learned early on.

  1. When something goes wrong in a recruitment process (‘cos it does), the first thing you should ask yourself is, “What could I have done differently to improve that outcome?” If your immediate reaction is to blame the client or the candidate then you need to stop and hold up the mirror. There’s always something for us to learn.

  2. Value the service you provide and seek a retainer whenever possible, so that you don’t end up working for free.

  3. Consistency is key - it is a numbers game and if you consistently do the inputs, the outputs will follow.

To thrive in recruitment in 2021 and beyond, you need resilience to cope with disappointments, expertise in your specialty and the ability to advise and influence.

In a work context, three things I’d like to be known for are Humour, Insight and Delivery. I am based in Wellington though I hail from the beautiful New Plymouth and grew up under the majestic presence of Mount Taranaki. I am Ngāti Ruanui and expect to return to Taranaki one day.

I am surrounded by people in my job, all day every day so I like to hide away in peace and quiet at home. I’ve recently bought a baby grand piano - when our plans to travel to Italy got shelved due to COVID - and I love to come home and let the stress of the day melt away as I play. I also love doing yoga and going for long walks into the hills. My husband is a chef so I’m blessed to have my dinner cooked every night. Our children are at College and University so they’re pretty independent now. I think I get so ‘peopled out’ during my work week that I really enjoy retreating in my spare time.

Motivation song: I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown & The Famous Flames

If you know anyone who has a story to tell about their career development in recruitment, or if you would like to take part, please reach out to @humansofNZRec on Instagram or email Rebecca at

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