In the first of our Meet the Team blogs, we find out more about our Managing Director Lisa Cooley.
Tell us a bit about yourself outside of recruitment…
What there is a life outside of recruitment? Ok, so I first came to New Zealand from the UK when I was four and have had my Kiwi passport since I was seven. We went back to the UK when I was nine, and I lived there for 20 years before coming back here to live 11 years ago (I think I've just given my age away for those that want to add that up). I live on the Shore with my husband, two miniature schnauzers (Groot and Drax), and my six-year-old stepson, who lives with us 50% of the time. I love sailing and travelling overseas; combining the two is even better. While our borders are closed though, I'm definitely looking forward to visiting parts of New Zealand I'm yet to see, particularly Abel Tasman.
How long have you been in recruitment, and how did you get into it?
I would say telling might give my age away, but I've done that already! I got my first recruitment job at 21, working for a local recruitment company in Maidstone, Kent. After that, I worked for a few companies in London, the last of which was Cobalt who are now the co-owners of BrightSpark. It's funny how things come full circle after so long. I've been in tech recruitment here in Auckland for a decade.
Like most recruiters, I fell into it. In fact, I had zero idea what it involved before I interviewed for my first role. I was working in hospitality and went to a local agency to find some temp work. They offered me an interview to work there, and the rest, as they say, is history. I would say there are a few of us recruiters that have a similar story.
Why did you start BrightSpark?
I wanted to start a recruitment business that was as much about giving back to the tech community and NZ in general, as it is about finding great talent for awesome companies.
People are at the heart of everything we do. We work with fantastic businesses ranging from super cool software startups to large corporate enterprises. The thing they have in common is that they all value people as much as we do.
Now we are back in the office we will be starting our monthly in-house job seeker workshops and our "Good Cause of the Quarter" initiative. Keep an eye on our social media for more details about these. These are just a couple of the many corporate social responsibility initiatives we have planned.
What do you love most about recruitment?
Wow, that's a tough one! I would not have been doing it for so long if there wasn't so much to love. Cheesy as it sounds, it really is helping people. It's so amazing to be able to help someone find their ideal role and positively impact their career. Even if we don't help find them work, I love being able to offer advice to help people with their job search. I remember a time someone stopped me on Queen Street and told me they had been in one of my new migrant job seeker presentations. They told me that my advice had helped them to secure a fantastic opportunity after they'd been looking for so long. To be able to have the ability to help people in that way is pretty special.
As a manager, I enjoy developing and supporting my team to be the very best recruiters they can be.
What do you love most about technology?
That's easy for me to answer, it's the pace at which it changes. There is always something new to learn. I recruit for roles that didn't even exist a couple of years ago, let alone a decade ago when I first moved into IT recruitment. There is never a chance to get bored, and I could never do any other type of recruitment now.
What roles do you enjoy recruiting for the most?
A year or so ago, I would have said anything in the project space - BAs, PMs etc. However, I've recently started recruiting more development roles than ever, and I've found that I absolutely love that too. Honestly, there are no roles I can think of that I don't enjoy recruiting for, as they all give me the chance to meet awesome, talented people.
What is a random fact about you people might not know?
Just one? I can be pretty random, so here are a few…
I used to play lawn bowls, I've been to Rarotonga 12 times and Las Vegas 6 times, I used to own over 100 pairs of shoes, and I like olives on their own but not if they are with any other foods.
See, I told you, random!
What makes you a good recruiter?
Honestly, I think it is because I genuinely care about people. Also, I am good at listening to what a company is looking for, what a person is looking for, and making sure those things are the perfect match.