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Building a resilient and successful Manawatu business

Building a resilient and successful Manawatu business

PN Personnel Managing Director Claire Hewson believes your ability to effectively respond and adapt to an ever-changing business environment is integral to building a resilient business.

“The best piece of business advice I have is surround yourself with people who have strengths in the areas of your weaknesses.”

To build a resilient business with the ability to be responsive and adaptable you need to:

  • Secure and retain the right people within the business
  • Be fundamentally based on a solid infrastructure
  • Utilise best practices
  • Embrace change and be able to recover and move forward from setbacks and adversity
  • Constantly strive for excellence (from yourself, your people and your business as an entity)

Secure and retain the right people for your team

Securing the right people in your business is key. A resilient business has the right blend of skills, attributes and personalities.

A positive attitude is the most sought-after attribute when Claire recruits for her team. Secondary to this are:

  • Drive
  • Passion
  • Dedication
  • Commitment to excellence.

“I take into consideration an individual’s accomplishments and learnings from past experiences, both good and bad.” She says.  “Potential can be more important than existing skills.”

To retain a talented team you need to recognise, reward and support your staff.  Be open in your communication with them and foster a supportive environment.

“Provide them with opportunities for advancement, embrace diversity and flexibility and align their individual needs with your organisational needs.”

Build a solid infrastructure

A resilient business will have the tools required to allow staff to perform their job to the best of their ability.  Claire believes in constantly investing in maintaining and upgrading infrastructure including the physical environment and technology.

Utilise Best Practice

Establishing systems and procedures for best practice along with providing opportunities for training and development is important in building a resilient team. Claire is a firm believer in supporting learning for personal and professional development.

“Knowledge and expertise are key elements to success and allow you to adapt in ever-changing environments. To be adaptable and successful you need to be open to change, keen to advance and constantly striving to extend yourself through learnings from others.”

Embrace Change

The ability to adapt in challenging times is integral to surviving a downturn.  In the global recession of 2009 Claire went from managing the team to recruiting full-time alongside her team.

“Reducing expenses and reviewing outgoings is standard business practice when a business is under pressure. My commitment was to excellence, and to our core business offering.  In reviewing work and re-prioritising how the team worked, our service offering became more effective, internal workloads were manageable and we became more productive.”

Throughout the challenges faced by us all this year, PN Personnel ensured technology allowed the team to continue working from home and remain connected to each other as well as to external clients and job seekers.

“We have taken a resilience strategy to manage the impact of COVID-19.  We immediately transitioned to working from home for nearly two months.  I reverted to a more hands on approach and together with our Leadership Team and talented team members we all ensured the continuation of quality recruitment services.”

Constantly Strive for Success

Resilient businesses will have a clear vision and goals they are collectively striving to achieve as a team.

Claire says businesses should “set the scene for success. Resilient businesses will know what success looks like to them. The pathway to achieving these goals may change as they adapt and respond to outside influences, but the goal itself will remain. Once a goal is achieved it should be celebrated.”

As one of many small and successful businesses in the Manawatu, PN Personnel is highly adaptable and resilient.  Claire’s vision is for PN Personnel to continue to be a market leading brand and champion of the recruitment industry.

If you would like to engage a market-leading brand for your next recruitment to build your resilient team, give us a call.

Claire Hewson

Claire Hewson

Our resident Managing Director, Claire is our in-house HR practitioner, qualified psychometric assessor and career coach.

Phone 06 280 2399 Mobile 027 541 4013 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Full Details


(06) 356 6091 Fax: (06) 356 6071

53 Princess Street, Palmerston North 4410
PO Box 594, Palmerston North 4440


Chamber of Commerce