HR and People
Kat Barber, Talent Partner at Imagr
Unashamedly stalking you on LinkedIn, Kat is a person you should welcome a chat with if she pops up in your inbox. Having worked as an external recruiter for a number of years, she is now in-house as Talent Partner for Imagr and could not be happier. Kat shares some insight into her career journey to date, why she is so excited about her new role and Imagr and the people they are looking to attract. Thanks for sharing your story, Kat.
Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?
By not trying to answer a question with a question, I would say to a five year old... What do you want to be when you grow up? I would be the person who helps you get there!
“At Imagr, my days are varied which is honestly the best part though at the core of my role, I own the global recruitment function for NZ, Japan and soon to be Amsterdam!”
And for the adults, what does a typical day-in the-life of a Talent Partner at Imagr look like?
At Imagr, my days are varied which is honestly the best part though at the core of my role, I own the global recruitment function for NZ, Japan and soon to be Amsterdam! One moment I’ll be brainstorming with our Leadership team on resource planning, pipelining talent (yes, I’m stalking you on LinkedIn) the other, I’m working with Jordyn, our incredible P&C Manager on organisational design and thinking about what the future teams could look like.
We are cementing our scalable recruitment practice in preparation for upcoming growth globally and there’s an entire employee experience strategy that comes with this from the moment a candidate applies to join Imagr, to the growth and development across their tenure.
“..we are obsessed with knowing as much as we can about what the teams are up to, business strategy and upcoming growth – this all helps with our talent attraction strategy and resource planning.”
What are some of the common misconceptions about working in Talent?
This is an interesting one, Imagr has taken the approach to prioritise employee experience and validate a P&C team of 4, which is pretty unique to a company of 60 headcount. This gives me the opportunity to focus specifically on our talent pipelines and recruitment.
In a Talent role, no matter your focus, you need to really care and be invested in the people and business you’re working with.
The rumours are that some elements of Talent and P&C will be replaced by tech and I say, bring it on, the more admin I can automate, the better and the more I can focus on building relationships with my peers and external talent.
Another misconception is that P&C can be siloed, which is quite the contrary in tech start-ups, we are obsessed with knowing as much as we can about what the teams are up to, business strategy and upcoming growth – this all helps with our talent attraction strategy and resource planning.
Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
Unashamedly, I was pretty lost as a teenager and didn’t really know what I wanted to study at University. Though I spent my primary school years at Kumon doing maths that was way beyond my school level, playing PlayStation, sailing and drawing.
Being the kid that always ‘fixed Mum’s computer’, wired up the new TV and stayed up late sketching my thoughts from the day that was, I definitely have always had a natural curiosity about tech and art equally.
“Jeepers! My career has been an absolute jungle gym!”
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at Imagr?
Jeepers! My career has been an absolute jungle gym! I’m originally from Sydney and I worked as a beauty therapist while studying Property after high school, an OE in the States, owned my own salon, spent three incredible years with Aesop, to agency recruitment in tech and now at Imagr as Talent Partner.
Every step along the way has supported me to get to where I am now, in particular, working at Aesop in a management role truly cemented my passion and foundations in CX.
Can you share some more insight into what that transition was like?
The transition was no less than a baptism of fire, going from Aesop to agency recruitment at Halo, I was so lucky to be mentored by some of the best tech recruiters in NZ and so the move to internal at Imagr was much smoother for sure, as it was something that I was SO ready for.
What is it specifically that you like about working at Imagr relative to your past jobs?
The trust from day one, the ownership I have on my remit, the collaboration and exposure to our Leadership team and the endless possibilities of growth. Being surrounded by some of the most incredible minds in NZ is pretty special too. I’m honestly still pinching myself as to how I got here.
“If you don’t care about the bigger picture of what you’re working on, or who you’re working with – it’s not a good move.”
Do you have any advice for people considering tech as a career path and how they might get there quicker?
Tech is supporting the roots and innovation of pretty much every company I can think of right now. My only advice would be to network, network, network. Get involved in meet- ups, study groups, join a mentorship programme or check out Matchstiq!
Do your research and approach a company whose purpose and product or service you align with, put yourself out there! If you don’t care about the bigger picture of what you’re working on, or who you’re working with – it’s not a good move.
Lastly, Imagr continues to grow like crazy. What kind of candidates do you think Imagr is looking for in terms of experience, attitude and character?
We are gearing up to double in size by the end of 2021! Taking on the challenge of innovating retail globally is no easy feat. If you’re highly passionate about your craft, a curious problem solver and keen to make some magic happen with us, get in touch!
We’re an accredited company and looking for global and local talent across AI, Product, Partnerships, Data Science, Operations, Delivery and Engineering across Hardware, Software and Embedded disciplines.