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HR & People

Vanessa Radich, People & Culture Director at Melodics

A last minute change of heart, saw Vanessa Radich, People and Culture Director at Melodics pivot from the dream of becoming a doctor to studying psychology.

We caught up with Vanessa to learn more about her journey into tech as well as why she loves working at Melodics. With a track record of helping to build businesses that have since been acquired, Melodics is worth keeping a close eye on! Thanks for sharing your story, Vanessa.

“I help people bring their whole selves to work, and feel happy in their jobs.”

Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?

This is a tough one! I help people bring their whole selves to work, and feel happy in their jobs. 

And for the adults, what does that translate to in regards to your day-to-day?

People & Culture is all about creating people-centric practices, rituals and processes, and embedding those into the day-to-day life of an organisation.

For example, things like how do we communicate internally, how do we think about performance, growth and development, what are our recruitment practices, what is our process around reviewing remuneration - the list goes on!

I see it as my role to design and implement those practices, make sure they’re fair and equitable, and adapt them as the organisation grows. I also see it as my role to equip leaders with the right tools to lead successfully. 

What are some of the common misconceptions about working in People & Culture.

I see a lot of people in the People & Culture space whose primary role is to organise shared lunches and dress up days.

No shade to either of those things, but I don’t believe that those types of activities have a true and long-lasting impact on your employees’ engagement, their tenure with your organisation, and the type of impact that they’ll have.

They’re the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself.

“... I actually thought I was going to be a doctor!”

Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?

Definitely not! Like our CEO, Sam, I actually thought I was going to be a doctor! I did pretty well at school and I thought that being a doctor would make my parents the most proud.

I was all ready to start my Bachelor of Health Science and had a moment of panic at the last second. I realised that I didn’t want to spend half my life studying, so I wiped the slate clean and ended up with a psychology degree.

Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at Melodics? 

I started out working in tech recruitment, which landed me a role at Vend in the People & Culture team.

I spent just under four epic years there and finished up as the Global People Operations Manager - I looked after recruitment, our employee equity scheme, our remuneration review process, all employment relations issues globally, and many other things!

It was a busy role. Working at Vend was a life-changing experience for me, I felt like I was playing on an All-Star basketball team as everyone there was an absolute pro at what they did.

We were truly working on a global scale, from in NZ. I learned so much. So many great friends, great memories, and I met my now-husband during my time there!

After my time at Vend I joined Timely as their first P&C hire - I was their People Experience Lead.

It was a time of scale for them (going from 45 to 80 people) and such an exciting journey to be a part of, and awesome to gain experience working in a remote-first organisation.

It was an inspiration and a pleasure to work for Ryan Baker (Timely co-founder and CEO) on what his vision for People & Culture was at Timely.

Once I left Timely I met Sam Gribben, CEO and founder of Melodics. I started out doing some contracting work on P&C projects as the team was still really small, but Sam was dedicated to building a great place to work and wanted to bring in my expertise early.

Now the team is almost 35 people!

“Take ownership of your own career journey, and follow what you’re most passionate about.”

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received? 

Take ownership of your own career journey, and follow what you’re most passionate about. Letting someone else dictate your journey is one of the fastest ways to end up in a place of unhappiness.

What do you love about working at Melodics?

Sam Gribben is a great boss. He truly wants what’s best for our people, and pushes me to think outside the box on People & Culture initiatives. 

Being a music tech company, many of the team are very skilled musicians! I find it inspiring to be around such creative people. We all have really different backgrounds, and when the team gets together for a show & tell session it always blows my mind.

Lastly, Melodics continues to grow and evolve, what are the key traits and characteristics of people that will be well placed to work there?

We’re at an interesting intersection - moving from 30-ish people to hopefully around 50 within the next 12 months.

Generally speaking - we’re a bunch of positive people who really enjoy collaborating with each other, we value experimentation and trying new things, and love music / design-thinking / adaptive learning / education.

If that sounds like you, please keep an eye on our careers page!

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