An innovative approach to recruitment

An innovative approach to recruitment

Posted on Wednesday 4 December 2019

Pure grit and clever thinking have fashioned many extraordinary business stories in Nelson Tasman. And it’s not just being applied to the business itself, but also to the way they go about their work.

Two such businesses are Pic’s Peanut Butter, makers of much loved and award-winning Peanut Butter and SeaDragon, NZ’s largest refiner and blender of Omega Fish Oils. Together with recruitment agency Intepeople, they have collaborated and applied an innovative ‘win-win’ approach to their recruitment which sees Tim Ward job-sharing with both businesses as their Lean Implementation Manager.

How did this come about?

Originally, Intepeople were recruiting for a full time Lean Coordinator for Pic’s Peanut Butter. When Tim’s application came through they could see he had a very relevant set of skills and experience – albeit at a much more senior level.  Despite his level of skillset, they felt it still would be valuable for Pics’ General Manager to meet him.

It was from this meeting that the idea of splitting the role across the two businesses evolved. Pic’s were 12 months into implementing Better By Lean and could see that Tim was an extremely experienced practitioner and while a lot more senior than what they were looking for, could add significant value in-house to this implementation.


Pics Packing All The Jars Pics Peanut Butter no credit required

Pics Packing All the Jars, Pics Peanut Butter


SeaDragon were at a similar stage to Pic’s so they decided to explore whether the concept of a Lean Implementation Manager job share between the two businesses could work. And as it turned out it could – and has been working successfully now for over three months.

What was the result?

For Pic’s and SeaDragon the result has only been positive. As a Lean expert Tim is highly organised and capable of balancing the job share between the two businesses so the transition has been easy. They are both grateful to be able to benefit from Tim’s experience and passion which they otherwise would not have had. It has also allowed Pic’s to promote a Lean Coordinator internally to support Tim. 

For Tim, while the concept of a job-share hadn’t occurred to him before, when the opportunity arose he jumped at it.

“I was excited about the concept of working with two different companies and working within two separate cultures. Business culture intrigues me and working to effect change within existing cultures is something I really enjoy and that I’ve become reasonably successful in doing.”

Overall, he says it’s been an “amazing experience”.

“I get a lot out of helping teams develop their work processes, so to be able to do that for teams across two businesses is great.”

He has found the key to success is deciding early on your approach to dividing time between the roles and setting some simple structures in place to make this work.

“There are some amazing businesses in Nelson Tasman and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be involved with two of them”.


To discover more about living and working in Nelson Tasman click here.