Employer Testimonials

I have been using Rural Directions for a number of years now to fill vacancies on our Drystock and Dairy Farms. They have gone over and above to help fill these roles and have been a pleasure to work with. There is always someone in the team that can help, they understand farmers and what we do.

As Farmers we are constantly being challenged but recruiting staff is not easy and these guys do it well, so leave it to the experts.


It is our pleasure to highly recommend Rural Directions as a recruitment service. They are exceptionally professional, communicate to a very high level, and really listened to what we, as an employer, were looking for with our recent position.

It has taken out all the stress from finding a new Manager in a relatively short period of time. Their ability to screen, interview and get results is second to none.  During our interviews, one candidate also mentioned that he was very impressed with how professional the process has been.

If you want a seamless transition between employees, then you cannot go any further than Rural Directions.

Tom & Meg Macfarlane – Waihui Farming Limited

Having previously utilised Rural Directions services for recruiting farm staff and assisting with performance reviews with great results, I decided they were an obvious choice to help me find a PA for my Real Estate business. Gretchen Parkes and her team were fantastic to work with, very thorough, professional and they presented me with a short-list of applicants which they considered the right fit. Their ability to reach the right applicants and recognise the skills and personalities that would suit the position (and me!) was spot-on. Thank you so much. I have no hesitation in recommending Gretchen and the Rural Directions Team.

TIM WYNNE-LEWIS – Rural & Lifestyle Specialist – Bayley’s

Thanks for your help in running this recruitment process – we ended up with some fabulous candidates to interview and as a result, we have found a perfect fit for the role. The whole process from my end was very painless and I really appreciate you managing the whole process.

Phil M – Farm Manager, LIC

Gretchen took the time to really understand the type of person we were looking for and it gave us the opportunity to find the right person for the role, thus enabling us to make the correct choice. The whole process can only be explained as professional, informative, and communicative.  Every step of the way Gretchen invited our input alongside theirs. Would highly recommend Gretchen and her team at Rural Directions and look forward to working with them in the future


Our Livestock Coordinator role is unique to our business and a challenging role to recruit externally for. The Rural Directions team used a variety of avenues (outside of the “normal” areas) to market and attract candidates of the required fit. Time was taken to learn the role and visit the work environment to ensure the position description was well understood. Communication during the process and follow up afterwards was outstanding (and candidates had a similarly great experience). The Rural Directions team were enthusiastic, went beyond the norms to fulfil our needs and I would have no hesitation using and recommending their services in the future. I loved working with them.


When I first sat down with the Rural Directions team I was impressed by the way you asked so many questions to ensure you had a full understanding of what it was that was required. You kept me fully informed as to where matters were at, and when we had our check-in meetings your team had plenty of suggestions that paved the way forward to enable us to arrive at the final product. I certainly would recommend you to others and I would have no hesitation in employing your services again in the future.

Tony Shea – Senior Rural Properties Advisor, Public Trust

We can highly recommend Rural Directions. We have recently appointed a Farm Manager for a new property and it’s fair to say that our success in making this appointment would be largely attributed to Rural Direction executives and their processes and functions to find good people. We felt very comfortable that Rural Directions thoroughly understood exactly what we wanted and listened to our preferences. I believe job-seekers found the process they went through was very professional too.

Richard Hall – Director, Rua Oki Farms

Our local catchment project was seeking a skilled project manager. The Rural Directions team put a lot of effort into understanding the role and our project. They attracted a great candidate who is the perfect fit which was critical for the success of the project.

Bri Collin & Stuart Ellingham – Horizon Farming

Property Brokers engaged Gretchen Parkes of Rural Directions to assist our Hawkes Bay real estate business recruit a specialist rural leader to develop our team and take it forward on the East Coast. Gretchen’s collaborative approach and independence was a great assist with that process. We sought Gretchen after a referral from another established agribusiness that had similar success. Gretchen is always very professional and really understands the agribusiness market.

Conrad Wilkshire – General Manager (Rural), Property Brokers

We have engaged Gretch and Rural Directions for recruitment and general HR support and have found her/them excellent. She has presented great candidates and provides a thorough professional onboarding service that inspires confidence with us and new employees as they join the company.

Will Purvis – General Manager, StockCo Capital

On two separate occasions, we engaged Rural Directions to help us fill job vacancies within our forest management business. We were initially a little hesitant in using their services as while they were known to specialise in rural recruitment, they had little experience recruiting staff in the forest industry. As they were HB based in Havelock North, we decided to give them the opportunity to prove themselves.

Both positions have been successfully filled. Staff at Rural Directions have been easy to deal with and responsive to our requirements. The results achieved have exceeded our expectations and we would be happy to work with them again in the future.

Steve Bell – CEO, Forest Management New Zealand

Thank you very much for all the great work you have put into this recruitment process. You have made the whole process a breeze and we really appreciate the time and effort you have spent on it!

Mitchell Wolting – Hawkes Bay Production Manager, South Pacific Seeds (NZ) Ltd

Rural Directions has made 3 appointments for our farm businesses over the last 2.5 years. Their professional advice, guidance throughout the process and thorough approach ensures an excellent outcome. An end to end process in what is now a complex field with serious business implications.

Richard and Dianne Kidd – Whenuanui Farm

Thank you very much for your patience and hard work with the recruitment process and helping us find a lovely family. The applicants said you were fantastic to work with and it was a good process.

Richard & Sarah Burdon – Glen Dene Station

We worked with Rural Directions Recruitment & HR to fill 6 roles and found them great to work with. The advice given was very valuable, the reference checks were thorough and everyone was friendly and easy to work with. Rural Directions HR took the time to understand our business which ensured that the shortlisted candidates were both of an extremely high calibre, and the right fit for our culture. I was very pleased with both the shortlisted candidates and final employees, the hardest part for us was choosing between the high quality applicants.

Dene Noonan – Previous Manager Farm Business, Auckland Council

We have engaged Rural Directions to successfully fill a number of roles. Over the years our requirements have ranged across much of the Ag-sector and included positions at many levels. Without fail Rural Directions have brought an enthusiastic approach to each engagement and consistently give us confidence we are seeing the best talent available. We require quality outcomes that build our reputation as preferred employers in the industry, this means professionalism, fairness and getting the right fit are critical. With a team that has built relationships far and wide and the ability to understand our client’s needs, Rural Directions are our ‘go to’ for Ag appointments.

Dean Nikora – Muriwai Downs Farm

Our entity owns a 1,000ha sheep and cattle farm in north Waikato. We mandated Rural Directions to find us a temporary Farm Manager while we recruited a longer term replacement. The process went smoothly and to plan, timelines were met and we were happy with all aspects of the service. The person appointed did an excellent job for the 3 months he was running the farm. We couldn’t have asked for a better result.

Interim Farm Manager Placement – Client Endorsement/Feedback

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