Vana HR Resourcing

Who We Are

We have a strong partnership that provides a boutique service.

As long standing colleagues - and now great friends - we set up VANA with a joint desire to provide a more human approach to HR. Our principles of accessibility, openness, authenticity and creativity have led to over 20 years of collaboration with some of the most diverse, innovative and passionate clients.

Jo White

Jo White

Some background

I was born in Liverpool and brought up in the north-west before heading south to study for a degree in Philosophy. I now live in a little village just outside of Bath with my husband Nat and two children Amelie and Zack, a cat, a chocolate working cocker and a hive of bees – there’s never a dull moment!

Why we launched VANA

I had worked in blue chip environments, including Hays with Debbie for several years, before we developed the idea of setting out on our own. We wanted to create a boutique business providing a more personal experience.

2004 was the year we decided to take the plunge. I was pregnant with Amelie, had signed a lease on offices in Hartham Park and simply had a loyal network of clients. It was the best decision we made. I knew we could offer something different, something more authentic and VANA’s success has been the proof of that.

The most rewarding thing about running VANA

Seeing our clients build successful careers, forward-thinking teams and sector-defining businesses is so rewarding.

We work with a real mix of clients from small start-ups to large blue chips. Whether they are selling organic yoghurt or global networks, it is a real privilege to get to work so closely with their business and employees.

Because we are so hands on, we build long-standing relationships with all our clients, and are often seen as an extension of their team. I think our integrity is recognised by candidates who trust us when taking their next career step. It’s a trust we don’t take lightly.

What I’d do if we hadn’t set up VANA

It’s fair to say that I like to keep busy and juggling a business with family life means that I do just that! When I’m at home I love baking and working on my allotment. I’m also a sucker for learning new skills and really enjoy meeting different people through my various hobbies (bee-keeping and playing the ukulele are my current obsessions!). But these things keep me grounded, I’m not sure I’d want to give up the day job to grow prize winning veg. I’m lucky to have a career that I love.

Debbie Flowers

Debbie Flowers

A bit of background

 I’ve always lived close to the ocean. Born in Bournemouth, I then spent most of my childhood exploring the beautiful Devon and Cornish coastline.

Bath was a natural place to settle. In easy reach of the sea, surrounded by beautiful countryside and steeped in history; it’s now known for its festivals, food scene and of course the rugby. What was a university town and world heritage site, now has a flow of new restaurant openings, gigs or match weekends to keep the place bristling with people and energy.

We live in a village on the outskirts, which definitely gives us the best of both worlds. Together with my twins, Daisy and Alfie, we tend to make the most of it with cycling, paddle boarding or walking. You can often find us exploring the cycle tracks, canals or footpaths on an adventure that inevitably leads to a good pub for refreshments!

Why we launched VANA

Working for a corporate FTSE 100 business was great training ground. I was Operations Director with P&L accountability, managed a multi-site business and led a high performing team of talented consultants. It was excellent exposure to leaders in a broad spectrum of sectors across the UK, but it was difficult to influence corporate culture.

Leaving in 2004 was a huge step, but Jo and I instinctively knew it was the right thing to do. VANA is our creation, and it has been incredibly rewarding building a business that is a leader in our industry, whilst staying true to our values.

We are a great team. Our different styles really complement each other, we have a great work ethic and a huge network of colleagues, associates and friends amassed over 14 years of VANA and over 20 years in the industry.

The most rewarding thing about running VANA

I have always been a risk taker. I believe that life is a gift and we live in a world of endless possibilities. If you don’t push yourself you’ll never fulfil your potential.

Specialising in HR means you get to work with people who have an inherent understanding of how the right talent can shape an organisation. We get to build long-standing relationships with our clients and candidates, which feeds off my genuine interest in people, enthusiasm for change and love of new experiences.

Because VANA has always been about honesty, authenticity and accessibility, our clients reflect those strong values, giving us long-lasting relationships that prove that what we are doing, we are doing right.

What I’d do if we hadn’t set up VANA

I was intent on setting up Vana, so maybe the question for me is more about what next? Perhaps one day running a small boutique hotel or coastal café somewhere by the sea. I love being in the presence of the ocean. So although I might long for the challenge and creativity that I get from running VANA, I could try to persuade Jo to set up a coastal outpost, and I could combine the best of both…

Client testimonials
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Debbie is an outstanding recruitment, talent and client management professional. I have had the pleasure of working with her a number of times in the last 7-8 years, and unlike many peers in her industry, she and her partner Jo consistently treat clients and candidates with the level of respect, professionalism and most importantly with a personal service, such a big decision requires. Her ability to really understand client needs, candidate capabilities and matching the two, while retaining the role of a true trusted advisor is very impressive. I would wholeheartedly recommend Debbie to any prospective blue chip client, or HR professional looking for a new opportunity.

Chris Jones, Group Head of People Development, Merlin Entertainments plc