DisruptHR Vancouver: Interview With Brenda Rigney

Brenda Rigney recently joined Nurse Next Door, the Canadian home care provider, in November 2015. She has an exciting mandate over the next 36 months to create people, process and technology solutions for their Heartquarters (what Nurse Next Door calls their Vancouver-based Head Office) and to enable the growth of 500 franchise operations over four continents.

We were lucky to talk with Brenda about HR and her role at Disrupt HR Vancouver.

Editor: Please tell us a little about yourself – your career path and expertise.

Brenda: I’m a leader, a mom, a wife, a daughter and a dog-owner. I love to travel, go to live concerts, reading and talking about culture, leadership and brand. I grew up as an operations retail manager from Gap and learned how to lead and develop people. I gravitate to companies in high growth and dynamic change.

Editor: What’s your company and how does it help professions in the Talent arena?

Brenda: Nurse Next Door is Canada’s leading elder home care provider. We launched in the US three years ago and we are expanding our operations globally in the next 24 months. Our PINK Ops team consists of marketing, IT,HR, Communications and our Call Centre. We work on amplifying our culture, leadership and brand through a holistic approach to people, process and technology. TALENT folks can learn how to work collaboratively in this space versus independently in a traditional HR team.

Editor: What brought you to becoming a speaker at Disrupt HR Vancouver?

Brenda: I believe in DisruptHR’s mandate. I am a disruptor and I like to hang out with other disruptors. I’m not interested in learning about performance management systems or how to deliver HR strategy.

Editor: What will you be speaking about at Disrupt HR Vancouver?

Brenda: Culture, Leadership and Brand. How can you fulfill the dreams of your customers and your people.

Editor: Why is your topic important to HR and Talent pros?

Brenda: HR needs to lead the conversation on culture and leadership. These two aspects of organizations are taken for granted. Companies are not investing enough on either. HR needs to work with Marketing (and vice versa) on understanding how culture and leadership impact brand.

Editor: You only get 5 minutes to speak to the audience. What unique challenges, and indeed opportunities, does such a condensed speaking slot offer?

Brenda: First time for everything. I’m excited about the challenge. In two hours I’m going to walk away with more tips and solutions then I do from a typical 2-day HR conference that I spend $900-1500 for.

Editor: How does Disrupt HR provide you with a platform to talk about talent in new ways?

Brenda: First the audience will be influencers and learners in Vancouver. They are helping me brand myself as a thought leader on social media.


Editor: Please share 2 or 3 ‘influencers’ in the talent and recruitment space who you follow and tell us why.

Brenda: Josh Bersin from Bersin by Deloitte. Josh started the largest HR global research company. I’ve met Josh, worked with Bersin on a case study when I was with Earls Kitchen + Bar, and read his blogs weekly.

Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. The first executive that took a stand for diversity and inclusion in 2016. She’s going to revolutionize this topic and eradicate issues from the workplace.

Brian Solis is a marketing, content genius. He has a strong point of view on digital, mobile and social solutions.

Editor: The HR Gazette is a big believer in the shift from traditional thoughts of HR to embracing modern HR as part of ‘people and culture‘. What does ‘people and culture’ mean to you?

Brenda: It means fulfillment, which translates to relationships, impact and growth. I do think we need to move away from measuring engagement. Engagement measures the motivations of employees versus fulfillment measures the impact when individuals act as leaders.

Editor: What do you think will be the major developments in the Talent space to watch out for in the next 12 months and why?

  • HR will be replaced by technology. Roles remaining – candidate experience, learning and communication
  • HR needs to have a plan for remote/virtual/global employees and ensure their fulfillment is higher than in-house employees
  • Developing leaders is absolutely critical to reduce the deficit of leadership being produced in business programs. Companies need to produce leaders in-house.


More About Brenda:

Brenda has always positioned herself with people-first organizations with a compelling purpose to redefine their industry and the leadership within. Her team spans human resources, marketing, IT, communications, and the call center. She has extensive experience in operations and talent management within the retail, hospitality and video game development industries.

She has held management positions with leading organizations such as Gap Inc., Aritzia, Vancity Credit Union, and Earls Kitchen + Bar. She has studied at the University of Western Ontario, University of California, Los Angeles, British Columbia Institute of Technology, UBC Sauder Business School, and USC Marshall School of Business.


DisruptHR Vancouver is hosted by Learnkit and will be held at the Rise office on Wednesday, March 30th 2016. You can learn more here.

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