Defining the marketplace niche

By Russell Drake


The business environment is inundated with businesses that offer a generalised ranged of services. These businesses generally end up competing against each other on issues of price and convenience and as such they live or die based on their acceptance in the marketplace.

In 2010, when Russell Drake Consulting was established, Russell wanted to take the best of his 15 years (at that time) human resource management and consulting experience and build a business that operated in its own space. Having worked for large human resource consultancies, local legal practices and having held senior human resource and general management roles, Russell wanted to establish a business that directly supported Employers in addressing the people problems they faced on a day to day basis within their business. He believed that this needed to be more than a ‘soft-fluffy’ HR practice as Employers wanted to be supported in areas that directly challenged their ability to manage and operate their businesses.

The principles established by Russell and his wife/business partner Linda-Maree from the outset, and still well in practice today, have been based around a desire to provide practical, compliant employment solutions to a vast array of situations. Russell discovered many years ago that many Employers had an understanding of risk and liability but did not know how to create and implement a strategy to achieve their desired outcomes while being confident that, if this was legally challenged, it would withstand scrutiny.

Through building a business that only worked on behalf of Employers and specialised in being exceptionally responsive to client requirements, the business has grown to now have eight staff working across its two operating entities. An alignment with the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) has reinforced the Employer orientation of the company.

The nature of the engagements undertaken often centre on conflict and dispute resolution, employment relationship breakdowns or personality differences (Employee-Employee and Employer to Employer) with the services provided by Russell and his team being delivered within the workplace, within mediation or through representation in The Employment Relations Authority.

As such disputes can occur overnight Russell has always emphasised a sense of urgency to ensure that advice and guidance is available without delay with this resulting in the growth of the business through the establishment of a strong reputation of customer focused service.

Russell’s holds tertiary level qualifications in counselling, industrial psychology and business management and combined with extensive employment law and business management experience believes that this has enabled him to develop a strong understanding of business operations from an owner-manager perspective. Russell is a Chartered Member of the Human Resource Institute of NZ, a Member of the Employment Law Institute of NZ, The NZ Institute of Directors and a Mediator with LEADR.


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