From aspirational rugby coach to high-level service delivery: Meet Chris Swanepoel Operations Manager ANZ

Explain your role at CVCheck

My title at CVCheck is ANZ Operations Manager. I look after the service delivery of all our clients. Not just ensuring we meet our agreements, but making sure we improve on a daily basis. I like to think of it as looking after the heartbeat of CVCheck.

We heard you are quite an adventurer. Can you tell us about your early journey?

I was born in Cape Town and left when I was 18 to travel and experience life outside of South Africa. I lived in England and the US for a year, carrying out construction work in the UK, and farming in the US.

My experience in aluminium glazing enabled me to get a visa for New Zealand, so I moved there permanently. I owned my own courier business when I first arrived in Christchurch. Then I moved to Auckland to study sport and recreation. My dream was to be the next All Blacks coach.

How did an aspirational rugby coach end up at CVCheck?

While I was at University, I worked casually as a telesales representative within the FMCG industry. I quickly started earning more money casually than my friends who were working full-time, so I knew then that I had some natural skills in sales.

Starting a sales job was like putting on a glove that fit. I was good at it and I really enjoyed it. It was clear to me a lot of the sport and coaching skills I learnt at university were transferable to managing staff.

I worked my way up to be the manager of the call centre. Then I was approached by a friend in recruitment about the role at CVCheck.

“Starting a sales job was like putting on a glove that fit. I was good at it and I really enjoyed it.”

Describe the culture at CVCheck

It’s unlike anything I have experienced at other companies before coming to CVCheck. Everyone is extremely passionate about what they do for their customers. There’s a real sense of teamwork and collaboration between departments and individuals, and that really flows from the top down, from the CEO to frontline staff.

How has CVCheck changed since you started at the company?

I started with the company just over two years ago, and a lot has changed in that time. As a company, we have a much better understanding of our place in the marketplace than we did two years ago. As a platform, our world-class tech team are constantly improving it.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

With my history of coaching, I enjoy mentoring and coaching people the most. There’s nothing more satisfying for me than seeing people grow and develop. I’ve been fortunate enough to see individuals in our ops team grow, with customer representatives taking on extra responsibilities, and then being promoted to become team leaders.

When did you realise that you were good at your job and passionate about it?

I’ve always believed strongly in the phrase “success is rented, never owned, and rent is due every day.” As a manager, I believe that doing a good job is about creating an environment that enables people to thrive. When people love coming to work, I know I’m doing a good job. When people want to grow, try new things and take on more responsibilities, it drives me.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Learn to enjoy the journey. There’s always another target or deadline. I’ve always been extremely goal-focused, and now I would tell myself to enjoy the journey more instead.

What does innovation mean to you?

It comes from thinking outside of the box, and not focusing on what other people are doing. Never be focused on what your competitors are doing, work on your own next big thing.

How do you relax?

For me relaxing is different from most. I play touch rugby and do a lot of obstacle races. I recently competed in the Spartan Race in Melbourne and have a very active lifestyle. My friends and I are often enjoying a braai (which is what South African’s call a BBQ) on the weekend.

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