NZ time: Thursday 25th April 2019, 3:58PM

Our People

Welcome; we value honesty and integrity above all else and hope you notice this aspect of our service in all your dealings with us.

Russell Phillips

Managing Director
Russell PhillipsRussell Phillips



Russell Phillips is New Zealand’s most experienced motor industry recruitment specialist. Initially founding New Zealand’s first motor industry recruitment company in 1991, he remains the Owner/Director of New Zealand’s leading Recruitment Company in this market segment to this day.

Knowledge of both the New Zealand and Global Motor Industry talent pool is unsurpassed.

Recent accolades include:

  • Top 1% of best connected recruiters globally in the LinkedIn network
  • 2014 award for “Most Endorsed Recruiter” at the Blue Carpet awards
  • Selected by New Zealand’s peak industry Automotive News publication to provide monthly executive commentary on motor industry employment trends and executive appointments

Russell is known for his work in the following areas: Executive Recruitment, Best Practice Recruitment Strategy, Technical Search, Immigration, Advanced Psychological Assessment Interpretations, and International Recruitment Expo’s and Training.

General consulting activity includes consulting to industry and government bodies on issues ranging from national labour shortages, national remuneration statistics, and acquisitions. He is also the key point of contact for corporate business and international business development.

Kim Simpson

Senior Consultant
Kim PowellKim Powell

Kim Simpson has focused her career on motor industry recruitment since 1993 and is globally recognised as one of the more experienced and competent in this field.

As Senior Consultant at the Automotive Employment NZ consulting practice, she assists in the leadership of the company, training for the consulting team and personally recruits at all levels.

Having first joined the Automotive Employment NZ team in 2007, Kim previously owned her own multi divisional recruitment consultancy in Gauteng, South Africa where she once again personally specialised in motor industry recruitment.

International experience in both the United Kingdom and South Africa makes Kim a popular choice with offshore candidates seeking to relocate. Her knowledge of immigration issues is exemplary.

Kim in her own right is one of New Zealand’s best connected Motor Industry Recruiters with national clients throughout New Zealand and a global network of contacts internationally. She is known for her work in the following areas: Key Appointment Recruitment, Best Practice Recruitment Strategy, Technical Search, Immigration,¬†and¬†Advanced Psychological Assessment Interpretations.

Danelle Kinnear

Danelle KinnearDanelle Kinnear

Danelle Kinnear brings multiple years of dealership experience to our team. Her background is in New Vehicle Sales Management in the new vehicle volume sector. When she arrived in New Zealand she worked with a prominent luxury new vehicle dealership prior to joining to Automotive Employment NZ Ltd.

Danelle has experience both at a retail level and exposure to national distributor operations. Possessing both local New Zealand expertise and knowledge of the South African motor industry, she is well connected. Her knowledge is well rounded with an in-depth understanding of immigration requirements and resettlement.

Cassandra Spanidis

Project Administrator / Psychometrist
Cassandra SpanidisCassandra Spanidis

Cassandra fulfils the responsibilities of Consultant and Psychometrist at Automotive Employment NZ.

Cassandra spent 4 years studying at university where she obtained an Honours degree in Psychology. After her Honours, she completed a 6 month internship and passed a South African national board exam to become a qualified Independent Psychometrist.

Prior to joining Automotive Employment NZ, Cassandra had already accumulated recruitment support experience along with customer service, front desk, and admin experience during and after her studies.

Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Cassandra made a permanent move to Auckland, New Zealand at the end of 2014 and looks to keep strengthening her recruitment and psychometric experience through her employment at Automotive Employment NZ.

Vanessa Godbaz

Business Manager-Strategic Planning
Vanessa GodbazVanessa Godbaz

Vanessa is the Business Manager: Strategic Planning for Automotive Employment NZ Ltd. Her role extends to four related companies, three of which are directly associated with Automotive Employment NZ.

A university education accumulated to attaining a Bachelor of Business Studies degree majoring in Marketing.

This strategic role is responsible for the financial planning activities of four companies, operations management, and support.