BLOG-IMAGE-Chantelle-James 20180305

Female Leader, Chantelle James, CEO JIVARO

Chantelle James CEO and Founder of JIVARO Recruitment founded the boutique retail executive recruitment consultancy in 2006. Specialising in Retail, E-Commerce, Wholesale and Manufacturing functions in the Fashion, Home and FMCG arenas, JIVARO operates in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa and Europe. Chantelle has a technical background in fashion retail, and in her previous corporate career worked with well known international businesses.

She has been at the forefront of the changes to the retail fashion landscape, including disruptive technology, increased globalisation of brands, offshoring and the rise of e-commerce.

How have retail executive jobs changed over the last 12 years?

The Australian retail labour force has changed considerably due to consumer demand, technology, the digital revolution and globalization of retail.

Consumers have more choice now than they have ever had, from global retailers/e-tailers and brands trading in either bricks and mortar stores or e-commerce, in Australia forcing businesses to up their game.

Due to globalisation and e-commerce new roles have been created. Executives, and their teams, have to create globally competitive product offerings and customer experience.

What are the must-have retail roles now that didn’t exist 11 years’ ago?

The evolution of consumer demand and transformative technological innovations has created new roles to support the changing industry’s needs.

International experience is sought after due to globalisation. Senior roles related to marketing and e-commerce, data analytics, customer experience, social media, web designer/development, logistics and supply chain (to ensure speed to market) are all highly in demand.

How do you help manage the cultural complexities when placing an Australian in a European country or vice versa?

We partner with our clients to ensure we have a deep understanding of their culture and ensure the candidate we are placing fits the role culturally, behaviourally as well as experience/skill set. We support candidates with regular communication and feedback to ensure the integration phase is as successful as possible in order to succeed in their new role.

Jivaro’s track records shows you have a 98% fill rate on all exclusive roles and have a guarantee that less than 4% of replacement. What do these numbers tell us about the culture of your business?

JIVARO understand our client’s needs and have the networks locally and internationally to source the highest calibre of talent to fit our client’s needs. With our abilities to comprehend the business requirements we have earned a reputation of placing exceptional candidates into ultimate careers. We are passionate about placing people in business where values and skills are aligned to grow careers and in turn businesses.

What has been your greatest challenge?

I have 3 lovely children (all boys!), one of my biggest challenges is being a present mum. I am an early riser and leave my house at 5am so I can squeeze a run in and be at my desk at 6.30/7am. It is not always possible however I try to leave work a little early so I can be present for dinner, homework and the odd game of soccer! I then often work at night.

What are you most proud of?

My fabulous, dedicated, passionate high performing team. I have a team of people who are passionate about building executive careers and placing the right people into the right businesses to ensure personal and business success.

What’s one piece of advice for future female leaders?

I have 3 pieces of advice!

  • Continue to overcome fear, fear is the only thing that is holding us back. Don’t look in the rear-view mirror – keep pushing forward.
  • You are only as successful as your team. Look after them, strive to become the employer of choice, nurture, offer career progression and offer highly competitive incentive programmes and rewards.
  • Set values and a vision that you live by to ensure the highest level of engagement.


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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.