Our Story

Deb Francis has 15 years’ experience providing end-to-end executive search and recruitment support to the New Zealand agribusiness and related industries sector. It’s a sector she knows first-hand and from the ground up.

Deb grew up on a Southland sheep & beef farm and attended university in Dunedin before purchasing a sheep and beef property with her husband. There she started and ran MagnaFlora, a peony cut flower and covered tulip producer for Asian markets.

After leasing out the farm and business, she moved to Christchurch where she founded AgRecruit with business partner Alwyn Coll.

Today as AgRecruit’s sole owner and Business Lead, Deb works throughout New Zealand, assisted by a niche team of in-house and contracted specialists. She is recognised as a knowledgeable and trusted leader in the agribusiness recruitment field, using her extensive national and international networks to identify, attract and recruit people for roles within New Zealand’s primary industries.

Having a sound understanding of most sectors within New Zealand’s primary industries – food production, supply chain, manufacturing, science and innovation, agritech and other related industries, Deb speaks the language of agribusiness.

Her approach to recruitment is quite different from many others. “We need to understand the organisations we work with in as much depth as possible – existing business models, vision,  growth and transformational plans, culture, team structures, capability gaps, sustainability goals. We do this by meeting with the leaders and decision makers, discovering what is required to successfully collaborate – all within strict confidentiality parameters.

“This knowledge takes the guess work out of what we do. We can focus clearly on identifying and attracting the most appropriate people now and in the future, for each of our clients.    

“I’m passionate about delivering top quality results every single time.”  

"We work hard to understand each client's business model in depth, so we can source the people who will be most productive now, who will have the best cultural and retention fit, and who will enable positive business transformation."
Deb Francis | MRCSA
AgRecruit Business Lead

Where we are today:

We have grown our capability over many years, from our beginnings in 2007 when placing an ad in the relevant local newspapers was all that was required to attract and secure top candidates.  

Now, we cover most primary industry sectors and have experience sourcing good people for all organisational levels and in most role categories.

We have developed expertise in understanding and recruiting for:

  • Executive – country management, national roles

  • Leadership team / Business support – finance, H&S, sales, marketing, people & culture

  • Technical – science, extension, agtech, regulatory, R&D, agronomy, health, nutrition

  • Sales – key account management, technical, business development

  • Farm and Production Management

  • Programme & project management – permanent & contract

We are constantly learning and developing our capability as farm and production systems change, new primary industries emerge and New Zealand gains expertise in growing and supplying more top quality, zero residue food to feed the world.