TRIBUTE TO SHONA MCKENZIE: A tribute from colleagues and friends from across the recruitment & HR sector
A formidable, intelligent and caring woman, with boundless knowledge and a sense of humour most would pay to watch, sadly our friend Shona passed away on Friday 27th August 2021.
If you have been within or even touched the HR or recruitment sector in Scotland over the past four decades you will have, at some point, been within or very close range of Shona and the diverse and extraordinary talent she had for our industry.
Following the news of her passing, conversations developed, phones rang, messages streamed, tears and tributes flowed. Maybe people who hadn’t been in touch for a while, picked up the phone, dropped each other a message and stopped for a minute and took stock of their time and their relationship with Shona.
Each and every person who came in contact with Shona has a brilliant story to tell. Deep friendship, confidante, colleague, coach, mentor, partner in crime, rarely foe, but always ending up being far, far better from being in her presence and being touched by her innumerable abilities.
Shona was known for giving her support where appreciated, but also giving a look and a direct word when required. With the finest ability to be unflinchingly honest, but delivered this with compassion, she was the master of pointing out the path you were often desperately trying to avoid. A skill many of us only appreciated after the fact.
With a forensic intellect and a strong moral belief of doing things the right way or no way, she could be gently persistent, often nurturing you to the successful outcome backed with a deep knowledge, with all the facts and information, borne from her many years of experience and subsequent successes.
Over the years, Shona’s career path has been filled with some of the biggest and best experiences in the industry. From initial steps into recruitment working for IBM, no not the big computer firm but her mum’s very own recruitment firm, Industrial Business Management, which started her career. Recruitment agency life followed through HMS, Melville Craig, Ferguson McKenzie to working on the client side with Tesco Bank, Standard Life, Royal London and The Weir Group.
One of the pinnacles of her outstanding career was being asked to lead the recruitment from the ground-up for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which has become a landmark and legendary project.
Accolades, achievements, awards from clients and her industry peers will also define Shona, but more so the real person behind the job title, behind the job specification, the role and responsibilities. A deeply loyal friend, colleague, client and individual, who cared for everyone who she placed in a job, worked with and met. The news of your passing has been tragic for us all, but we will take time now, and in the future, to think of the times we shared and the experiences we had, with a smile, remembering what you did for us when we were together.