Looking for a flexible new role? Jo Galt is the person to contact. She heads Workingmums.co.uk’s specialist recruitment agency, WMRecruit. The agency connects talented individuals with companies that are committed to best practice in flexible working. It covers recruitment to permanent, contract and fixed term positions across a range of sectors including technology, telecommunications, finance, sales and marketing, HR and legal and professional services.
Jo is delighted to be flying the flag for working mums after years spent in less flexible roles in technology recruitment.
Jo has four children: two sons aged three and four and two older daughters aged 19 and 21. The family moved to New Zealand when the girls were little because Jo’s husband is from New Zealand and wanted to go back. When the girls were little Jo was a stay at home mum, but she worked when they were at school. “I started my career quite late in the game,” she says. She began in telesales and was quickly promoted to a sales rep position and then to sales account manager. By 2007 she had begun working in technology recruitment. The family decided to move back to the UK in 2015 when Jo’s third child Harry was just about to start school and she took a recruitment job running the permanent division for an IT company.
Jo had always worked full time and felt she had missed a lot of her daughters’ school life and often didn’t see them much on weekday evenings in New Zealand. She began worrying about how the family would manage when Harry started school. “I missed out on things like school plays and I did not want to go through that again,” she says. The only flexible jobs she saw in recruitment were self employed, but she couldn’t see the need for it to be done in an office in traditional working hours.
So when she Googled flexible recruitment jobs and saw the Workingmums.co.uk role advertised she was glad to find others who shared her view. “I believe recruitment can be done from anywhere,” she says. “Most people who are good at it are proactive and self motivated.”
She joined the Workingmums.co.uk team in September and now works mainly from home and has a nanny who does after school hours, although she can break off from work to greet her children when they come home and hear about their day. That works well for her job too as many of her clients find it easier to talk to her after they have finished work.
In the past she used to resent having to do extra work in the evenings or feel guilty coming home late, but now she doesn’t have to. She finds working from home wonderful and says it helps that she is highly motivated.
WMRecruit had a previous incarnation, but Jo feels now is the right time to really drive its aims home, given developments in flexible working and changing mindsets. “There is much more buy in now from businesses. They really get that flexible working works,” she says. Jo has been reviewing the agency’s documentation and terms and conditions and promoting the brand on social media and on the Workingmums.co.uk site.
She is creating a whole recruitment site with an ATS system for tracking applicants as well as a contractor model. She has already been building links with employers from SMEs to corporates and has got several people placed on the Mastercard Relaunch Your Career programme. She says it is very satisfying to help support someone back to work. “It can be quite hard to get back to work and I had one person talking about how the programme changed her life. You don’t get that in regular recruitment,” she says.
Jo works closely with SMEs and corporates to help them achieve their objectives. SMEs are interested in two-way flexibility while for corporates it’s all about gender diversity and getting the message across that they are open to a diverse set of applicants. She works with employers on job adverts to look at where greater flexibility might be built in so that it is not always down to the candidate to bring the subject up. With candidates she says it is about bringing down the barriers to getting them into new roles. “So many mums say they would like to get back to work, but they feel it is impossible. We go out and say you can do it and find roles that are open to flexible working,” she states.
The agency will be given an extra impetus in the new year when two new recruitment consultants start. She says: “I really believe in what Workingmums.co.uk stands for. It is good to fly the flag.”