Support, flexibility, career progression - these are just some of the descriptions used by the women we spoke to about their experiences of working at SF Recruitment’s Nottingham office.
There are many success stories in our team, including that of Jodie Broadley, who started her career as an apprentice and worked her way up before she joined us eight years ago as a recruitment consultant.
Support and career progression
Now a divisional director, Jodie says she feels extremely supported by the company. Once she was established in her role, she discussed her ambitions with operations director Jo Eaton and regional director Dom Syalon and was later promoted to senior consultant and then manager.
“They supported me every step of the way to get there,” said Jodie. “The business offers great progression for women and not just down the managerial route.”
Kelsie Hill, a senior consultant in the HR and talent division, joined the firm more than five years ago from a telesales background.
She said: “The company has done everything it could to support my career progression. I have worked across SF in a number of different roles and positions and they have always been keen to let me develop in areas where I think I could excel.”
Commercial manager Olivia Garner agreed that a supportive workplace and the opportunity to grow within a company was crucial. SF Recruitment was recently named third in the UK’s Best Small Companies to Work For category.
Olivia, who has been with the business for more than four years, said: “The company has continually supported me to succeed and has allowed me to naturally progress, learning how to become the best at what I do, and able to identify a great future within the business.”
Flexible working is key
The colleagues praised the company’s approach to fully flexible working, part of a new package of working policies and employee benefits introduced in a three-year £1.2m transformation. Members of the management team are now owners in the company and every employee is given a stake in future profits.
CEO Saira Demmer recently told a studio panel discussion - hosted by TV presenter Dan Walker - at the Best Companies event: “We allow our people to work wherever, whenever and however - in the office, at home, a mixture of both, or somewhere completely different because that’s what you need at that moment in your life.”
Olivia, who manages a team of four and also recruits for all commercial and office support roles across south Derbyshire, said: “We are a very different business to what we were even two years ago.
“The push on flexible working, creating roles that fit around the lifestyles of working mums and things like the excellent maternity benefits show how the company continues to adapt to change.”
Jodie said: “We have a lot of flexibility around managing our own day now along with hybrid working which does make being successful more achievable, especially for working mums.”
The strengths that women bring to their roles
The colleagues have been impressed by the number of women taking up recruitment roles across all industries - and singled out the strengths that women bring to their jobs.
“They bring passion and motivation, the ability to build strong relationships, organisation skills and they have a hunger to succeed,” said Olivia, with Jodie adding that time management and having empathy with the client and candidate process were both important.
Words of wisdom
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Break the Bias’ and our team had these words of wisdom for other women looking to work within the specialist areas they present.
Said Jodie: “Be honest about what works for you hours-wise and don’t be afraid to mention this to a prospective employer, as nine times out of 10 there is more flexibility available than what is initially mentioned. Know your worth.”
And Olivia concluded: “In recruitment, you are building your own business - if you want it enough you will make it work. Get to know your market and be yourself - people buy from people!”
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