RecruitMyMom CEO breaks down employment barriers

Moneybags writer, Alina Hardcastle talks to the brains behind the innovative RecruitMyMom platform, which allows parents to find part time, full time and flexible employment.

It’s not easy being a parent when trying to manage a full time job and family life. For many it’s impossible to reach the ideal work-life balance.

Phillipa Geard, super-mom, business woman and entrepreneur, is breaking down the negative views of being employed part-time or seeking out jobs that are more flexible for mom’s that want to prioritise their children. Her platform, RecruitMyMom is instead providing talented and skilled individuals with a part-time professional platform to find meaningful skilled employment.

Geard has been aware of the of the negative stigma that comes with part-time/flexibile work, but due to her passion and vision she has helped and placed financial managers, accountants, marketing managers and many others into skilled and flexible roles.

After having her first child, Geard spent almost three years at home (after working in marketing and media management at Procter and Gamble for seven years). In her third year of being home, she found that she missed work so much that she started consulting to companies who were in need of marketing expertise. Years later she created her new ‘baby’, RecruitMyMom.

Her business has successfully placed many people into permanent part-time roles, permanent flexible full-time roles, contract roles and consultant roles throughout South Africa.

“I was inspired to start RecruitMyMom after talking to not one, but many highly talented women with many years of local and international work experience, who had taken a career break and wanted to re-enter the work environment in a flexible manner and had no idea where to begin. I knew that as a freelance consultant I would consult to companies that needed marketing and media skills, but not necessarily full time,” says Geard.

She adds: “Companies don’t necessarily need a skill to be based in office for eight hours a day. I felt with the growing trend towards more flexible ways of working, that there was an opportunity to match the skills of moms wanting to work part-time or flexibly to the needs of businesses needing flexible expertise or part-time skilled resource.”

The entrepreneur felt that “for companies there was no central way of being able to tap into this incredibly talented pool of skills. So I started RecruitMyMom.”

And so, began Geard’s journey and the opportunity to provide a recruitment agency to the public that would prioritise time-wise employment opportunities for individuals who have the potential to add value to a company, while being able to spend more time with their children.

You might wonder, what is time-wise employment? Geard explains: “Time-wise roles are any roles that do not require the employee to be sitting at a desk from 8am to 5pm. The roles can be part-time in office or work-from-home, full-time with flexibility to work part in office and part at home, flexible positions that are outcomes based and freelance or independent consultant roles done on flexible hours.”

Dads and people with disabilities

Dads don’t be dissuaded – RecruitMyMom is not specifically targeted at stay-at-home moms but “career part-timers.”

Geard elaborates: “Currently there are considerably more moms in South Africa being the primary caregiver of children than dads, and so the need for career time-wise employment is much higher among moms than dads. We do have stay-at-home dads on our database.”

And not only do they cater for the above but RecruitMyMom also assists people with disabilities that are unable to work in a traditional full-time office job. Geard confirms: “We have stay-at-home-dads and people with disabilities or terminal illnesses that join our site.”

How you can be a part of the team?

In order to be a part of the RecruitMyMom team, you need to have at least two years’ experience in your area of skill, most of the current members having over 10 years; some form a tertiary education is required. They also accept members who have gained their skill through work as this tends to be the case with many bookkeepers.

The RecruitMyMom team looks for members who “have a commitment to professionalism and a dedication to excellence and other character requirements such as dependability and honesty.”

Interested employers and clients

Employers/clients are welcome to post their jobs/vacancies at no charge on the RecruitMyMom website.

“Only once a successful placement is made do they then pay us a small placement fee for the service. RecruitMyMom skilled recruiters assist the clients at different levels with the recruiting process,” adds Geard.

The placement fee for their service begins at 5%.

Fair wages

Geard has made it her priority to ensure that members receive a fair wage for their skills and experience while still receiving the flexibility that is desired.

She informed us that their members will typically set their rate for which they are willing to work and that market forces ensure the candidates receive a fair wage for their work.

The passionate initiator says: “If a wage is well below market value we will have no moms applying for the position.”

She also assured: “My recruitment managers have a good sense of the going rate for certain skills so we guide the employers if they are unsure of what to offer.”

Geard’s advice

When asking Geard what advice she would give to moms trying to re-enter the workspace following a long bout of maternity leave she says: “The work place largely evolves around technology so stay abreast of technology by engaging with social media and keeping up with computer programs used in one’s industry. Technology has enabled employers to offer far more flexibility than in the past so one cannot be removed from it for a long period of time.”

The determined and passionate woman that she is, urges moms to stay confident as they possess skills and experience, and to ensure that their CV is well thought out and should include skills that they have gained from motherhood.

She welcomes working mothers who are trying to find more flexible employment with open arms, and is happy to assist and inform them. “We have many full-time office employed moms who frequently visit our site to see what flexible roles are available.”

She strongly advises working moms to approach their management team with a well thought out solution, to support moms in finding an opportunity to work flexibly within their company before resignation.

Final tips

RecruitMyMom has consistently grown from year to year since starting 2012, not only in their number of candidates but the number of time-wised jobs that are now being offered.

Geard urges part-time seeking employees not to give up. “Be patient. The wheels are turning as more companies recognise that employee morale and loyalty increase when employees are allowed work flexibility. Technology has assisted us in getting to this point. As the tide turns more employers will be open to allowing a level of flexible working.”

For further information about RecruitMyMom, Click Here