Matthew Sims, CEO Croydon BID understands the value that women returners can bring to an organisation, having a whole host of transferable skills as a parent, alongside the skills and knowledge amassed through previous careers. When he was recruiting for the pivotal role of Office Administrator, who better to fill the position than a Successful Mum Grad. Here’s what Matthew had to say..
“Croydon BID is a membership organisation which represents 500 of largest companies in Croydon town centre, delivering a series of services and initiatives designed to support businesses.
Our team is small but mighty, dedicated to adding value to local organisations. Every member of staff has a really important role to play, so recruitment is something we take very seriously.
Following a successful ballot and with a strong mandate, I was keen to put in place an exceptional team with the skills and personality we need to be able to deliver our business plan. Croydon is made up of fabulous people. Our community is diverse and rich in heritage, and we want to shine a light on positivity.
The Office Administrator position we created is fundamental to the business, and Sinead Johnson, a Successful Mums Grad applied for the role. We had initially reached out to her on LinkedIn having been impressed by her profile, Sinead had been on a career break for seven years, but that for us was irrelevant. We just saw someone who was returning from an absence of work. We recruit on the basis that with our support, someone can grow and go on to bigger and better.
Sinead’s previous experience stood out, and we could quickly see the transferable skills she brought to the table as a parent. In the interview, she shone. Sinead was well presented, articulate and interested in the role, we had a really good conversation and knew instantly once we had met with her that she would be perfect for the role. Needless to say, she integrated into the team seamlessly, the dynamic was immediate.
Sinead was looking for a flexible role and we were well-placed to accommodate this. The pandemic created a cultural shift and showed how we can flex to accommodate staff. We provide flexibility and understanding to family situations, and in turn, our team rewards us with dedication, commitment and hard work.”
Sinead had been on a seven-year career break before turning to Successful Mums for support. She commented;
“It’s fair to say I love my job but having been on a career break, the thought of returning to work was incredibly daunting. The support from Successful Mums was invaluable in helping me secure a part-time role with a brilliant employer.
My background has always been in administration, but I thought having had seven years out of work would go against me. It didn’t. Georgina, my Successful Mums Career Coach, helped me create a LinkedIn profile which made me stand out online and was the reason Croydon BID initially got in touch. The coaching combined with the Back to Work course really helped build my confidence and take control of my career, up until then I had talked myself out of applying for roles.
Now I have a flexible, part-time role that I love and that fits perfectly around my family.”
Find out more about Croydon BID and the support they provide here.