What we think

This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

7 similarities between parenthood and recruitment by Kirsty Stewart

24th October 2019

I’ve worked in recruitment for over ten years now, and I’ve been a mum to Freya for nearly eighteen months. Many of us here at Seven are parents (11 girls, 2 boys, 2 more on the way!) and most of those parents have been here since their young, free and single days so there have been big changes for us all over the last few years. The typical view of the recruitment industry is that it’s full of graduates or twenty-somethings making some money before they move on to something else but that’s not how it is here – in fact it’s since I’ve become a parent that it’s struck me how well the skills of parenthood transfer across to recruitment.

I was chatting with my partner about this and it gave me an idea of exactly how work helps me with life as a parent, and visa-versa.

  1. Resistance & Persistence

Recruitment has always been about persistence; you’ve just got to keep going when it gets tough. Parenthood is another level of this; you’ve got to keep going through sickness (theirs and yours), tantrums and bone-shattering tiredness but the job just still has to get done!

  1. Leadership & inspiring others

Barry the Fish with Fingers can only be read a certain number of times and ways but as a parent, you pick up the book and go again with new enthusiasm every day when you see that your little one is inspired. It’s all about nurturing and empowerment with my daughter as much as it is with the team at work.

  1. Sense of humour

You’ve GOT to laugh when the sh1t literally hits the fan! When you’re at the end of your tether with sickness and diarrhoea, when you haven’t slept all week, when the fifth candidate drops out and the job description changes for the eighth time…just when you think you could cry, that is when you need to laugh!

  1. Listening & Empathy

In recruitment, you’ve got to have your ears switched on at all times; you can’t deliver for a client if you aren’t paying attention to what they really want. Gradually with long term relationships you develop that sixth sense and find yourself able to second-guess your close client contacts, and it’s the same at home. Ten months of one-to-one with my daughter whilst on maternity leave has given me exposure to all her habits and behaviours and that’s how I know what she needs, sometimes before she’s even asked for it. I like to think I can get to the root of what’s needed from me in both areas of my life pretty fast!

  1. Patience

When the recruitment goal posts move – however frustrating, you’ve got to stay calm and adapt, and keep working towards that ultimate end goal. There’s no need to explain how that transfers over to when your bare-bummed toddler runs away from another nappy change, or accidently locks you out of your laptop!

  1. Integrity

As a mum and a professional I understand the importance of fairness, loyalty and transparency. Day in and day out I try to make decisions with a moral compass that Mahatma Gandhi would be proud of. You simply do not last in recruitment without integrity at the centre of your process and I like to think it’s at the centre of our family life too.

  1. Spinning plates

I think this will resonate with everyone. You do whatever you need to do to stay on top! Lists, reminder apps, catch ups, WhatsApp groups, several processes at once, having impeccable attention to detail as well as an ability to stand back and see the bigger picture…it’s a lot to manage but all parents and Recruiters do it at work and at home and we probably don’t congratulate ourselves enough!

I think the lines are blurred for everyone once they start a family and go back to the job they did before. I’m still the same, but also very different. This is an intense job and there is always pressure to deliver; it’s that fine line between being stimulated and stressed that you’ve got to stay on the right side of! Rather than view skills as work-related or family-related, I’m taking a holistic view of my accomplishments and moving forward into my new phase with a new confidence; I can do this, and I can do it on little sleep too!

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