When this recruitment consultant started a family, she realised there was a distinct lack of specialised services and support for women balancing a career with raising children. So, she decided to do something about it – and Australia’s first full service recruitment agency connecting return to work and working mums with flexible employment.
|Business type||Recruitment agency|
|Industry||HR & Recruitment|
|In Moreland since||2012|
|Core offering||Recruitment agency for working mums seeking flexible positions|
Rachel Perkins’ realisation came back in 2012, when she was on maternity leave with her second child.
I was weighing up my own career options. I was looking for flexible or part-time work and trying to access professional support in the market and noted there was a real shortage and gap in the market for people like me,” says Rachel.
So Rachel started JustMums Recruitment – JustMums for short. JustMums connects working mothers and mothers returning to work with flexible, job-share and family-friendly employment opportunities.
“We work in partnership with businesses of all sizes across diverse industries. We can manage all or part of the recruitment process from advertising a position, sourcing and assessing suitable candidates, interviewing and shortlisting along with reference and compliance checking.”
Rachel has found that many of the working mothers in her 30,000-strong talent pool have years of career experience in high-level positions, are highly educated, and able to add value to a business.
In the beginning it was just Rachel. Soon after, a fellow recruiter and co-director, Erin Kefalas, came on board. Today, Rachel and Erin head up a growing team of nine senior level recruiters, careers specialists and consultants who are passionate advocates for flexible working and work-life balance. And yes, they’re all working mums.
In July 2018, JustMums Recruitment acquired a digital jobs platform called Working Mothers Connect (Australia & New Zealand) to complement its existing business model as an end-to-end recruitment agency.
Some of Rachel’s biggest learnings have been around the importance of staying true to her own brand.
“The JustMums brand has become very strong. We pay for very little advertising, but our social media presence is huge; we are authentic and as a result we are trusted in the market. I put a post on LinkedIn the other day and it was viewed by 2.8 million people!”
“Over the years we’ve had some issues with larger clients who wanted to leverage off our brand to attract staff to them, yet not offer flexibility. This is one of our core promises, so I’ve had to learn to say no, and to turn away clients that don’t align to our values.”
Rachel didn’t set out to be a spokesperson for challenging stereotypes around working mums but says that she and her team are often in this role with their clients, and also with media.
“It’s clear to me that mums need to be viewed as an asset rather than a liability. According to research carried out by Ernst & Young Productivity Pulse, women in flexible roles are the most productive members of our workforce. Personally, I thought I was productive pre-children, but post-children, I am a force to be reckoned with!”
Images courtesy of JustMums Recruitment