#WIB -Q&A With Phillipa Geard CEO & Founder Of RecruitMyMom

#WIB -Q&A With Phillipa Geard CEO & Founder Of RecruitMyMom
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1. Can you please tell us more about your business?

A. RecruitMyMom is a trusted, multi-award-winning online recruitment agency based in South Africa. Our easy-to-use, online, and personalised service is aimed at forward-thinking employers who want to employ professional, motivated, and skilled women who are looking for meaningful and flexible employment.

The recruitment model empowers women with families to achieve better work-life integration by offering positions with varying degrees of flexibility or part-time hours, both in an office, remotely or a combination of the two.

RecruitMyMom’s dynamic team of recruiters offers a competitively priced and highly professional online service for both employers and job seekers.

2. When, how and why did you start your business?

A. I wanted to make a difference for thousands of women (and children) in South Africa by helping them find flexible ways of working. I would meet many talented women like myself, with children, who had worked locally and internationally gaining phenomenal skills. Yet, many had opted out of their careers to be with their children during the child-rearing years. This in part due to a lack of foresight from employers in giving these women the flexibility they require and the technology tools were not available. Now there is no excuse. Technology enables employers to allow women to have more flexibility in their workday without impacting negatively on productivity. RecruitMyMom helps facilitate this exchange of skills from skilled mothers to forward-thinking employers.

When : It launched on the internet in 2012.

How: I started the business on my own. I hired a developer and a graphic designer and gave them a brief of what I wanted to create. It was on a shoe-string budget. I launched on Facebook and the word spread. Within the second year I needed to hire someone to help me and now we are eleven employees.

3. What is your role in the business?

A. As the CEO I oversee the overall business strategy and am integrally involved in the marketing of the business. I spend considerable time working on new projects, such as, we launched RecruitAGraduate in 2019, for employers looking to hire interns and graduates.

4. Where did you study and what did you study?

A. I studied at UCT. I did a Bachelor of Business Science with an honours in marketing.

5. How did you finance your business?

A. I self-funded both businesses. I launched them on very small budgets and have grown them organically.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

A. It does not exist. This is a very difficult question to answer. No one day ever looks the same as the other. Even when I plan my day, something can go wrong and demand my immediate attention. Typically I get up at 6 am with my children and we all get ready for the school run. I then either go to the gym, walk on our beautiful Somerset West mountain, or spend time in prayer. By 9 am I am at my desk and work a full day, breaking to fetch kids from school and attending to household demands like keeping food in the fridge. It gets intense juggling many balls at once. In the evening I enjoy cooking and spending time with the family, relaxing and reading a book or watching a good series. 

7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?

A. There is no balance between the two for me. They are both integrally entwined in my life. I had to come to terms with the fact that there are days when I am an awesome CEO and a not-so-awesome wife and mom, and other days when I am an awesome wife and mom and a not-so-awesome CEO. Perfection is killer, so I try not to beat myself up about dropping a few balls every now and then. My whole company is virtual, we all work from remote offices, mine is at home too. I don’t see work as a seperate part of my life, it’s just part of me, like being a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, boss, colleague.

8. What drives you and inspires you?

A. What drives me is that I believe I can make a difference in this world to make it a better place. And, if I am able to make a difference in someone else’s life, then I should. I get inspired by other people’s stories of hardship that is turned into greatness. I have read many inspirational stories, and 99% of them are about overcoming obstacles in life and forging a way forward despite the opinion of others and despite hardship. Greatness is forged in a fire, it is not handed to one on a silver platter.

9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

A. Ha ha, my best ideas come in the wee hours of the morning when I cannot sleep, or when I am walking alone in nature. The more relaxed I am the better ideas I have. Perhaps I need to take a life long holiday :-).

10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?

A. Many of our leads come from word of mouth because of the excellent service we provide and the high calibre of candidates we represent. RecruitMyMom has won several prestigious awards including Job Creator of the Award in 2018, and the Fairlady Santam Women of the Future Award in 2019, as well as a finalist in the FNB innovation awards. These have given the business large amounts of free media coverage. We do use above the line media and spend a considerable amount on digital media to get leads.

11.What is next for your business?

A. I launched RecruitAGraduate in 2019. It’s a fantastic platform to hire graduates and interns. It is still a fledgling still getting its wings to fly. Businesses take a few years to get momentum. For now, having RecruitMyMom and RecruitAGraduate is enough to keep me out of trouble.

12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?

A. My advice is that self-belief and self-doubt are opposite ends of the same string. Every single day you wake up you will have to choose which end of the string you lean towards. You need inordinate amounts of self-belief to get a business up and running and successful. It takes grit, faith, and a purpose you absolutely believe in to get you to the other side. For me, it has been worth it. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to work, I wanted to raise my children, I wanted flexibility, and having my own business afforded me all of the above.

Short bio

Phillipa Geard is the Founder and CEO of multi-award winning company RecruitMyMom, an innovative online recruitment agency for companies needing skilled flexible, and part-time staff.  More recently she launched RecruitAGraduate, an online platform designed to make the hiring of college and university graduates and interns. Phillipa is married to Anthony and mother to Dominic (16) and Sadie (14). She and RecruitMyMom have won several business awards including the Santam Fairlady Women of the Future Winner 2019: Job Creator of the year winner 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year  2018, and National Woman in Business Champion Winner 2017 amongst others. Phillipa is an EY Winning Women Programme alumni and an Endeavor entrepreneur.

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