This week I interview the brilliant Sarah Broad founder of Attune Jobs, www.attunejobs.com who not only is a career change mum herself but has her own recruitment business which helps others get part time and flexible jobs.
Sarah has worked in recruitment for over 20 years, predominantly in professional services, insurance and tech firms including Ernst &Young, BDO and Yahoo. In this time, she developed significant expertise in flexible working, managing flexible working teams as well as a rising number of employee requests for increased flexibility.
1)What gave you the idea to start up your business?
I have spent 20 years in the corporate world specialising in HR / Recruitment and Change management. I also spent 10 of those years coaching internally and externally. So after maternity leave I was catching up with a former colleague (this is where keeping up with your network is advantageous) and we felt firms are missing out on talent and senior talent as they are not tapping into the demand by employees and potential employees for part-time and flexible working. So we decided we would give it a go and start a jobsite offering part-time and flexible work in an area we both knew, Law and accounting. It was an opportunity I could not turn down – an opportunity to run a business, work the hours needed (this does sometimes go into evenings and weekends) and still have time for my children which is very important to me.
2) What did you do to prepare to start up your business?
I did a lot of research. I wrote a business plan and prepared a budget and P&L.
3)Which aspects of your business did you need help with? Where did you get that help?
I needed help with setting up the Website, SEO and social media. I am not technical in anyway so I have had to rely on others to support me in this. The Website developer was recommended as was the company that manages our SEO. The Social Media help was a recommendation from a networking group I joined on Facebook. I have not used anything like this before but I have picked up a lot of tips here as it is very active and everyone is sharing advice. I have also used Webinars and spoken to a lot of people. It is amazing how quickly you pick things up and I have learnt a lot since we launched 6 months ago.
4) Describe what your business does and who you target it at / your ideal client
Attune Jobs is a job site specialising in part-time and flexible working vacancies. We are the only job site dedicated to supporting recruitment for business services functions in Law and accounting firms, including:
• Secretarial, PA, Administration jobs
• Finance jobs
• HR jobs
• IT jobs
• Marketing & Business Development jobs
• Other general and bespoke roles.
We recognise that working patterns are changing and demand is high. We want to give candidates better access to high quality part-time and flexible roles and provide clients with highly skilled candidates who may otherwise have been missed because of their flexible working requirements.
We think the ability to have the ‘flexible’ conversation early on in the hiring process can only be beneficial to both parties – we only ever advertise genuine part-time and flexible working roles so open and honest discussions can take place from the offset.
5) What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
Flexibility is key, I can work from home, the office or even a coffee shop! My productivity is measured and not where or how long I work so I can still be there for my children. When I have successes I know it is because of my hard work, tenacity, determination, skill and experience (but it also works the other way too!)
6) What has been the biggest challenge?
There are many. Self doubt and confidence – will I be able to do this? Working largely on my ‘own' means I do not have a team of people around me if I am having a problem that I can call on. I have to be able to do everything, from dealing with clients, writing marketing material, developing a website, using finance packages to creating a Powerpoint presentation. Some of those are easier than others. Getting my head around the IT and digital aspects to the business has been challenging but I am very resilient and I have good friends around me who sometimes need to remind me what is important in life!
7) If you could go back and give yourself some advise what would it be?
Breathe regularly and don’t sweat the small stuff! Focus on one thing at a time, and if it works for you keep doing it, just because someone has a good experience with e.g. Facebook Ads, it doesn’t mean it will work for you.