Parents in recruitment: A Q&A with Gemma Chapman, Simon Ensor and Anna Morgan

We often hear how impossible it is for parents to have a successful career, especially in recruitment, due to the long hours, demanding environment and competitive job market.

We want to make our workplace an environment where parents can still excel. Currently, 80% of our executive board are parents as are 60% of our senior management team and we are huge believers in family comes first.

We sat down with Gemma Chapman, Executive Resourcer for Engineering and Manufacturing, Simon Ensor, Senior Business Manager for Accountancy and Finance and Anna Morgan, Business Manager within our Engineering and Manufacturing division to find out how they have balanced their career and raising a family.  

Can you give us a brief history of your career?

Gemma: I Joined Elevation in the first months of its opening. I started as a Resourcer and set up the back office, a CV process, a database and the basic accounts.

As the business grew, there was an opportunity for me to move over to the business support team and develop the market before my first maternity leave. After my maternity leave, I joined the marketing division to cover another maternity leave. I covered the desk with successful billings and built strong business relationships across Yorkshire. Following this, I had my second maternity leave.

Upon my return from maternity leave for a second time, I made it clear to the SMT that I would be happy to work where the business needed me the most. In which I moved to support the engineering and manufacturing team.

Simon: I started at Elevation over nine years ago. I progressed from senior consultant to senior business manager, and I have been involved in various projects as the business has grown. Now, I develop processes, mentor new consultants, manage teams and build new client relationships.

Anna: I started my career in banking and progressed quickly through the ranks. After having my son, I decided that I needed a change. I was offered a consultant role with another agency in which I rose to the top, and I was headhunted by a few companies to help them set up new divisions.

After this, I set up my own recruitment business. After three years, I decided to go back to working for a company, and then I joined Elevation Recruitment Group as a business manager.

How do you balance a career in recruitment/successful career and starting a family?

Gemma: By being organised with my work and home life. I also have fantastic support and reassurance if/when needed from work and home.

Simon: I have a good home support network which helps me work full-time hours. Elevation has a flexible approach when it comes to childcare which helps create a sensible work-life balance.

Anna: I’m lucky in that I have been able to focus on my career while my husband cared for our son. I do work long hours, but I make sure I have quality time on the weekend. The early Friday finish allows me to spend more time with my family.

How has Elevation supported you when it comes to family?

Gemma: The SMT have supported me in two pregnancies, and there has never been a question around flexibility to meet childcare needs. This made and instils my belief that you get out what you put in. I will continue to be as flexible as I can to support the business as they do for my family and me.

Simon: If I need to go home for family emergencies, I have been able to leave work and deal with these situations without feeling guilty. There is a lot of flexibility around getting into work in the morning as I take the kids to school.

Anna: My son became dangerously ill very quickly last year and had to be rushed to the children’s hospital. He had two operations and two blood transfusions. The support from the SMT was amazing.  

They regularly checked in with me and made it very clear I wasn’t to return until I was ready, and my son was out of the hospital. It made the most difficult time in my life bearable knowing they were behind me. They provided me with extended family support having none of my own. I feel supported in every element of my job, and they always say that family comes first.

The majority of the board have children and completely understands the impact of this on day-to-day life. Due to the nature of Elevation, I can work around dropping him at school regularly and going to school events.

Who inspires you to achieve your best?

Gemma: My husband, children and the SMT and CEO of Elevation Recruitment Group.

 As one of the first employees of the business, I couldn’t be prouder to see how the company has and is growing.

Simon: I am motivated by a strong and inspirational leadership team who have all achieved great things in their Elevation careers.

I have always received ongoing mentoring and development from my line manager and the SMT which has helped me take on board new ideas and allowed continual development.

I have received praise when I have surpassed expectation which has created the desire to push for more.

Anna: My husband, Max and my son, Daniel. I work hard for them, but also myself. I have a genuine passion for what I do and take it very seriously.

I am also inspired daily by the Elevation SMT. They have all worked so hard to get to where they are. They run an incredibly successful company while juggling the demands of family life. They make me feel valued and my hard work means something to them. I couldn’t even try to articulate how amazing they are.

What advice would you give to working parents?

Gemma: Be honest with yourself; set yourself realistic objectives and most importantly be organised in both your personal and work life.

You can’t be everything to everyone but being the best version of yourself it should give you the satisfaction at home and work.

Simon: Recruitment is seen as a tough industry which has highs and lows. The thought of working late nights to meet candidates could certainly put off the majority of working parents. However, with the video conferencing apps like Skype, good work management, coupled with a supportive culture, a career in recruitment with Elevation can be a great option for any working parent.

Anna: Don’t feel guilty! I felt mum guilt for years having always worked full time and only having 14 weeks of maternity leave. They will always remember the nice things they got and did because we have such awesome jobs. Keep pushing, being a parent can be career limiting, especially as a woman but find the right company, and it won’t matter if you are a parent too.

Join our team

We are currently recruiting for a number of internal vacancies ranging from administrators to business managers. If you’re looking for a career in recruitment that puts you first contact us here -



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