In honour of International Women’s Day, 360 Search is reflecting on what it’s like to be a woman in recruitment.

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Recruitment, like many industries is a work in progress when it comes to gender diversity, particularly at the senior level.

It is important for our female recruiters to be recognized for their achievements, receive fair pay, and be given equal opportunities to progress.

This blog provides background on International Women’s Day, focusing on gender inequality in the workplace, and explores what it is like for a female recruiter to work at 360 Search.

LYNDA BARNES, PARTNER

Q: While working at 360 Search, what has been your proudest achievement?

Getting through an MBO and securing investment from RE and James Caan CBE in the UK was probably a pinnacle in our 360 history.
I am immensely proud of the team we have at 360 Search. They are an eclectically brilliant group; we learn from each other daily.
I’m proud that we have worked hard to be dominant in the general insurance, life, and investment, and compliance markets.
We are also rolling out our 360 Insurtech space, excited to see that develop and add to our development plans for 2023.

Q: Is there a way you influence your co-workers and the wider organization?

We are a very tight team and I believe that culture is built on trust and working in a non-judgemental, safe space. It is important to us as Directors that everyone has a voice and feels and is heard.

Q: Who are the most inspiring women in your life?

I am immensely proud of the team we have at 360 Search, not just the ladies!

They are an eclectically brilliant group, we learn from each other daily. Recruitment and selection are industries that do not have an earning cap, no matter what gender or how you identify. It is all about the quality of the work and being relentless when it comes to our goals.

SARAH MCGRATH, PARTNER

Q: What are the benefits of being a woman in recruitment?

Greater empathy and emotional intelligence: Women are often perceived as having stronger emotional intelligence and empathy than men, which can be an advantage in recruitment. Building relationships with candidates and clients is a key part of the job, and being able to connect with people on an emotional level can help you to better understand their needs and motivations.

HOLLY RAILES, FINANCIAL SERVICES RECRUITMENT MANAGER IE & UK

Q: How has 360 Search helped you to succeed as a female recruiter?

360 Search has given me direct opportunities and all the support I need to develop and progress in my career. Opportunities and support that wasn’t available to me in other past jobs. I believe I’ve had this experience, partly due to the male-dominated industry in which I previously worked and partly due to 360 Search having Female Leaders who have provided continuous support.

Q: Are there any words of advice you would give to women concerned about the ‘bro culture’ stereotype associated with recruitment?

I think in the recruitment world (and other industries for that matter), different is good. If you are different in some way to all the others operating in your space then you’re more likely to stick in the mind of a client or candidate. So as a woman in the recruitment industry, we can strive to break the “bro culture” stereotype and show that we as women don’t just differ when it comes to gender, but also the various qualities we can bring to the table.

Q: While working at 360 Search, what has been your proudest achievement?

This is a really hard question because I feel like there are so many moments that stand out to me. So I will give two!! Firstly, when I hit the target during my first full year with 360 Search, in what was not just a new job but a new industry. And the recognition I was given by my Directors as a result, they made sure I felt proud.

Secondly, being able to bring on a new hire (Kate) into 360 Search on the Life & Pensions desk. This marked the Life & Pensions desk reaching a size that allowed me to do this and also was an amazing achievement for me to train and manage somebody. Something I hadn’t done before. Then to watch Kate succeed as she has been doing makes me feel very proud!

SARAYA CUSSONS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR UK

Q: How does it feel to be a woman in recruitment and have you faced any challenges in recruitment as a woman?

I started my recruitment career, in my early 20’s, in Leeds city centre. This office had been closed due to the U.K. recession, and upon reopening, I was the only female Consultant on the team. At the time, Leeds was heavily populated with small insurance brokers and micro-offices for national/global entities and the common theme was ‘old boys club’ whom could be quite dismissive purely based on the fact I was young and female. The following year I joined a boutique insurance recruitment agency, that wanted to hire me because I was female as I added a different dynamic to their male-only team. This propelled my career, as they truly supported and celebrated having a female colleague, which in turn felt empowering and my confidence grew.

Q: Are there any words of advice you would give to women concerned about the ‘bro culture’ stereotype associated with recruitment?

My advice to any female considering recruitment, is do it, the industry has changed so much in recent years, many companies have made massive strides around equality & diversity, and with hard work and dedication, recruitment is a rewarding career.

KATE CORCORAN, LIFE, PENSION & INVESTMENTS RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT

Q: How has 360 Search helped you to succeed as a female recruiter?

360 Search has played a pivotal role in my success as a woman in the recruitment industry. The company’s values and culture have provided me with an environment where I feel empowered and supported.

Leading by example: At 360 Search, all directors and managers are active recruiters in addition to running the business. This hands-on approach has shown me what needs to be done and how to do it effectively.

Female Lead: With two female directors and senior managers, all women, there is a powerful sense of camaraderie and empowerment within the team. They have shown me that the recruitment industry is not a man’s world, but rather, their world.

Collaborative working: At 360 Search, teamwork and collaboration are at the heart of the business. The directors are transparent about what is required of the individual and the team, and we work together to exceed targets. No role is too small, and we provide a full service for every client and candidate.

IVETA SKYTOVA-O’CALLAGHAN, RECRUITMENT RESOURCING & MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Q: How has 360 Search helped you to succeed in your current role?

Before joining 360 Search, I worked at a new start-up recruitment business and had limited experience in the field. One of the challenges I faced was adapting to the Financial Services industry when it came to sourcing candidates. Both Lynda and Sarah took the time to allow on-the-job learning and become familiar with these roles to allow us to build a successful and collaborative working arrangement. I was surprised by the incredible atmosphere that is created within the company. I feel this allowed me to be more creative and confident. From this management style, we were able to work together and develop my role into a Marketing Executive which plays to my strengths. Management is very open and always there for support. It has surpassed all my initial expectations.

Q: This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?

Embracing equity requires actively challenging and addressing the root causes of inequality and discrimination, and promoting policies and practices that promote fairness, inclusion, and social justice. It is about creating a world where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances.

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