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  • Publish Date: Posted about 6 years ago
  • Author: Julie O'Neill
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​Grandma Returners?

The Value of a Grandmother in Recruitment: Pat’s Story

Sometimes you catch a glimpse of how things should be done. As Pat Eagling started to talk about her experiences in her first interview for a role at McCall, I was transported back to a time when recruitment put people ahead of profits.

You might argue that any business has to put profits at the top of their agenda, but when Pat started her recruitment career in 1972, you couldn’t blast a candidate out to 40 potential employers, email (and even fax) was a distant prospect, and having a social strategy meant having lunch with a client!

You had to put people first.

As the workforce ages, more people like Pat are adding incredible value. She is reminding us of what great recruitment is all about.

Here is her story told in her words:

“In 1972, I walked into Brook Street Bureau in Cannon St, London. I was looking for a job, but I didn’t quite know what would suit me best. An hour later they had offered me a job working there, and my recruitment career began. It was wonderful working in the bustling financial hub, and I had been promoted to Manager in a suburban branch by the time I was 21.

I was then approached to work for one of the first specialist IT recruiters, placing hundreds of contractors into UK and European clients. I remember one such project when I personally sourced 93 contractors within three weeks for the European Space Agency. I missed my daughters first birthday. The reality of recruitment was hitting home already - but I was hooked.

I then set up my own boutique agency that I ran for thirty years. If you are a passionate recruiter, there is nothing like running your own shop. One project that I will never forget was a six-month on-site assignment for Walt Disney. That was utterly magical in every sense. As we grew, we invested in wherever technology was available and we bought two of the original Apple Macs. They are worth £250,000 a piece these days…. We got rid of them long ago. (No comments please)

My husband’s health unfortunately deteriorated, so after a rewarding career, I decided to dedicate myself to making his last few years as comfortable as possible. I am glad that I did because there is more to life than work.

So after his passing, I decided to return to my other passion: recruitment.

I am aware that technology has transformed the recruitment landscape and will undoubtedly continue to do so. However, I am a firm believer that human nature cannot change as quickly and I hope to bring my skills to the Rec2Rec industry.

Having worked at McCall for a month and not yet quite shaking that “new girl” feeling, I know I’m simply doing the same rewarding job – but in a different way.

Interesting parallels remain. In the seventies, women were changing the world, empowered like never before. Now we also find ourselves at a crossroads of equality and inclusivity. When you work in a people industry, there is nothing more important, and I am glad that this Grandmother still has a place in the world!

There are many other Grandmothers out there like me, wondering if they can make more of a difference in the world. The business leaders of this world simply have to give them a chance. Thank you to Julie and Nick at McCall for my chance.”

We all know the workforce will be working longer – look at the rising age stats -have you considered the merits of older employees in your recruitment business?

Is it really just a young person’s game? Not just Mum Returners but Grandma Returners!

With the gig economy ramping up and plenty of recruiters leaving to set up their own businesses after sometimes just a few years of experience, the older generation of recruiters can be an important asset in years to come. As the machines do more of the mundane stuff, people skills are firmly back on the agenda. The value of the older generation in this case cannot be understated.

We at McCall are pleased to be a trend setter and pioneer!

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