While on maternity leave after my youngest was born, I was made redundant from my job. I was now an unemployed mother of two and, despite my years of business experience, I knew how difficult it would be to find a job with the hours that meant I could also bring up my kids. It seemed I had to choose between either forcing my husband to be the family’s sole breadwinner or I could risk missing out on the most important years in my children’s lives. I had to choose between supporting and bringing up my family. Both options seemed like a compromise.
Instead, I decided that I wouldn’t compromise and in March 1999, I started my first recruitment business, North West Childcare, a nanny agency working from a bedroom in my house. I decided that if it was a choice between my job and my home, then I would have to combine the two.
When I told my husband that I wanted to start a childcare recruitment company, he asked me what I knew about childcare. I told him, ‘I’m a mother, I know what I want for our family, what else is there?’ I knew that, based on what I wanted for my own children, I could and would help families find the perfect fit for them.
This has always been the central philosophy of Harris Recruitment. We don’t compromise. We will never place someone with you that we are not certain is the perfect fit. With our tailor-made selection process, we provide a bespoke recruitment service. We understand that families cannot be split into types or categories but are individual cases with unique needs.
What started as a part-time nanny recruitment service has since grown exponentially in the last twenty years, covering all the unique aspects of domestic childcare, housekeeping and care positions, throughout the UK. In those twenty years we have never lost sight of the importance of giving our clients precisely the sort of help they need, with anything falling short of that being completely unacceptable.
We have also been proud to campaign for the rights of domestic workers in this country. In 2012, I gave a speech at Portcullis House on the importance of the Domestic Workers Visa because, in my experience, the applicants we have found work for, including those from inside and out of the European Union, are some of the hardest working people I have ever met and we have been delighted to find them the perfect fit for so many families.
At Harris Recruitment we believe that every home, every family, and every job is different and that the fact that that has always been our core belief, we believe, is the secret to our success.