Amanda Seabrook tells how she established Workpond to help talented mothers find flexible roles in their professions. And why she herself loves employing mums!
What’s your career background?
Prior to having children and launching Workpond, I was an investment analyst in a fund management Company. My last job happened to be in Sydney and I fell pregnant with my first child as we were moving back home.
Knowing that I didn’t want to work full-time with a new born baby, I decided to take a career break rather than trying to find a flexible role from scratch.
What is Workpond and what inspired you to start it?
I was frustrated by how many talented mothers there are who wanted to work, but couldn’t find flexible roles within their profession.
I decided to do something about it and launched Workpond four years ago. I researched the market and realised that the way that people want to work had changed dramatically – not just mothers, but men and women at all stages of their careers.
What makes Workpond different?
At Workpond, we work closely with our clients to improve the efficiency of their resourcing. We strive to educate them of the business benefits of a flexible resourcing strategy.
We encourage them to bring in greater specialisation – for less time – thus opening up opportunities for mothers, fathers, consultants and freelancers, while also encouraging them to adopt remote working. We see this as a win-win for all parties.
Why should mums join Workpond?
Because we really understand mums, as most of our team are mothers. Therefore we work with the types of clients that we would ourselves consider working for. We focus on small to medium sized businesses where there is scope for our candidates to grow with the company, if they wish.
We work hard representing our candidates needs to our clients and have successfully created a large number job opportunities for mothers that, without us, would not have existed.
At Workpond, we have a thorough understanding of how to grow teams efficiently, how to improve staff retention and business productivity through smart resourcing.
We help our clients redesign roles, so that they can get the best talent for the time that they need it. We provide a thorough consultative service that makes their life easy!
In what ways do you practice what you preach in making the most of flexible talent?
All of our team work flexibly and remotely (without our clients having the slightest idea). We overcome the challenges of having a virtual team by using great technology and working hard to ensure that all of the team members share the same values, work hard to provide a great service to our clients and support one another.
We live by our core value that “We believe best outcomes are achieved when people’s lives and business goals are shared.”
Why does flexible working work for you?
I would rather substitute the word flexibly with efficiently. While I do work the equivalent of full-time hours, I save time by working from home when I can, thereby cutting wasted commuter time. I take my children to and from school when I can, but will, like so many other people, often make up for that time in the morning or evening.
What are the biggest business hurdles you have had to overcome?
The hardest part was when the team was small and I was having to do everything – from sales and marketing to finance and also ensuring that our clients were kept happy.
It took a lot of determination to get through that stage, particularly as it felt as if there was little pay-back.
And your proudest moment to date?
I feel really proud when we create a flexible job and fill it successfully. We stay in touch with our candidates and clients once they are in place, so can see the difference we have made months and years after our initial introduction.
Our clients are becoming our greatest referrers – having reaped the rewards of redesigning roles and resourcing flexibly, they often tell their friends, who then approach us to ask if we can help them too.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by anyone who fights for a cause. My daughter is reading I am Malala and I am inspired by her determination to stand up to adversity at a such a young age.
What three tips can you share with businesses who want to make flexible working really work for them?
- Focus on outcomes – what do you want your staff to achieve. Then look at ways that they can achieve these goals more flexibly. Do you have the technology and processes to allow them to work from home, variable or part-time hours?
- Make sure that you have a way to measure outcomes. In many cases, flexible and remote workers work more productively than full-time office workers.
- Ensure that you keep up communication. This will ensure that expectations are set correctly.
You can find out more about Workpond on their website.