My name’s Emma Eaton and I’m the head of lateral hire in the Talent Acquisition team. I’ve been here for five years.
A day in the life for me is so varied. I manage a wonderful team of thirteen people, as well as all the talent acquisition and recruitment related projects. My job can be quite pressurised at times because we have to get it right. We have to recruit the right people for the right jobs to provide a high-quality service for our clients, which is ultimately the main goal.
I continually drive the best out of my team because I want them to develop and grow in their roles. I have a great relationship with my colleagues. They’re all extremely supportive and trustworthy, and we work closely to recruit people who’re a perfect fit for us.
Support Through Difficult Times
When I first joined Irwin Mitchell, my Dad was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Initially, I was nervous about asking for time off to go to his appointments, but they were extremely accommodating. My Dad also had a couple of strokes then got autoimmune encephalitis, which meant that I needed to spend some time with him in hospital.
Twelve months later, my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Again, I had to ask for more time off for his operation, consultant appointments and chemo treatments. It was wonderful that my company was completely supportive throughout.
Six months after my husband's last round of chemotherapy, I fell pregnant. But a month before my son was born, we put my Dad in a hospice. Spending the final nine days with my Dad, going to his consultant appointments and having to sign a ‘do not resuscitate’ form was heart-breaking.
But I’ve got really supportive colleagues who’re my friends, and I couldn’t have gone through these difficult times without them.
One of the things that really benefited me during this period was that I could work when I wanted to. There was no pressure to work constantly but when I was able to, it was a welcome outlet for me. I was also given lots of support through the Employee Assistance Programme, which allowed me to just talk to someone.
Importance Of Flexibility
It’s really important to be valued for who you are and what you bring by your employer. Having the flexible by choice policy has been a huge success for us. You can work where you want and when you want, and that’s really unique.
Spending time with family and friends makes me really happy. I have two sons and because I can spend time with my family, it makes me more driven, so I can really focus on my job. It’s the perfect balance and it works for me.
I returned from maternity leave in 2021. Having a new-born baby and coming back to work in a virtual world in the midst of the pandemic was quite tough. I didn’t know what work was going to look like and I didn’t know if my job was going to be the same. But having flexibility was so rewarding.
I’ve been able to do school drop-offs and pick-ups, and attend school events. Having supportive colleagues also got me through this uncertain time and made me feel reassured.
The annual wellbeing days here are also attractive for candidates. We’re encouraged to spend a day doing something which makes us happy so we can rest and return to work feeling recharged, which is great.
Opportunity To Upskill
I’ve got an amazing job, I work with amazing people, and I’m being developed at work.
My role involves identifying the top talent to come and join us. We want people who’re driven to grow their career and be the best they can be, delivering an excellent service to our clients.
Offering people roles for fantastic opportunities here is so rewarding because you can get a variety of reactions. They range from a small, but excited thank you to someone jumping up and down screaming! Then, it’s great to see them develop in their career because you feel like you’ve played a small part in their progression.
Career progression is something we strive for here. I started the Associate Project Management Qualification as an apprenticeship, which is an amazing opportunity and something that’s going to add value to my current role.
At this stage in my career, it’s great that I can be reskilled and upskilled. This apprenticeship is testament to the development and promotional opportunities here.
Recruiting Diverse Talent
We have a really inclusive, supportive and driven culture here. We embrace everyone’s skills and experiences, and that’s what makes us truly unique. You don’t have to be the best at absolutely everything.
We’re diverse, and our talent acquisition team has to reflect this. We have a team of talented recruitment professionals who identify talent from various locations with different skill sets, and place them in the right jobs.
There’s lots of reasons why people want to work here. The flexible approach is a key attraction, along with the great clients we work with, the opportunities for development and progression, the inclusive culture, and more.
If you’re considering a career here, I’d say go for it! It’s one of the best places I’ve ever worked and I love what I do. It really doesn’t feel like work when you work with very talented colleagues.
Read Emma's professional profile
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