By GSR2R Admin | 31st May 2022
“I couldn’t believe I had found a job where they paid me to talk all day, having been told off for talking all my life”, says Sue Cooper of her stellar recruitment career spanning 4 decades.
One of the most respected women in our industry, Sue Cooper, former CEO, mentor and inspiration to many in recruitment, and now Non-Executive Director and Chairwoman, Sue speaks candidly to Cheryl on her journey.
We asked recruitment leader, Sue, a few questions to get her take on recruitment, and share her advice to people in recruitment and her journey.
With no idea what she was letting herself in for, Sue cut her teeth in recruitment at Hays, where she joined as a Trainee, after being made redundant from The Bank of England.
In her 40-year career, Sue has worked in 3 businesses, scaling the corporate ladder first at Hays and then at Page Personnel (part of Page Group) to Regional Director. Her last corporate move saw Sue securing the top seat at the table, as CEO of Morgan Hunt, where she quickly scaled its reputation and results as the UK’s most successful public sector recruitment and Recruiters’ Recruitment Agency of the Year 2016.
Leaving the corporate world was never going to signal the end of continuing to do what I love. And that’s helping recruiters and companies alike to advance. After hanging up my CEO boots, I set up my own consultancy advising and supporting a selection of recruitment SMEs on the path to growth.
“I want to create a legacy business that lives on beyond me, and for me that’s what success looks like.”
I remained true to myself on the road to the top.
That’s not to say it wasn’t challenging. What was important to me was that I didn’t compromise myself to fit in, particularly as I moved into leadership roles where, at the time, not a lot of seats were filled by women. I wanted to continue to develop my career, positively influence my teams and grow a business that I was proud of.
For anyone who knows me, I had been harping on about flexible working in recruitment for a very long time. As a working mum, trying not to compromise my family time in favour of my career was a juggling act that I won, but it wasn’t easy.
What better evidence could we want to justify that flexible working adds value, than the last two years? It took Covid for the industry to wake up and realise that long hours and being deskbound was not essential to success.
I never actually wanted the top job. What was important to me was that I loved my work, the people I worked with and that I had time with my family. The top job was a happy by product of achieving this trifecta.
“It’s always been the role, not the job title, that’s important.”
Be true to yourself and remember that life is not a race!
Mentoring is important full stop. We never stop learning. Having a mentor who has been there and done it and is willing to help you navigate your career successfully, is an absolute gift.
Almost 30% of recruitment companies have less than 5% female leaders at board levels. Greater female representation will result in more promotions. Therefore, increasing the exposure and access to female mentors for women who are building a rewarding career.
Art is my passion. I have raised over £3k for charity, painting dog portraits in exchange for donations, to Dementia UK – a charity close to my heart.
Huge thanks to Sue for taking the time to talk recruitment, careers and her experiences.
On a personal note, I made my very first placement with Sue and have known her my whole career. Sue’s contribution is always so valuable, and I am proud to call her a friend.
If you’ve been inspired to find the right recruitment agency for you, here are just a few of our active recruitment jobs right now to get you thinking.
Until next time.