Classlist talks to Helen Wright, Founder of 923 about her motivation for setting up her highly successful recruitment business.
Q1: What is your business and why did you set it up?
The birth of “9-2-3” was a very personal journey. Following a career as a Broadcast Journalist (with the BBC and ITV), I stopped working to have a family. During this time, amongst other things, I was Vice Chair of the local Pre School and joined the Parish Council. But when I wanted to return to the workplace, I found being tied to the school run was prohibitive. Chatting to other mums in the playground, I realised I was not alone. There were accountants, solicitors, marketing execs, HR professionals… the list goes on. None were working. What a brain drain! What a waste of experience. Here was a bunch of highly-talented women all keen to work – all wanting to put their considerable expertise back to good use. And here in the booming Thames Valley! In short, I realised there are lots of talented individuals struggling to be discovered, along with lots of employers struggling to find the professionals they needed. So I decided to set up a recruitment agency, “9-2-3”, in order to help connect them. 9-2-3 specialises in flexible roles – whether that’s 9-3 school hours, more traditional part-time hours (of a few days a week) or even full-time hours (but with some home-working or compressed hours). All the research shows that flexible workers are more productive, have fewer sick days, and greater staff retention – plus they’re more engaged at work, they want to be there!
Q2: What do you like about supporting your local school community?
As a mother of 3, I love supporting local school communities! There’s always something to look forward to – whether it’s a school trip for pupils, a fundraiser for the parents to endure or a performance to entertain everyone. Memories are made here.