Zoe Morris featured

Inspirational Woman: Zoe Morris | President of Frank Recruitment Group

Zoe MorrisZoe Morris is the President of niche IT staffing firm Frank Recruitment Group.

Zoe has played a vital role in building Frank Recruitment Group into the global, award-winning specialist recruitment firm that it is today; under Zoe’s leadership, the company has consistently achieved substantial year on year growth as well as winning many industry-based awards.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My name is Zoe Morris, and I’m the President at Frank Recruitment Group, a leading firm specialising in niche technology staffing. I was born and raised in Kent, and have lived in the capital ever since moving here to study psychology at the City University of London.

When I took my first few steps into the world of recruitment, I realised that a great deal of psychology applies not just to sales, but to leadership in general. It felt like a very natural fit for me from day one—I just fell in love with the industry. Finding and landing your dream job is a special achievement, so helping driven people build their careers and getting a front row seat to that experience is one of the most satisfying parts of the role.

I’ve worked in the recruitment industry for almost 20 years now, and before joining Frank Recruitment Group, I was a Director at Hays plc. Today I oversee the organisation’s ongoing business and sales operations—that includes anything from employee training through to investigating new sales territories we should open additional offices in.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Throughout university and early on in my professional life, I’d say there was an element of planning but I was much more focused on short term goals and achievements. I think that when you’re just starting out, it’s natural to want to get your bearings before committing to a long term plan. As I  built up more experience it became easier to make longer term plans and set more ambitious career goals to keep me motivated.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Yes, loads! The industry we’re in operates almost entirely on short term targets, so our monthly performance could change direction at the drop of a hat. Externally, we navigated the 2008 global financial crisis while carving out a space in a highly competitive tech market. We didn’t just weather the storm—we came out stronger on the other side, entering the European market by 2009.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

One of my proudest moments at Frank Recruitment Group came when, in my first three years here, we more than tripled our global headcount from 500 to 1600 and opened a 11 new office locations around the world. Being a part of that kind of success is a unique experience, and drove us all to aim higher and push for excellence with more zeal and commitment than ever before.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Confidence. A lot of professional success hinges on having the kind of confidence that allows your unique perspective and experience to shine through. We saw nothing but opportunity in this untapped market for niche technology recruitment—it was just a matter of knowing where to start. Always strive for confidence in what you’re doing, because it’ll inspire confidence in those around you and make the journey that little bit smoother.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I feel that it’s our duty as seasoned professionals to act as mentors, and being asked to help people realise their potential is always an honour. When you’re lucky enough to mentor others, each new stage of your career brings with it fresh opportunities to encourage growth and inspire people to believe in their own abilities.

It could be as simple as offering a quick word of advice when an issue arises, or carving out 30 minutes to grab a cup of coffee and catch up. There’s no need to be formal; what matters is the quality of your guidance and what others can gain from the time you share.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

We need to do more to foster confidence in girls and women when it comes to entrepreneurship or careers in STEM, and change attitudes towards gender stereotypes. A major part of that comes from empowering women to claim their space in the workplace, and making the business world a more inclusive place. If girls don’t see strong, relatable role models in the industries they’re interested in, they’ll struggle to see themselves succeeding there.

We can work towards greater gender parity by building programmes to help women get back into the professional world, and by developing benefits packages that are better suited to working caregivers. At Nigel Frank—our brand dedicated to Microsoft recruitment—we created the Diversity in Dynamics programme, a return-to-work initiative to get more women back into the tech sector after taking a career break.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

You need to get out there and forge your own opportunities instead of waiting for them to fall into your lap. We miss out on so much by waiting for the ‘right’ opportunity to come along—a great deal of our achievements have come from creating our own opportunities. We’ve carved out our own space in the industry and mapped our own path to success rather than following the ones well-travelled.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

In my capacity as President, it’s my aim to continue growing the business and ultimately achieve market domination in every niche technology we operate in. As part of that, I want to foster a new style of management that will continue to sustain the company beyond my leadership.