Meet Cathy

Every business has a story, so read on to discover all about Cathy and what led her to starting Isme People

My journey

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. From a very young age, I knew I was a ‘people’ person, but it took me a few years to find my calling. 

I grew up around a business — my Dad’s business. I remember him being glued to a computer for hours on end, away from me, my two sisters and mum. Weekends often included a trip to his office to raid the stationery cupboard and photocopy our hands. To be honest, they are fond memories.

Even our holidays were often linked to my Dad’s work. It was quite normal to sit around a dinner table talking to business clients from around the globe.

I enjoyed secondary school and found my ‘tribe’ who remain my close friends today, they’re more like my extended family. But what to do as a career?

Finding my feet

I studied marketing but, in truth, I was unsure what I really wanted to do. My education led me to getting a job within the marketing sector, when I was recommended by a friend to a recruitment agency.

While I was there, they asked me if I had considered a career in recruitment, but I had no idea what it involved. So, within a week I started my new career and over the next 16 years went on to work my way up the corporate ladder, eventually moving into recruitment outsourcing.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work with some big clients, and by working onsite I got a wider knowledge of the HR function.

Family life

After a few difficulties, I finally had my first daughter at the age of 33. I loved being a mum, but after 10 months of maternity leave I was ready to get back to work. I threw myself back into the corporate world and enjoyed working with lots of new clients. 

At 36, I had my second daughter and decided to take a full year’s maternity leave. I had every intention of going back to my job, but as the months passed I found I was enjoying taking my eldest to pre-school and was looking forward to the school run. 

It was then that an opportunity to take redundancy presented itself and I knew what I had to do. I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and training I had experienced in the corporate world, not to mention the chance to meet so many great people. 

But that part of me was in the past, I now had a family and the time was right to start my own business…

Starting ISME People

I learned many things during my 16-year career in the corporate recruitment industry, but the main thing it taught me was that I wanted my company to be unlike a traditional agency.

People have been my business and I wanted to focus on them. Some agencies just care about the clients, because they pay the commission. But you are never going to deliver a quality service unless you spend time getting to know the candidates.

I see recruitment as a long-term process — every business needs a strategy to grow by hiring the right people. From identifying suitable talent to devising training programmes, we support your business by offering a rounded recruitment and HR solution.

Now, I see myself as a female entrepreneur with a mission to put people at the heart of everything I do. I will listen to your needs and become a trusted partner who understands how you work and what your business needs.

I absolutely love being part of the journey for both individuals and business owners, you never know what is going to happen next… such as unexpectedly falling pregnant with my third daughter.

At least now I have the flexibility to run my business around my family — you can blame my Dad for that lesson.

See how ISME can help you

As a growing business, it’s really challenging to know how best to grow your team and find the time to go through the process – but Cathy has been brilliant.  Not only has she helped keep things simple, streamlined, and straightforward, she has also found the best candidate for my role. She helps with the strategic thinking and the doing – which is a must for a small business, while also really caring about people and helping them thrive – whether through leading a successful business with engaged teams or with candidates finding the right role for them. 

Louise Harris, Connected Comms Society