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“How to invest in your team’s wellbeing” With Zoe Morris of Mason Frank International

Invest in your team’s wellbeing. A happy team is a productive team, so make sure you do what you can to help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many companies have incentives in place, such as gym memberships, free healthy snacks in the office, or flexitime, but even if you can’t offer that, something […]


Invest in your team’s wellbeing. A happy team is a productive team, so make sure you do what you can to help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many companies have incentives in place, such as gym memberships, free healthy snacks in the office, or flexitime, but even if you can’t offer that, something as simple as encouraging them to leave work on time, and switch off from work devices when they’re out of the office.


I had the pleasure to interview Zoe Morris. Zoe is the Chief Operating Officer of Salesforce staffing firm Mason Frank International. Zoe has played a vital role in building Mason Frank International into the global, award-winning niche IT 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.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I studied Psychology at the University of London, and after graduating I joined recruitment company Hays. There’s a lot about psychology that applies to sales — and leadership in general — so it felt like a natural progression to move into the staffing space.

I quickly fell in love with recruitment. Landing a fantastic new job can be absolutely life-changing, and helping people to build and advance their careers, and seeing first-hand what an effect that has, is one of the best parts of the job for me.

What do you think makes your company stand out?

Our company has an unique culture; from the moment we launched, we knew we were going to do things differently.

Sales is a very competitive industry — there’s a lot of poaching that goes in staffing, and we wanted to break that cycle. We decided to focus on developing our own talent, training people to become experts in their fields, and promote from within. We wanted to be able to offer people lifelong careers, and this investment in our people is a big part of what makes the company successful.

Many of our most senior people began their careers with us as trainees; by focusing on training, support, and professional development, we now have people at the top of our business who understand the company inside-and-out, and who are incredibly loyal and dedicated to helping those at the other end of the ladder work their way up, just like they did.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

There’s no one-size-fits all solution to leadership. There are core values that all leaders should aspire to — honesty, integrity, consistency — but in terms of managing a team, you should never forget that any team, even a large one, is made up of individuals.

Everyone in your team has different goals, and therefore they’re all motivated by different things. Getting to know what drives your team members will help you work out how to encourage them, and how to get the best out of them.

Women in leadership can often feel the need to push back against being cast in a “nurturing” role, but engaging with your team on both a personal and professional level, and taking an interest in their wants and needs, can actually pay off in big ways for the business by fostering morale, ambition, and productivity.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

William Butler Yeats once wrote: “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” So much of our success at Mason Frank has come not only from seizing opportunities, but by doing things differently, and trying to break the path rather than following it. This quote perfectly sums up the need to be proactive in business, and in life; to go out and make waves instead of waiting for opportunities to come to you.

Is there a person whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

I’d love to sit down with someone like Ginni Rometty, who became the first female CEO of IBM just 30 years old, or Susan Wojcicki, who was responsible for the creation of some of Google’s biggest revenue-generating products like AdWords and Analytics.

Being a woman in business — and a tech business in particular — is a unique and often challenging experience, and I think it’s so important that women in tech get together and share their experiences, the things they’ve learned, and try and work out ways we can make things better for other women in the industry going forward.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why.

Talk less, listen more. This is a key part of recruitment; getting to know exactly what your clients and candidates want so you can find the job or person they’re looking for. You can use your expertise to help them work out what they need, and advise them on their options, but you should always be asking questions far more than you’re making statements. The same goes for being a leader — the more you listen, the more informed your decisions will be, and the more people will trust you.

Be open to new ideas. No one wants to feel like their opinion doesn’t matter, so make sure to promote an open-door policy when it comes to hearing new notions, and working out better ways of doing things. You never know where the next great idea will come from.

Share credit. Giving credit where it’s due is crucial to making your team feel appreciated, engaged, and in turn, promoting productivity.

Invest in your team’s wellbeing. A happy team is a productive team, so make sure you do what you can to help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many companies have incentives in place, such as gym memberships, free healthy snacks in the office, or flexitime, but even if you can’t offer that, something as simple as encouraging them to leave work on time, and switch off from work devices when they’re out of the office.

Be adaptable. Appreciate that everyone responds to different styles of leadership; this doesn’t mean you have to be a different person to each member of your team, but be aware of what types of incentive and communication tend to work best.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

One of the biggest problems in the tech industry today is the shortage of skills. Technology changes so quickly that in many areas, particularly those bleeding-edge sectors that deal with emerging technologies like AI and machine learning, the talent pool can’t upskill fast enough to meet demand.

As technology advances more quickly, and more and more businesses invest in digital transformation, the need for skilled IT workers is only going to increase, and there simply won’t be enough candidates to fill every role. That’s going to have a knock on effect for organizations who won’t be able to take advantage of the latest tech on the market, as there’ll be no one available to implement or operate it. That kind of shortage will massively drive up competition for the best talent, and inevitably it’ll be smaller businesses, who can’t afford to throw money at the problem, who’ll miss out.

And that’s a real shame; so much of the enterprise and business tech that’s out there now is really leveling the playing field for SMEs, giving them access to tools and services that they wouldn’t have had the budget or the infrastructure to take advantage of in the past. Cloud computing especially has opened a lot of doors in that sense, and it would be a huge loss if businesses were then to miss out on these opportunities because of a skills gap.

We’re trying to address that skills shortage, and help people build rewarding careers in the tech sphere in the process. We’ve run a number of diversity and return-to-work initiatives in the past, and we’ve recently launched a program specifically to address skills gaps in the Salesforce ecosystem.

The Mason Frank Tech Academy helps people who’re interested in a career in tech take the first steps in becoming a fully qualified and certified Salesforce consultant. It’s a two-year program which gives participants access to accredited Salesforce training, and provides huge career opportunities in the exciting and prosperous Salesforce marketplace.

A career in niche technology can be hugely lucrative, but many people don’t know where to start when it comes to training. Our program is free, and includes on-the-job training; making it a really accessible option to anyone, from any background, who’s looking to kick-start their career.

Offering this kind of accessible, inclusive, career-led training is so important to fostering diversity in the tech space; it’s only by fishing from new talent pools that we can help plug the skills gap and bring new ideas to the industry.

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