Interview with Louise Deverell-Smith, Founder of Daisy Chain

We caught up with Louise Deverell-Smith, founder of Daisy Chain, to talk about how her venture is helping working parents juggle children and work…

Tell us about Daisy Chain

Daisy Chain is an online recruitment platform that helps connect employers and highly experienced candidates seeking flexible work. I founded the business in 2017 to help bridge the gap between parents who needed to juggle the contrasting demands of a full-time role and looking after children.

The jobs market can often be a daunting place for parents re-entering it after taking time out to bring up their child. It may seem like many employers are not willing to offer flexible working arrangements. Even though 98% of our candidates are currently women, we’re open to anyone looking to move into specific flexible roles.

Daisy Chain was created to offer a service that matches people looking for these roles with a forward-thinking employer actively offering flexible working arrangements.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I had worked in the recruitment industry for several years where I saw first hand how many parents were missing out on securing great jobs because employers weren’t taking their needs – particularly regarding childcare – into consideration.

This realisation made me think about how unfair the system was for these talented individuals, as well as the missed opportunities for companies to attract and retain top talent. With this in mind, I decided to set up Daisy Chain to bridge this gap!


How has the need for Daisy Chain evolved during the pandemic?

Because of the lockdown, we’ve essentially had a five-month test period which has proved to businesses that flexible working arrangements can work.

With children now returning to school, we are expecting to see parents who weren’t working before look into the flexible working roles throughout the country. We saw an increase in sign-ups for June and the number of candidates joining the Daisy Chain service has increased every week during the pandemic.

On the recruitment side of the business, companies have traditionally gone through recruiters to fill roles, but are now looking at ways to reduce costs to find new and talented candidates. Daisy Chain offers exactly this and can help them find the right candidate in a highly valuable, but previously underappreciated talent pool.

The pandemic has of course been incredibly difficult for everyone, but the rise in offering flexible working arrangements to people with childcare needs could be a slight positive which we see coming out of this period.

What can we hope to see from Daisy Chain in the future?

What we expect to see in the future is continued expansion in the number of people and businesses using Daisy Chain to form a perfect flexible working partnership. We are continuing to work with leading businesses to help with their attraction and retaining programmes and will hope to see even more leading businesses sign up for the service.

Overall, we want to continue to grow the network of talented individuals looking to be placed in roles in forward-thinking businesses that will continue to offer flexible working arrangements.


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