Solutions Driven

Recruitment talks: meet Maureen


Hi Mo! We bet you’ve got some stories after so long with SD. Tell us, have you always wanted to be in HR?

Definitely not, I took the long way around to get here! I initially decided to get back into education after doing a variety of jobs beforehand.  I wanted to do Accountancy but didn’t have a higher Maths qualification, so at the grand age of 36 I went to Strathclyde University business school to complete 4 years of study culminating in an honours degree in HR/Economics and membership of the elite CIPD.

What was your career experience like before you joined SD?

Before SD I had various office-based roles initially, then I moved into factory production lines, then became an entrepreneur setting up a guest house. My main catalyst for change was when I got divorced; with 2 young daughters to be a good example to I decided to get back into education! After graduating I tried corporate vs SME and decided that SME was my preference and where I could add most value.


We’re very glad you got here in the end! What’s the best and worst things about your job?

I do love the variety of my role, and as they say, every day is a school day. I love that I never know what challenges I will face next; be it achieving a Platinum level accreditation for Investors in People, overcoming obstacles in my capacity as UKBA Sponsorship officer for SD, organising, facilities management, H&S, general office management and I’m also one of the “fun organisers” for our weekly Fun Friday activities, so I’m kept fairly busy…! The worst thing about my job is I get so involved in what I am doing I forget to finish at 4.30pm!! It’s not a bad problem to have.

We can think of worse ways to spend the day, Mo! How did you end up working here? What do you like about working at SD?

Funny enough, I ended up here while going to another job! I was heading to an interview with Barclays in the city centre when I got a call from Walter (our COO) and Sharon (Ops Lead), asking to meet me in a nearby café. Over a cup of tea and a scone I was offered a role and accepted, and the rest is history. I think it was fate that they caught me before I went to Barclays.

The thing I love most about SD specifically is the team; each and every one of them are brilliant. We have a fantastic bunch here which makes you look forward to coming into work! The mixture of cultures under one roof is amazing, hearing of what happens in Greece, Poland, Italy, India or Israel is fascinating, as is seeing different foods after staff travel home. Hearing all the stories of their travels is great!

How do the SD processes compare to anywhere else you’ve worked? Anything unique or unusual?

As is typical with SMEs vs corporate environments, the ability to facilitate change is like night and day. The feel of a close-knit family here is great and compliments the excellent adult culture. This is something that helps drive the fantastic behaviours demonstrated every day by staff. I do feel this is the best and most comfortable work environment I have ever been in as a result. I tried a few corporates and larger companies but decided that the style of work best suiting my skillset was definitely SD.

Aw, we’re feeling all warm and fuzzy! Enough about work – tell us about your hobbies outside of work.

maureen abby

Catching up with family and friends is the most valuable thing for me. I also do second degree reiki which I like to share with them. I enjoy walks with the dog, cooking (some really good and some not so good dishes!) My favourite thing is relaxing on a Sunday morning with the papers and a coffee. I do enjoy a bit of yoga and meditation too – it helps me destress and centre.

*Editor’s note: Mo is being modest re her cooking. She makes the best lunches which she generously shares with her grateful team!!

One last thing on work before we let you get back to it! Is there anything you’d change about the recruitment industry?

The industry is constantly evolving, and my personal thoughts are that it’d be great to see an internationally recognised marker gained through client recognition or an industry standard but based on quality of work within the field. I would make it more difficult for less scrupulous recruiters to enter and remain in the industry. Over the years we’ve heard many tales of charlatans and poor practice, and I feel that this gives hard working recruitment businesses who operate with integrity a bad name!

Quite right too, Mo! Finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I drove to work on the back of a 125cc BMW tourer motor bike in WD & HO Wills, where I was a semi-skilled engineer and qualified fork lift driver!


You’re a woman of many talents Mo, and we wouldn’t change you for the world. Thanks for looking after us all and long live Mo’s sweetie drawer!


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