Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Moms Wanted

Allison Karl O'Kelly's corporate career started at KPMG Peat Marwick and led her to an executive role at Toys “R” Us, where she launched the company's Babies “R” Us Web site and oversaw an $11 million Toys “R” Us store. When O'Kelly had her own child, her part-time schedule wasn't flexible enough for her family responsibilities.

So, in 2005, she founded Mom Corps, a matchmaker that pairs experienced women looking for work with companies seeking seasoned talent. "I didn't mind working full-time, which I do [now], but I needed the flexibility to take my children to the doctor or go to school activities without difficulties. I started Mom Corps to meet my own needs for flexibility and provide that luxury to other moms at the same time," says O'Kelly.

Hence, in July 2005, O'Kelly branded Mom Corps to serve as a matchmaking service between employers looking to recruit top talent and former full-time professionals turned stay-at-home mothers. Resumes for highly qualified and educated women - CPAs, attorneys, IT specialists among them - are maintained in Mom Corps' database of 1,500 applicants.

"Employers mostly call us for small, short-term project work, but also for longer-term stints, filling in for someone on leave," O'Kelly explains. "We also do a lot of permanent part-time placement. We make sure employers are getting exactly what they need, and we've received positive feedback about every singe person we've placed."

Placements meet moms' needs as well. "For women with younger kids, we find work they can do from home; women with older kids can't do full-time work during the summer," she says.

Although Mom Corps has been active for just over a year, "word is spreading very quickly," according to O'Kelly, and she believes the company is "opening employers' eyes" about flexible work arrangements.

And the numbers prove the story. Her company had $1.3 million in 2006 revenue.

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