You’ve decided you want to job share, you’ve mapped your skills, maybe you’ve even got your job share partner all lined up. And you start checking the jobs boards (including ours, I hope). But – what if you just can’t see the right role for you? What if there are loads of full-time vacancies, but none open to job-sharing?
This situation is more common that we’d like. And we’re working away, raising the profile of job-sharing - but for now, it’s not a mainstream solution. So – what next?
Happily, it’s not not a disaster – far from it! In our experience, many, many employers are open to job-sharing, once they’ve explored the benefits and practicalities. And your job is to set them out for them.
This post takes you through how to make a compelling case for job-sharing, and at the bottom there is a link to useful facts and statistics you can download (don’t hesitate to use your own) and insert as you see fit. There is also a link to some FAQs.
This is our Job Share Business Case Blueprint*.
The idea is that you take the format, and tweak it for the employer you are trying to persuade. Use stats and data which are specific to them (look at their annual report or just their website) or relevant to their sector; and reflect their language. You might want to pull part of it into a cover note and attach a more detailed appraisal. Either way, you will show them that you are serious, that you have done the thinking, and that you are a hugely credible applicant.
You should definitely start by explaining what job-sharing is:
- Job-sharing is when two people jointly deliver a full time role.
- It allows employees to work genuinely part-time hours. But everyone else – the employer, the manager, the team, stakeholders and clients – gets a full-time service. There is never a day when the role isn’t manned, when questions go unanswered or balls get dropped.
- Job-sharers are often women in senior roles, allowing employers to create a genuinely diverse talent pipeline.
You should clearly set out the benefits of job-sharing to the employer:
- If the employer has talked about diversity goals, inset them here.
- If the employer has published stats on diversity at various levels of their organisation, then mention them here, pointing out that you would address a gender imbalance.
Aside from facilitating a genuinely diverse workforce, job-sharing brings six key benefits:
- Two smart minds rather than just one, working together to find more innovative solutions. The best job shares bring a spread of skills and experience, together offering more than any one person can bring to the role.
- Improved levels of client service, facilitated by increased productivity (30% more, like for like) and higher quality outputs.
- Greater business continuity; so that when one of the job-sharers is on leave, or ill for example, the other half of the week is covered.
- A significant reduction in managerial time, energy and input – job-shares manage one another.
- Up-skilling – job-sharers learn from one-another, both deepening their skillset to the benefit of delivery and the organisation as a whole.
- More engaged, and happier, employees.
Make the money argument, both specifically (show how it would work with your role) and looking at the bigger picture.
- Employing you: show how paying you and your job share pair for a half day overlap will increase their salary paybill by 10%, remaining within the advertised pay band for the role. They have already benchmarked the budget for this role. You can also remind them that job-sharers are 30% more productive, so they are still ahead.
- Job-sharing saves money. By retaining talented staff, employers avoid the cost of hiring new staff and then retraining them.
- Attracting talent to an organisation: studies show that at least 30% of the UK’s working population wants to work flexibly, and employers who can demonstrate that they make it work can expect to attract the best talent. New research suggests that flexible working could be more important to employees than a pay rise.
- There is a direct correlation between an organisations diversity and their profitability.
Show how you (and your job share partner) would make it work:
Assuming you have a partner, now is the time to talk about your partnership, to show how your skills, approach and experience compliment one-another. If you are responding to a specific vacancy, you can show how your shared skills answer the job description.
If you have used our online matching tool - which analyses skills, approach and values, and identifies high potential matches - you will have a joint CV (a readout showing how your skills and experience combine). You should share that as an annex, shooing the employer how together you offer more than a single employee ever could. Email us to find out more .
Answer process questions:
The employer will have questions about the process of recruiting and managing a sharer. This is what we do. Feel free to use our FAQs (below) verbatim to answer their procedural questions. But equally, feel free to point them elsewhere! We only ask that if you use our blueprint and FAQs that you credit us.