The question employers put to us most often is “won’t hiring job-sharers cost us more?” It’s a reasonable ask, given that job-sharers should overlap* to realise all of the huge benefits that can bring. But, actually, job-sharers will save you money. Here are seven reasons why.
Let’s start with the retention argument. Job-sharing addresses the attrition of staff: 61% of women surveyed said they would like the opportunity to job share and 87% said job sharing meant the difference between staying with a company or leaving .
So what’s that worth?
1. Avoiding the cost of replacing senior staff members…
On average, it costs over £30k  to replace an employee (and much more for senior roles).
As well as the actual cost of recruitment, this figure takes account of the reduction in output while the new employee gets up to speed, and the logistical costs of recruiting and absorbing a new worker (including HR and managerial time).
Industry specific research showed that in the legal and accountancy sectors, in takes new staff 32 weeks to get up to optimum productivity, costing the sectors respectively £805m and £580m every year.
2. …and stop valuable organisational knowledge walking out the door
Research  shows that, in a successful firm, “knowledge capital” will vastly exceed “equity capital”. There are loads of complex, and contested ways, of calculating “knowledge capital”, but what’s clear is that it the most significant source of competitive advantage.
3. Retain the enormous investment already made in training your staff
On average, employers spend £2.6k per year training their staff . An employee of, say, 12 years who leaves takes more than £30k’s training and uses it to another employer’s benefit.
4. Avoid letting great staff go in tough economic times
Job-sharing allows you to reorganise your workforce to everyone’s benefit, retaining talented staff on terms which work for everyone. Chances are some or most of the job-sharers will want to go back to full-time hours at some point, so you won’t be re-recruiting when your budgets are back up again.
And here’s the big one.
5. Companies with a diverse workforce are more profitable
Whether or not you’re worried about the cost of replacing great staff, or the cost to your organisation while new staff get up to speed, the bottom line is if you have a diverse workforce you will make more money.
It’s that simple. Companies with the highest percentile of women on their boards outperformed those in the lowest percentile by 53% higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales, and 66% higher return on invested capital.”
But it’s not just about avoiding costs. Job-sharers also offer great value for money.
When one job-sharer is ill, or on holiday, the other is still around. And when a job-sharer leaves, their job share pair is still in post. Job-sharing enables continuity.
Sickness absence in Britain costs the economy around £15 billion per year. Alongside the more obvious costs, continuity is costing employers. An Aviva study  showed that 15% of organisations struggle to cover the cost of a temp as well as the absent employee’s salary and 21% of employers say service standards suffer as a result.
Oh, and job-sharers are happier. In a organisation with 1,000 employees, happiness is worth £3.4m pa. (Use this happiness calculator to see what it's worth in your firm.)
Job-sharers are 30% more productive  than their full time counterparts.
Want to find out more? Drop us a line.
Job-sharers need to overlap. It’s how they are both fully up to speed, and its where the magic happens. For most employers, the business case for this additional 10-20% is made by comparing it to the savings listed above – the job share is still better value.
But we know some employers on a really tight budget – start-ups and small NGOs for example – just can’t find the budget for the additional 10-20%. In some roles, we recommend tweaking the sharers working hours to allow for a 2-3 hour overlap on their shared day. It’s not perfect, but in some roles, it can be made to work.
1. The Job Share Project
2. Oxford Economics, 2014
3. What is the Worth of an Employee? Prof. Paul A. Strassmann, George Mason University, April 17, 2006
4. Investment in Training Survey 2015: Technical Report