New online job sharing service
Monday, 04 April 2016
Full-time and part-time, those are your employment options, right? Now there’s a third way: job sharing.
Job sharing is where two people share one full-time position – that is, two employees do the work of one, splitting the hours, responsibilities, benefits, leave entitlements, and pay between them. It’s flexible, it helps skilled people get into rewarding work, and it’s great for your work/life balance.
So why don’t more people do it? The difficulty has been finding a partner with the right attitude and skillset to share a job with – until now. Enter www.jobsharing.co.nz, a new online service that connects people who want to job share with other like-minded individuals.
“In New Zealand everyone now has the right to request flexible working arrangements like job sharing, but until now there hasn’t been a mechanism for people to hook up and make it a reality,” says Kate McCleery, mother-of-two, former product development manager, and founder of jobsharing.co.nz.
“That’s why I set up the jobsharing.co.nz website, which enables people interested in job sharing to register and view other members in their area and/or sector. Then they can easily and privately connect with people who suit them and take it from there.”
The website offers heaps of advice, practical guides, and toolkits to help people set up a job sharing arrangement with a partner and their employer. And it’s all done a ‘pay what you want’ basis where members are free to pay as much or as little as they feel the service is worth.
The idea for the website occurred to Kate after her second child started going to kindy. She wanted to get back into the workforce but full-time employment was out because of her kids and part-time work tended to be dull, low-level, and low-paid. She was familiar with job sharing from her experiences working in the UK but found it hard to find someone with a similar skillset to partner with.
“So I set up jobsharing.co.nz to help people connect with others who also want to job share,” she says.
Job sharing enables employees to progress their careers, learn from their job-sharing partner, and get mutual support and encouragement on the job, while retaining the ability to switch off and hand over responsibility to someone else.
For employers, it’s a great way to attract, retain, and progress talent. It reduces absenteeism and provides better continuity, including extra cover for holidays, sickness, leave, peak periods, etc. It brings a wider range of skills and experience into the company and often increases productivity (various studies have shown up to a 30% improvement).
“Job sharing is about delivering more for the business, keeping talent engaged and motivated, while building a career with a work/life focus,” says Kate.
Typical job share candidates are parents returning to work, people heading into retirement, students, people with caring responsibilities (like looking after ageing parents), or people who want to pursue other activities (such as athletes).