When people think about flexible work they think remote work, work from home, flex arrangements and part time but what about job sharing? Job sharing if done right can provide many of these things and more!

So how do you create a job share? Let’s find out….

Starting a Job Share at Your Current Job

If you are considering a job share at your current place of employment follow some or all of the following steps!

  1. Do your research – do job sharing arrangements exist in your company? In another department? Is there already a policy in place about how to set up a job share arrangement? If the answer is yes – GREAT – look at what the requirements are – if not go to step 2.
  2. No job sharing happening? Time to start some research outside your company. Think about what you would like the job share to look like – 2 days a week, shorter hours split with another employee. How is your job divided? Are there daily tasks? Project work? Think about what your day to day looks like and how you would manage the division. Look at other examples online or on HR websites for examples of how to create job shares that work.
  3. Do you know someone else in your company who would be a great fit for a job share? Approach and start a conversation about what this could potentially look like and if it is something they would consider

If you have a partner and you have sorted out the basics – before you approach management or HR show them that this won’t be more work for them! Show them how you will manage this by including the following:

  • A communication plan – how you will communicate to each other and the rest of the organization (will you cc on all emails, do a summary email to the other person at the end of the day, share an email address)
  • A management plan – Your supervisor shouldn’t need to check in with you to see how it is going. YOU should make a plan to check in and provide updates every 4 to 6 weeks and any changes or accommodations you are making or planning on taking
  • How this benefits the company! 2 skill sets, back up support (if this is part of the plan – can one of you cover on the others vacation etc), retention of talent, cost savings. This is also excellent PR – more and more individuals are looking for flexible and creative places to work!
  • The nitty gritty – Often times uncreative HR folks will want to know how the benefits, vacation etc work. It is easy – you are both now part time employees. Benefits, vacation etc should be prorated (divided) depending on the number of hours you are working. Other options are to have one part time and one contractor role or 2 contractor roles (again this should be discussed previously)
  • Offer to help with policy development so that others can follow your lead.

How to create a job share in a NEW company

Job sharing can work in so many scenarios but how do you start a job share while applying for jobs?

This is a little more tricky but completely doable for the right employer. To demonstrate I will use some real life examples!

  1. The Marketing Directors – Two Senior level marketing professionals saw our job posting for a Marketing Director and Social Media Lead. They submitted a single application and 2 resumes. Together they had all the items we needed and more. We brought them in – they would spend the first month both working full time and then separate the work to a 2 day and 3 day work split based on projects.
  2. Job Sharing Lawyers – They were both looking to share a case load and applied with the sales pitch that between the two of them they could actually handles a larger caseload. Each had a strong background and success with mostly female clients (family law) and pitched that they would both be bringing in a large referral network. They requested a 6 month trial.
  3. Case Managers – Although neither had worked together before they had met multiple times on case conferences etc. Each was returning to work from maternity leave and were looking for part time roles which was difficult with a full case load and a job where they needed to be responsive to clients. Each demonstrated an in demand skill set and noted that we had had multiple openings on our job site for a year. Both worked in a job share situation and when their kids started school each moved into a more senior role – one 4 days a week and the other full time.

Job sharing is an excellent way to retain different types of workers. Those who need time to care for family, those returning to school to upgrade skills, workers close to retirement but wanting to still be engaged in the workforce.

I have personally seen it as an excellent option for mid level female talent who in many circumstances would temporarily exit the workforce. If corporations are truly looking for a way to retain a strong leadership pipeline there are so many simple solutions (like job sharing) that keep this demographic engaged, growing professionally and preparing them to move into more senior roles.

Interested in figuring out how you can make work for you? Are you a company who needs help creating policies that attract and retain a diverse workforce? Let’s chat!

Are you a working mom? Need support? Check out my website for ways we can work together! http://www.careerlove.ca