Katherine Hyett
16/07/2019 17:15

Last weeks recruiter meeting hosted by the Cambridge Network was focused on job sharing. Sara Horsfall from Ginibee opened my eyes to thinking about this at a senior level and considering the term talent partnership versus job sharing.

Working in Cambridge the talk is always focussed on the ‘war for talent’, talent shortages and a candidate driven market particularly in the technology market. Over the last 10 years most organisations have evolved some sort of flexible working policy including flexi-hours, working from home, part-time working and whilst there are lots of benefits to all of these policies there are also downsides; remote working can also mean never switching off, flexible hours/part-time ‘can' disturb business continuity and ability to get teams together and part-timers often try to fit a full-time job into 3 or 4 days. As a recruiter the one area that seems to be continually resisted is job sharing, it seems difficult - what if one person performs better than another? what if one choses to leave earlier than the other? it increases the headcount even if FTE remains static.

According to Sara at Ginibee:

  • 89% of vacancies require full-time continuity
  • ?87% of full-time employees want to work flexibly
  • ?30% of employee departures are due to work-life balance

There seemed to be a general consensus at the meeting today that even if employers tended to be flexible with their current employees it is rarely advertised on external roles.

However, what really piqued my interest was starting to consider job-sharing at a much more senior level. My previous experience had only really been with considering this for administration/customer service type roles. Opening this option to senior level roles opens up a whole host of benefits to the organisation if done in the right way. By creating a true talent partnership you gain two heads for the price of one, creating diversity of thinking, business continuity, true knowledge sharing and happier individuals who are more engaged at work due to workalike balance. By opening your recruitment to this option you extend your pool of candidates. This approach should be candidate driven - they should be selling the benefits of their partnership to you and you simply don’t select them if you can’t see it working. A good partnership should be able to demonstrate their worth to you. On a more practical side at this level you will often find that there is a lot of flexibility - so for example if one partner goes on maternity leave, the other may up their hours temporarily for you, they will cover holidays etc. It should be a true partnership - one must be able to cover the other, not just compliment each other.

I would love to hear from people if you have successful talent partnerships working in your organisation or have adapted recruitment processes to encourage job shares?

More information about the topic can be found here:



HR Magazine

Dad Blog UK Proof that men in senior roles can job share