Job-sharing is where two or more people share a ‘whole’ or ‘full time’ job. When I first started recruiting in marketing in 2006 there was a definite interest from companies in job-sharing positions and I recruited for a few job-share roles. Then the recession came and since then of the hundreds of marketing vacancies I have recruited for just two have been job-share. Neither of these roles were at a marketing management or director level. Yet, there has never been more demand for talented senior marketers.
Women make up over 40% of senior management in marketing and with the ability to now share paternity leave and men increasingly taking a more hands-on role in parenting, the desire to work in a more flexible way for both sexes has never been higher. I myself have just come back from maternity leave. I work in recruitment which like marketing is seen as a 24/7 industry – and just like in a senior marketing role, recruitment is often erroneously seen as a position that can’t be effectively job-shared. Many businesses pretend otherwise yet often perceive that as a mum returning back to work you are not as committed or motivated as you were before because what you really want to do is stay at home with your baby.
For me and the many successful talented senior marketing managers I speak with, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I can do recruitment part-time and it works well in a job-share basis and because I appreciate the times I can use my brain I probably work more effectively too. Similarly, there is no reason why this shouldn’t replicate to marketing job-share positions.
In an age when marketing teams often have managers based in different continents and technology has enabled so much flexibility is it not time for businesses to seriously consider how much more effectively a business could be by embracing job-share roles? Does the government need to incentivise this more? Are HR departments doing enough to encourage the merits of job-sharing?
When someone leaves a company, the business often loses so much knowledge – yet in job-shares when someone leaves, you actually only lose half that knowledge and transitions, handovers and projects can be run more smoothly. With the availability in great childcare people can be so much more flexible on what days they can offer too.
Personally, I think HR departments could have a big say in opening the eyes of senior management to part-time and job-share working and ensuring these roles are not then sidelined for promotion – I have seen this in recent years with the impact HR departments have had on increasing companies’ willingness to allow people to work from home more. I also think those returning back to work part-time should promote the benefits to the company of them working part-time rather than just acting so grateful that they have been able to return to work part-time in a more mediocre role! We do need to fight for our rights a bit!
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