There is no doubt that we are heading into a new world of work. Whether that’s working part time, remotely or on a job share basis.
We have noticed that several companies are now offering flexible working and job shares in order to retain and attract good staff members. Some people want to job share due to commitments, such as children and others want to job share purely for the work/life balance or to focus on other interests. Whatever the reasons, we strongly believe that balance and ‘switching off’ is very important. The idea of 'switching off' is something that many of us struggle with. In a job share it becomes much easier to ‘switch off’ and you are able to have that work/life balance as you know that everything is covered.
Job sharing was mainly introduced for women returning to high profile roles after having children. These tended to be roles where part time working couldn’t be considered. For many women returning to work following on from maternity leave can be a hugely daunting prospect. Job sharing is something that has helped to ease this and create a much better work/life balance for women in the workplace.
Job sharing provides extra benefits for job sharers beyond the typically reduced working hours or reduced days in the working week. You work as a partnership, a team, together. You face similar challenges in terms of achieving your work goals as well as both making time for your own personal life commitments. Job sharing allows you both to prioritise your life – creating the perfect ‘work/life balance’.
We are excited to be part of LMA’s first ever job share! We both work 3 days a week in order to have 4 consecutive days off. We are seen within the business as ‘one person’ who work 6 days a week. We are fortunate in having a highly supportive management team here at LMA who are on board with the concept and can see the advantages.
Karen’s View (Job sharer at LMA):
I am fortunate enough to have previously worked in a very successful job share partnership for 3 years at another agency and now having moved companies, I am delighted to be part of LMA’s first ever job share partnership.
LMA are an employer who have actively encouraged this and can see the benefits for both myself and the wider business. For LMA it means they have two very experienced consultants who are dealing with their clients and candidates and adding value. From a customer perspective, if a client or candidate calls there is always someone to speak to and always someone in the business who knows exactly what is happening with them. Working in a job share enables me to share the responsibility and opportunity of a full time role without the associated time commitment. I genuinely believe that working in a job share provides the perfect work/life balance.
I have children of infant school age and people often ask me if I want to work full time, my answer is no. Not because I am ‘work shy’, as on average I work much longer hours across my three days than needed and I have a very strong work ethic. I am fully committed to my job and achieving my work goals. I am happy to work hard, smart and fast on my three days as I have a balance of 4 days off which is hugely important to me. I am not just an employee; I am also a mummy to two beautiful young children which is just as important to me and I very much want to be an active mummy. When you know your days off, really are ‘your days off,’ you have more energy, you have to use your time wisely and you need to be focused to succeed.
Our job share partnership works very well. I think it helps that we have worked together previously and known and trusted each other for a long time – we have the same strong work ethic. The lines of communication and weekly handovers are both crucial in a job share. Jen & I overlap on a Wednesday which is very important, especially for us in a client facing role. We both have very similar talents and high energy levels, the same motivations and ultimately the same end goal which is most important. We are also both very passionate about offering a flawless service to our clients and candidates so that our job share can never be viewed as a negative. We have received huge amounts of positive feedback in the time we have been job sharing.
Jens’s View (Job sharer at LMA):
Having worked within recruitment since 2006 I am so passionate about my job and the service I provide to both clients and candidates alike; I couldn’t imagine doing any other job!
I became a Mummy for the first time in 2009 and recently, in 2018, had my second child. I was adamant that being a parent was not going to affect my career, or stop me progressing within the recruitment world, however naturally I also want to be there for my children and be as involved in their little day to day lives as possible!
That juggle of being a committed, hardworking employee and being an involved parent that is there for those important milestones is a fine one to balance, and one that was crucial for me to get right. Working on a job share basis, with a colleague and friend that I completely trust, was the perfect answer to this predicament.
Karen and I both work 3 days a week and hand over at the end of that third day, knowing that the work will be covered exactly the same as if I were in the next day. This completely eliminates the guilt of working part time!
From a business perspective LMA have somebody working our desk 6 days a week, they have two happy employees who give 110% on the days they are working, we don’t have to rely on the wider team to cover us on our days off and it’s been received very well in the market. As a business, they really want to get the best out of their employees and have helped carve this set up for us, so that they retain the best staff no matter what their home set up.
A job share doesn’t necessarily work for every role and for every individual (you really do need to get that match spot on and be incredibly organised!). However, when it works it really works for all parties involved.
Russell’s views (Managing Director):
I am absolutely delighted that LMA have our very first job share arrangement with Karen and Jen.
The world of work (and the staffing industry) has changed dramatically in the 25 years I have been in the recruitment world. These days companies need to adopt more flexible arrangements in an effort to attract and retain the very best staff. And with Karen and Jen we have done just that!
They are both superstars and are already making such a difference with their new way of working. Their clients and candidates still receive a first class service and their performance since this arrangement started has been brilliant.
Successful companies in the current world need to be agile, flexible and accommodating and LMA have secured the talents of two exceptional ladies because we have done just that!