What is Job Sharing?

Job sharing is a type of flexible work arrangement

Job sharing is where two people share one job. It is a form of flexible working that is gaining in popularity.

Flex Able Jobs is hosting a coffee & croissant session on 22 July 2016 in Brisbane where we will hear from job sharing expert Simone McLaughlin from Jobs Shared. In the last few weeks however we been asked this question a lot: What is Job Sharing?

Traditional Job Sharing

The traditional form of job sharing is where two equally skilled and qualified people both work part time. The job share team present together to the employer. The job share team are responsible for communicating and negotiating their relationship, duties and results together.

The employer essentially gets a two-for-one deal when it comes to job sharing. They get two people with similar, but not identical skills and experience to work as one person.

Recent research from the University of Melbourne showed that ‘working part-time for about 25–30 hours a week had a positive impact on the cognitive function for Australians aged over 40’. Better cognitive function for professional employees certainly is a benefit for employers.

Complimentary Job Sharing

This is where the job share team have different, yet complimentary skills and experience that allow them to cover a broader scope of work than any one person can cover individually. For example, a cost accountant and a management accountant could job share for an employer that needs expertise in both fields. A design engineer and a project manager could job share to complete a project.

There are people just starting out in their careers, and people at the end of their careers wanting to pass on their wisdom to the next generation. Can you imagine a workplace program that paired a graduate looking to gain experience, under the wise tutelage of an experienced and skilled professional entering phased retirement? And that all of this was done as a job share arrangement?

Three ways to share the job

1. Shared. The job share team is interchangeable. Both people have equal responsibility for all deliverables.

2. Divided. The job share team is not interchangeable. Each person has responsibility for specific deliverables, projects or clients.

3. Mixed. Some aspects of the role are interchangeable and some are not. This format highlights individual strengths, while downplaying individual weaknesses.

Three Key Elements

Job sharing is a working arrangement that has these three key elements:

· Sharing — Two people with similar or complimentary skills and experience working together and presenting as one. It is part-time working hours with the perks that typically come with full time work such as career progression and working at the level of your skill and remuneration.

· Coverage — there are many ways split 40 hours per week and the job share team work out how to split the hours and job to present as one full time person for the employer.

· Management support — job sharing is successful when it is supported by management.

Where do I find a job share partner?

Simone McLaughlin had this exact question. She wanted to work part time, but her employer only wanted her full time. She thought it would be easy to find a job share partner… she already had a great job, she just wanted to find someone to share it with. Upon discovering how challenging it was to find a job share partner, she created www.JobsShared.com.au

Jobs Shared is the place to register your interest in finding a job share partner in your area and your field of expertise. Simone suggests the following process:

1. Register online to find a potential job share partner

2. Meet online to see if you are a good fit and discover your respective career goals

3. Meet face to face to ensure you get along and think you can work together

4. Merge your resumes

5. Apply for roles

Where do I find an employer that will consider a job share team?

Now that you know what job sharing is, and you know how to find a job share partner, it’s time to find an employer that sees real value in hiring a professional job share team.

Bree Godden and Emma Whale wanted to job share after becoming parents as both still wanted to continue in their professional careers. Their employer Sydney Water trialled it for 6 months but opted to stop the arrangement.

Undeterred, the job share team merged their resumes and applied for roles together. They are now co-communications managers at YMCA NSW. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Flex Able Certified Employers are a great place to start job searching as a job share team. These are the forward thinking organisations that want access to the top talent seeking a flexible work arrangements. They want to talk to you about making their advertised roles flexible because they know the business case for flexible working.

More information

Listen to Simone McLaughlin on the Flex@Work podcast, or read the interview transcript.

Want to know HOW TO, come along to breakfast to hear about:

Job sharing for professionals: Does it really work?