Job Share Tips to create Successful Partnerships

partner ship

Three things that will impact the success of job sharing is finding the right person to share with, making sure job sharing is the right solution for you and having the support of your employer.

 

Finding flexible work can be difficult, finding a flexible career is even harder, especially with the lack of part-time work available for senior positions. Our purpose is to make job share arrangements commonplace for men and women of all ages for all reasons. Below are some helpful tips for making a job share arrangement work for you and your employer.

The most successful job share teams work because they’re compatible. Spending time on the below will also help you frame your business plan to put forward to your employer. If you need help with this we provide a job share coaching service, and we can also help put together a job share proposal they can’t say no to.

Job share tip 1.  How to create a successful partnership

  • Work with someone who has a similar work ethic and commitment to their career
  • Make sure job sharing is the right solution for you. Can you handle sharing your successes and failures?
  • Communicate like it’s going out of fashion. We can’t stress how important communication is for job share teams
  • Ensure you have the full support of your manager and other key stakeholders
  • Check your ego at the door. Trust your partner and avoid competing with one another

Job share tip 2.  What to look for in a job share partner

Complementary rather than identical skills are best for job share teams. This allows you to bring two different, but complementary skill sets to a role. Similar ethics and values are also very important; you want to work with someone you can collaborate and disagree with. Avoid looking for another you, your value as a team is the joint skills you’ll bring to the role, that’s what you’re selling to your employer.

Job share tip 3.  Ways to split a full-time job

There are many ways jobs sharing works. The most common ways jobs are shared are:

  • Shared Responsibility

    Both employees share all responsibilities for all requirements of the role. In this case, the two employees are interchangeable. When sharing a job this way it’s often a good idea to also share an email address or have access to each other’s emails so nothing is missed.

  • Divided Responsibility

    Each employee is responsible for specific tasks, meaning the two employers are not interchangeable. Client, or project, and sometimes geography often divide jobs.

  • A mix of shared and divided

    This is where some responsibilities are split and others are shared. This arrangement can work well by splitting tasks and playing to the strengths of each individual

Job share tip 4.  Decide who’s working when

  • Split week – each person works 2.5 days
  • Split day – (this can include overlap time)
  • Overlapping week – each person works 3 days allowing for one day overlap (best practice)
  • Alternate weeks – each person works one week on, one week off

Job share tip 5.  Communication is key

  • Have a standard handover procedure, whether it’s email, typed or verbal
  • A handover notes folder is good practice so they are always in the same place for easy reference
  • Written and verbal handover notes are best so nothing is missed or forgotten and there is opportunity for questions
  • Make sure you’re in contact throughout the week as well as the handover session for quick updates
  • Generally, it’s not expected that the other partner will cover sick and holiday leave, but decide this up front and make sure it’s communicated with your employer
  • Sometimes it’s good to offer to check-in from home and remain flexible around sick and holiday leave

Job share tip 6.  What to do with two resumes

Job share tip 7.  Writing a killer cover letter to get you the interview

  • Indicate upfront that you are a job share team and that your skill sets offer exceptional value
  • List the benefits of job sharing (to the employer) such as multiple skill sets, better problem solving, higher productivity, less absenteeism, better work/life balance makes for more focused work
  • Outline your suggested method of job sharing (i.e. shared responsibility vs. divided responsibility and the logistics of how it will work
  • Put any concerns they may have to rest by outlining that you’ve already met and have discussed personality and communication styles. Assessed each other’s skills and how they will complement each other. Ensure you have spoken about each other’s circumstances and how you will deal with sick and holiday leave. Identified each other’s strengths and weaknesses

Job share tip 8. Nailing the interview

Go to the interview armed with a business case. This can be a written document that you leave behind and should address items such as:

  • Understanding of the role and how job sharing can work
  • Basic logistics of how you intend to split the job
  • Examples of where job sharing has worked successfully previously (use one of our case studies)
  • Your intended methods of dealing with handovers, critical deadlines, clients, reporting
  • Identify where you can add value
  • Ideas on how you can deal with perceived barriers
  • Outline what’s in it for the business not just for you

Job share tip 9. Common barriers for not hiring job share teams and how to put their mind at rest.

Barrier: What happens if one of the job share team leaves?

Response: Your employer is better off than when a full-time employee leaves as there is still someone there to retain the knowledge and get the next team member up to speed. Clients still have a level of consistency and there is less downtime. Also, Jobs Shared makes it easy to find a replacement job share partner, by either the employee searching for another partner or the employer advertising for the other half of the job share position. In the meantime, there’s still someone filling the role part-time which is better than if a full-time person leaves.

 

Barrier: Two employees cost more.

Response: Yes this is true when a crossover day approach is used the employer is paying two people to work 60% which means instead of paying 100% for a full-time employer they are paying 120%. However, two employees mean, two unique viewpoints, two lots of experience, two highly skilled professionals. A mix of skills and experience that one person couldn’t offer. Less down time as holidays are covered, more consistency, and higher productivity as job share teams consistently over deliver due to the level of work/life balance they can achieve when someone they trust is doing their job for them when they’re not there. In a nutshell,  the additional cost can be more than offset by less absenteeism and increased productivity.

 

Barrier: Managers fear that they will have to constantly repeat themselves.

Response: Describe how your hand over process will work, demonstrating how communications from when you’ve been away will be dealt with. Explain ways you will keep each other up to date, if you intend on sharing an email address, or check the others emails while they’re away. Explain your intended communication methods for dealing with management, stakeholders and potential teams that you’ll manage. If you need help with this we offer training for job share teams.