As an employer, devising a job share role is a task that requires a little extra thought that the usual single professional flexible role. Yet that doesn’t mean it has to be hard work. Job shares can offer greater flexibility and skills than you might get with just one employee.
Set out your job share criteria
The assumption is that you simply divide the role into two equal parts. But remember to think about the experience levels of the individuals in question. It may be possible to tailor the role so that it plays to the strengths of one employee over the other.
Usually, job share responsibilities are tailored around the hours that each employee is available. For example, if someone works a Monday through Wednesday, and there are key meetings that always take place on a Monday, that individual will be responsible for acting on them and communicating the outcome of these meetings.
Typical job share patterns are Monday-Wednesday, with a day or half-day overlapping, and Wednesday– Friday. This job share pattern gives you two members of staff, working the same role five and a half or six days a week. It’s ideal for very senior and challenging roles and also works where cover is essential in a role. Of course, it’s also possible to do it for five days if that suits the position better.
You can also suggest that the job share pair swap over working days after six months so each person gets a total holistic overview of the business. For example, some client meetings may only happen on Mondays, so it may be useful for the other person to get to know this client as well.
Put good communication in place
It’s important that everyone including the team at large knows what to expect when managing or reporting in to a job share duo. The key to this is good communication. There should be a set way of working handovers so that all current work and its status is communicated well when handed over.
To do this, you could have a log book to write messages, ensure the job share copies each other into messages and has a set way of keeping each other up to speed on developments in the workplace – but also to ensure work isn’t doubled up.
You also need to have a set way of communicating with the absent member in case of urgent enquiries on their day off. This should be kept to a minimum however, as it negates the efficacy of the role.
Have a plan for who manages what
If the job share team are managers, they will need to know which members of staff they will need to manage and this needs to be communicated well to the team. That said, the job share team will need to share information about team members’ performance, so this needs to be addressed from the outset.
The job share’s own managers will need to know about how pay and performance reviews will be approached – usually as individuals rather than a duo. The job share must work entirely as a team, placing total trust in one another and seeking to champion their role rather than trying to ‘out-do’ each other.
Equally, team members must not play one members of staff off against the other – good communication between the job share partners will soon iron out any issues like this.
Have clear contractual arrangements in place
As an employer, you need to have a clear contract in place that outlines the individual’s own contractual arrangements, including hours worked, flexibility agreed and their working relationship with their job share partner.
Be clear that pay-related matters are applied individually and based on performance of the individual, not the ‘team’. It also ensures the individual is not penalised if their job share partner underperforms.
Don’t forget flexibility works both ways
There may be times when you need both job share partners in the office during particularly busy periods. If this is the case, you may wish to discuss how further flexibility could be made available to the business.
Also, the same issues around holiday or absence cover will apply as it does for full-timers. Look at how the job share partners could help to cover this. For example, if one job share partner is away, could the other one step in during their absence?
It would save the business additional temp costs and be much easier if the work is covered by someone who is already doing the role.
If you’d like to discuss how a job share might work well for your business, please get in touch with Ten2Two today. Equally, if you have a recruitment requirement for a job share candidate, we’d be happy to help you find new resource.
Many of our Members aren’t registered anywhere else, and they are largely highly skilled individuals with senior experience, all seeking flexible working patterns like this.