As we navigate these unchartered recruitment territories, my clients are approaching me with all kinds of out-of-the-box ideas. I think by now, we’ve tried every recruiting tactic short of skywriting. Scheduled for next week, I’ll let you know how it goes. One idea that is re-surfacing is job sharing. I like it. However, I also realize most people don’t understand it as we dig into the details. Job sharing often gets treated like a part-time job, and that’s where things go awry.
In a nutshell, job sharing is one full-time job done by two or more people. A part-time job is not a full-time job done by one person. Job sharing takes two or more committed people to make it work. They must be focused on the same goals and be willing to share in their success. Meaning they can’t get too wrapped up in their ego. Success in the role will be entirely dependent on these people doing their job well as one unit. Often job sharing works well when existing employees come forward themselves. They already know the job, situation, and each other. It’s a bit harder to search externally for compatible people that fit these specific criteria. When deciding whether job sharing is a good option for your organization, here are some things to consider:
– Generally, it’s best not to have job sharers supervise anyone – it’s a perfect setup for triangulation. If an employee doesn’t like the answer from one “supervisor,” they can ask the other – not a great formula for success.
– Be clear about space. Will they share space or have their own? Often job sharing is a good way to save office space, so sharing space is part of the deal. Be clear about boundaries on personal items, so one doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the other’s “things.”
– Be clear in the beginning how you will address any issues if the situation doesn’t work out with one of the participants in the job-sharing program. This situation can be extremely uncomfortable and unfair to the person(s) you aren’t having issues with, so think about options before you need them.
– Remember, job sharing does not need to be a 50/50 split. You can make any arrangement you need based on the circumstances. Keep up your creative thinking to get the best candidates possible, and don’t be afraid to try something new.