Frequently asked questions
- What is job-sharing?
- Are there different types of job-shares?
- How do I know if job-sharing would work for me?
- How do I find the right role to job-share?
- What is common across all types of job share roles?
- Why should I consider job-sharing?
- How can Flink help me?
- What’s the difference between flexible working and part-time work?
- Is flexible working the same as freelancing?
- What happens if I don’t want to job-share anymore?
- How do salary and benefits work in a job-share?
- How will I know if my Flink partner and I are suitable?
- What kind of person will I be matched with?
- Why I am hearing more about flexible working now?
What is job-sharing?
Job-sharing is where a full-time role is shared by two or more people.
Are there different types of job-shares?
Yes, there are a number of different ways of sharing a job depending on the type of role:
- In a ‘classic or ‘pure’ job-share arrangement, one full-time job is done by two people who both have similar skills and experience. They are evaluated against a single set of performance measures. Shift-work is often divided in a pure job-share, and it’s also common in support functions like administrative and secretarial positions. As both job sharers have exactly the same responsibilities, one can take over where the other has left off.
- ‘Job splits’ are often found in industries like sales, where clients prefer a single point of contact; and healthcare where job-sharers continue to grow deep expertise, on the job. The role is divided by various criteria which could include seniority, capability, client, project or geography, and each sharer may have different but related performance measures.
- ‘Hybrid’ job-shares have some shared and some separate responsibility, mapped against a single set of accountabilities. Often senior roles, and positions with a high level of complexity are divided this way to maximise each sharer’s expertise effectively.
How do I know if job-sharing would work for me?
The relationship between the job-sharers is the key factor to determining the success of the job-share rather than the job design itself.*
There are certain values and behaviours that are common in all the successful job-share partnerships we’ve seen, including trust, flexibility and a mutually compatible, collaborative working style.
If you enjoy working closely with others, then it’s worth considering job-sharing. It’s about finding the right person to share with, and then the right job.
* Capability Jane 2011
How do I find the right role to job-share?
Together with your job-share partner, you identify roles that suit you and work out how to divide it to suit your skills, experience, availability and priorities. You might start by looking at core areas of responsibility, key activities and meeting requirements for example.
A common arrangement today is one in which both partners work 3 days a week, or 0.6 FTE (Full Time Employment), giving you both one joint work day together and for any handovers.
What is common across all types of job share roles?
The job-sharers always have a close working relationship. Together they combine duties and responsibilities to seamlessly deliver the same outputs and results that would be expected of that role if it was performed by just one person.
Both job sharers work part-time. Each job sharer is able to carry out the tasks of the other partner in case of absence.
Why should I consider job-sharing?
We believe you should have access to great roles, with real career progression. This applies no matter how many days a week you’re available to work – due to your situation, or through choice.
Job-sharing makes full-time jobs available to a much greater, more diverse pool of candidates. Whether you’re just starting out in your career; have other demands on your time so want to work fewer days; or are keen to keep moving up the career ladder without having to work five days a week, you can find fulfilling work through job-sharing.
Proven benefits include reduced stress, increased job satisfaction, and protecting earning potential instead of dropping out of the job market all together.
How can Flink help me?
It’s important to know that you have a statutory right to request flexible working, after you’ve been employed for 26 weeks. However, a common block to having your flexible working request approved is that employers find it difficult to find the most appropriate candidate to share your job with you. So we’re here to help you find that match.
We use the job information you provide to match you with similar candidates in your industry who are also looking to job-share. Together you can apply for roles as a partnership, giving you both the flexibility you need, and filling the role that the employer has advertised.
What’s the difference between flexible working and part-time work?
Full-time and part-time employees often work in exactly the same way, during general business hours, at a main place of employment. The key difference is that part-time employees are contracted for a maximum of 30 hours per week, sometimes fewer.
Flexible working is more than “just part-time” - it can be a very personalised, bespoke pattern. You choose what fits your life best from a range of options, which can include working from home, starting the day earlier or later to avoid rush hour commuting, compressed hours, and many other options. You take responsibility for managing your own time, and how you get your job done.
Is flexible working the same as freelancing?
Freelancers are not employees of the company, instead they contract with the employer for distinct projects or services. There are other differences - crucially, freelancers don’t accrue sick pay or holiday entitlement from the company as an employee would. Part-time workers are still considered to be a part of the company, employed by them, and so they are eligible for corporate benefits including pension contributions, and compensation for holidays and sick pay, and the company pays National Insurance contributions for them.
If you prefer running all aspects of your business, and feel capable of attracting new clients, or have already developed your own professional network – go for it! There’s no better way to take complete control of your career than to go freelance and many freelancers work flexibly, setting their own hours and ways of working.
Freelancing does have its challenges too. Some freelancers struggle with business development, administration and chasing payments, generally outside core business hours, while also doing the work that they have been contracted to do.
While many freelancers value the independence freelancing brings, it can feel somewhat isolating as freelancers are not always recognised as part of the team, compared to company employees. Freelancers have to continually create opportunities for growth and professional development themselves, where employers usually provide these through training and ongoing appraisals.
What happens if I don’t want to job-share anymore?
In our experience, successful job-sharers base their relationship on openness and honesty. If you felt ready to move on, you’d share your ambitions and plans with your partner first, as early as possible.
Together you discuss how best to time the notice period etc. and also involve your line manager, so a new job-share partner can be found. Your line manager will be responsible for supporting the remaining job-share partner and finding the right person to replace you. Your partner can use Flink to look for a new, complementary partner, as you both did.
How do salary and benefits work in a job-share?
The job’s responsibilities, benefits and salary are split on a pro rata basis between the two candidates, according to how you and your partner choose to divide the role. The hiring manager will give you specific details.
How will I know if my Flink partner and I are suitable?
Flink helps you find potential partners based on your experience levels and values. Once connected via Flink, you can then share more about yourself such as career ambitions and priorities. From there, if you feel that job-sharing could work for you as a partnership, you can arrange to meet up in person to discuss it further.
What kind of person will I be matched with?
Flink matches you with a partner based on the experience and skills information you give us. The next step for you and your potential partner is to arrange to meet face to face, to check that the right chemistry is there, before going on to apply for roles as a job-sharing partnership.
Why I am hearing more about flexible working now?
Career paths, job descriptions and ways of working are far more varied than they used to be. Employers recognise value in retaining skilled workers and talented people – including great candidates who are unable or unwilling to commit to the traditional 9-5. Presenteeism, or simply being seen to be ‘at your desk’, is giving way to working hard, responsively and responsibly, on site or remotely. It’s partly thanks to new technology, as well as changing demands from employees.
At Flink we can see the tipping point coming, where flexible roles will be the norm. We want to help our candidates find the right partners for job shares, and our Flink community to help shape the future of flexible working.