Job sharing and the benefits for employers

In this blog, we discuss why job sharing benefits both employers and employees, and how embracing it can unlock a number of advantages for organisations.

21st Apr 2024

What is job sharing?

Job sharing is a flexible working arrangement where two or more employees share the workload and pay of a full-time role.

Most roles can be split into a job share. However, there need to be guidelines in place for it to work successfully. Things include excellent communication, a plan for dividing workload, setting goals, and measuring success. 

While job sharing has been around for decades, it's gaining fresh attention as a way to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of today's workforce. And the benefits aren't just for employees - employers who embrace job sharing can unlock a host of advantages for their organisation. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Job sharing benefits for employers

Access to a wider talent pool 

One of the most compelling benefits of job sharing for employers is the ability to tap into a broader and more diverse talent pool. By offering job sharing opportunities, you open up your roles to a wider range of candidates who may not be able to commit to a full-time position.

This includes:

  • Highly skilled professionals who are seeking better work-life balance
  • Parents and caregivers who need flexibility to manage family responsibilities
  • Students or early-career professionals looking to gain experience while continuing their education
  • Older workers or retirees who want to stay engaged in the workforce on a part-time basis
  • Individuals with disabilities or health conditions that make full-time work challenging
By embracing job sharing, you can attract and retain these valuable candidates, bringing fresh perspectives and skills to your team.

Increased range of skills and experience 

Job sharing can also bring a wider range of skills and experience to a role, benefiting both the employees and the organisation as a whole. When two or more individuals share a position, they can each contribute their unique strengths, knowledge, and perspectives.

Some advantages of having a broader skill set in a job share include: 

  • Complementary skills that help job sharers to tackle a wider range of tasks and challenges
  • Diverse perspectives that can lead to more creative problem-solving and innovation
  •  Opportunities for job sharers to learn from each other and expand their own skill sets
  • The ability to provide more comprehensive and well-rounded support to clients or customers
  • Increased adaptability and resilience in the face of change or unexpected demands

Increased productivity

Job sharers have been shown to be 30 percent more productive than their full time counterparts. When two or more employees share a role, they can bring complementary skills, experiences, and working styles to the table. 

Some ways job sharing can boost productivity include:

  • Ensuring continuous coverage during absences, such as vacations or sick leave
  • Enabling longer hours of operation or service, as job sharers can cover different shifts or time zones
  • Allowing for specialisation and division of tasks based on each job sharer's strengths
  • Providing a built-in sounding board and collaborator for problem-solving and idea generation
  • Reducing burnout and fatigue by allowing job sharers to balance their workload and recharge
By structuring job sharing arrangements intentionally and strategically, employers can unlock new levels of productivity and performance.

 Retain and attract the best talent

As an employer you will be able to retain and attract the best talent when full time work isn’t an option, due to commitments or preferences such as parental responsibilities, illness, disabilities, globetrotters, other personal reasons, or those who simply want some extra free time. As an employer you get to keep valued employees who might otherwise quit.

When employees have the flexibility to balance their work with other life commitments and passions, they're more likely to feel fulfilled, motivated, and loyal to their employer. 

Some ways job sharing can enhance engagement and retention include:

  • Providing employees with greater control over their schedules and work-life balance
  • Creating a sense of teamwork and collaboration among job sharers
  • Demonstrating your organisation's commitment to flexibility and inclusivity
  • Offering opportunities for job sharers to learn from each other and develop new skills
  • Enabling job sharers to pursue professional growth and advancement on a timeline that works for them

By creating a positive and supportive work environment through job sharing, you can attract and retain top talent, reduce turnover, and build a more engaged and committed team.

Cost savings and efficiency gains

While job sharing may initially seem like a complex or costly arrangement, it can actually lead to significant cost savings and efficiency gains for employers.  Some potential financial benefits of job sharing include:

  • Salary savings: Since job sharing employees work part-time, employers only need to pay them for the hours they work. This can result in significant savings compared to hiring a full-time employee with the same responsibilities.
  • Benefits savings: Job sharing employees often receive prorated benefits, which means employers spend less on benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off compared to full-time employees.
  • Recruitment and training savings: Hiring and training new employees can be costly. With job sharing, existing employees can split responsibilities, reducing the need to hire and train additional staff. This saves both time and money in the recruitment process.
  • Productivity gains: Job sharing can lead to increased productivity as employees are often more motivated and engaged when they have a better work-life balance. This can result in lower turnover rates and higher retention, saving on recruitment and onboarding costs.
  • Reduced absenteeism and overtime costs: Job sharing employees can cover for each other during absences or vacations, reducing the need for overtime or temporary staff. This helps control labour costs and maintain productivity.

Improve DEI and inclusivity in your workplace

Job sharing can be a powerful tool for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. By offering flexible work arrangements, employers can attract and retain a more diverse range of candidates, foster a more inclusive work environment, and ensure equitable opportunities for all employees.

Some ways job sharing can support DEI initiatives include:

  • Attracting a wider range of candidates, including those from underrepresented groups who may face barriers to full-time employment
  • Providing opportunities for employees with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to contribute and succeed
  • Supporting employees with caregiving responsibilities, who are disproportionately women and people of colour
  • Offering equitable access to career development and advancement opportunities, regardless of work schedule

How to implement job sharing

As the world of work continues to evolve, job sharing is emerging as a powerful tool for employers to attract and retain top talent, boost productivity and engagement, build more resilient and adaptable organisations, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

By offering job sharing opportunities and creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, you can unlock the full potential of your workforce and position your organisation for success in the future of work.

Of course, implementing job sharing requires careful planning, communication, and management to ensure a smooth and effective arrangement. But with the right strategies and support, job sharing can be a win-win for employers and employees alike.

Ready to explore the power of job sharing for your organisation? Start by:

  1. Having open and honest conversations with your team about their needs, preferences, and ideas for job sharing arrangements.
  2. Developing clear policies, guidelines, and expectations for job sharing, including roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and performance metrics.
  3. Identifying key roles and responsibilities that may be well-suited for job sharing, based on factors such as workload, skills, and coverage needs.
  4. Providing training, support, and resources to help job sharers and their managers navigate the unique challenges and opportunities of this arrangement.
  5. Regularly evaluating and adjusting your job sharing program based on feedback, results, and changing business needs.

By taking a proactive and strategic approach to job sharing, you can create a more flexible, engaged, and resilient workforce.