Job-sharing for senior roles is happening more frequently than ever, indicating to CEOs and their organizations that a desire for more flexible working arrangements isn’t just the domain of millennials.
And for some positions, splitting important management roles is even happening from the get-go.
Alix Ainsley and Charlotte Cherry, for instance, share the role of HR Director at Lloyd’s, one of the UK’s biggest banks. Their situation is a little unusual, because they both applied for the job at the same time as a team. But it’s also showing how companies are growing increasingly open to hiring senior people on a flexible basis, according to recruitment firm Timewise.
The British company conducted a survey of 200 local senior managers and found that two out of five would consider hiring candidates for a senior role as part of a job-share. It also estimated that 770,000 high-income earners in Britain now work part-time, an increase of 5.7% on the previous year.
Prior to joining Lloyd’s, Alix and Charlotte had shared an HR role at the UK arm of U.S. firm GE Capital.
“It’s something to think about—finding a compatible career partner and applying together for jobs,” Timewise co-founder Karen Mattison said. “You can make a compelling case for bringing benefits to the employer.”
Such benefits could include allowing CEOs to tap an expanded skill set through complementary strengths and having happier workers with higher energy levels. On the flipside, there’s also the risk of personality clashes muddling strategy. And each individual would need to be updated consistently and accurately on missed events while they were away.
The cause for increased job flexibility is being supported by technological advances, such as faster and more reliable Internet connections that can allow people to work from home more effectively. And at least one recent survey suggests that hiring professionals expect flexibility to become the single most important candidate demand in five years’ time.
As part of its annual Power Part Time List, Timewise identified 50 senior part-timers who are enjoying success in their roles, including Maria Janssen, trend director for Amazon’s European operations. Janssen was hired to work four days a week in 2015 despite the role being advertised as a full-time position, allowing her to balance her home life as a mother of a young child.
“Their success stories will help to quash misconceptions, provide a set of positive role models and encourage a diverse talent pipeline of future business leaders,” said Lynn Rattigan, UK chief operating officer for consultancy EY.