Part-time in recruitment? Why Can't it Work!

Those of you who read the Sunday Times magazine this week (it is the ONLY day of the week that I find to read a newspaper!) will have seen the front cover and article title “The new face of success…meet the high-flying fathers leading a part-time revolution at work”.

In essence, the article highlights a number of high flying fathers from Thiago De Moraes who is a creative partner for an advertising agency and father of two, to Stuart Clarke who is a principal at a management consultancy also father of two who are breaking the mould and official statistics! In 2015, for the first time statistics showed that more than 1m men are choosing to work part-time and do not want a full-time job. A great article, it outlines many reasons why these individuals or high-flyers in this instance have made that life choice, whether it’s to spend more time with children and be an active parent, or to support equally high flying career wives and partners.

Interestingly, there were no recruitment agency directors or partners mentioned at all. Now of course, it was only a 4 page article and was giving purely an example. However, why is it that we still live in a recruitment world where part-time and perhaps even more so, part-time male workers is so frowned upon!

Please don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that there are exceptions to the rule and I know of companies who are offering part-time roles, flexible working, but even as we enter 2016, the recruitment world is still very much stuck in its old ways in my opinion. Many of my clients will know that I don’t physically work in my office from 8am to 6pm every day, but I am ALWAYS at the end of a phone and to those who don’t know, it’s because I function just the same as a full time office worker.

Does it affect my billings or the ability to do my job? Absolutely not! The benefit to me? I get to take my children to swimming lessons, I get to have the odd play date after school and be there for morning school drop-offs etc. I run my own company so I get that, but why is it that in the recruitment world we are so fixated on people having to work full time and be in an office 5 days a week.

I honestly wish someone would give me that answer because I have to say, I simply don’t get it!

A part-time worker costs less on a basic salary if you pro-rata a salary as you would expect to do so, so their overhead costs are lower and yet, if you give someone a financial target to achieve of £10k per month, does it really matter if they hit that in 3 or 5 days? What’s key is that clients and candidates are looked after and that service doesn’t’ suffer as a consequence, but I know of many successful recruiters who job share and are open and honest with their clients about dual responsibility or ownership of a client so there is complete transparency.

Why is it perhaps that part-time rights are only given to the high flying executives or to the company owners, why can’t more recruitment companies be more open minded and have a work force made up of a mixture of full and part-time workers. I can guarantee that most of the part-time workers IN recruitment that I know feel an obligation to work as hard as they can, not to take a lunch-break, not to spend an hour a day surfing the net or catching up on Facebook because they feel that they have something to prove and actually CAN produce the same figures as many of their full time counterparts.

I genuinely would like to hear people’s thoughts. Can it work? Does it work for you where you are? Would you like to be able to work part-time but feel it’s impossible to ask? Does it seem that part-time opportunities appear more open to women than to men? Would you reject a company offer if it was so rigid about only employing full time workers as it would say something to you about their culture?

Please people, help me out. Keen to hear your thoughts!

This article first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse on December 9th 2015.


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