23 Jun 2012

Part time opps

Bit of a topical one this.  I've had several calls this week asking me about part time opportunities in the North.   Mostly, these calls are from candidates who are on maternity leave, about to return to a role and they're keen to explore other opportunities....on a part time basis.

In the last year.  I've had one part time role.  A client considering a job-share.  After receiving 75 applications (yes, really - for a 3 day week), they decided it wasn't feasible for client continuity and care.  So it was put on hold.

When I talk to candidates who are working part time, it is generally a 4 day week which their employer agreed to upon returning from maternity leave.  When they do decide to look for a new role, I'm afraid that my advice is that if the part time requirement is non negotiable, they're probably going to have to stay put.  If they can then go to a 5 day week, of course there will be plenty of opportunities open to them.

On the clientside, historically, there has been more flexibility in part time roles but realistically, they too only generally become available upon request after maternity.  The exception to this is the public sector...it's your choice!

In an ideal world, yes, if the candidate was perfect, perhaps a client would be more flexible, however, the issue is that the market is still a buyers market and that there are many candidates on the lookout for a new role.  Agencies are nervous about a fall in client care if account handlers are not accessible and thus we just don't see those part time roles.

This isn't intended as a dig at agencies or trying to stand up for women's rights.  Just a realistic view of the lack of part time opportunities in our industry.  Sorry it's not a bit brighter!