Thursday, June 28, 2012

When flexible jobs are doomed to fail

I recently came across an employer who was recruiting for an Office Manager role for either 2/3 days each week. This was obviously a great opportunity for many parents keen to work part time. In the end, the manager chose someone who could work 2 days each week.

The new recruit lasted for only 4 months. Two days was not enough so rather than working on the arrangement, the employer let the candidate go.

Before advertising consider the following:
  •  Is the role central to your entire office? Is it paramount that someone is there daily? If it needs to be full time, can it be a job share role?
  • Do you have a job description for the role? Sometimes job descriptions need to be re-designed to accommodate a flexible worker. For example, what duties can be during or outside of standard office hours, or in the workplace or at home?
  •  If you take someone on for 2-3 days each week, it is going to take that person longer to settle in. Ensure you have induction and training procedures in place to assist the person in settling in faster.
  • If the role has not been done in a part time capacity before, you could potentially offer the role as a casual role to start with to make sure it works well.
  • Manage your expectations of the role and the length of time you are happy for someone to work in it.
  •  Consider the possibility that the person will be able to increase their days/hours over time to assist the business.
  •  Talk to your employee. If there is a problem, don’t pretend that it will go away on its own. Sit down with your employee and work out what is working well and what isn’t. Then brainstorm a game plan to get it on track.

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