The benefits of part-time working

Tuesday, 12th March 2019

Guest blog by Jessica Blackburn, Four Recruitment and Future pro-manchester committee member.

When I began my career as a recruiter in 2014, I never thought this job could be compatible with part-time working. In fact, I’m not sure I even gave it much thought.

I began my career in recruitment following a period of time as a journalistic photographer. It was something I’d always been interested in, so when the opportunity to join Four as a trainee recruiter came along, I jumped at the chance to give it a go.

I soon realised how much I loved the role, the variety of interviewing candidates one minute and then networking and developing my own client base the next. I never clock watched once!

Working part-time…

Last year I became a mum to my daughter Alexandra, I returned to work in August 2018 on a four-day-a-week basis. It goes without saying that not all roles easily lend themselves to part-time hours, and I have to say I did originally think that recruitment was one of those.

It of course, isn’t without challenges and you definitely need to work hard and smart, but it is absolutely possible to make a success of a role working on a less than full-time basis.

Being able to have the best of both worlds, to continue my career in a job I love and have an extra day at home with my daughter means I feel more engaged and focussed in the days that I do work, than I believe I would if I had needed to come back on a five-day week basis.

In my role as a senior level consultant, I work with many senior finance professionals who are looking for more flexibility in their roles following having children and I can absolutely empathise. There can be some real benefits to both the employer and employee of part-time working:

  • It allows the business to attract a diverse workforce – as you aren’t just looking at employees that are available eight hours a day, five days a week
  • Part-time workers helps the business to respond to peaks and troughs in demand
  • A business can potentially afford a more expensive skill set as you aren’t employing them on a full-time basis, so they are less expensive overall
  • From an employee point of view part-time working improves retention for employees who value family-friendly working practices

Following my return to work, I have also been promoted to Divisional Manager managing the Manchester team. I think this is further demonstration that part-time workers can continue to grow, develop in their roles and not feel that they’ve hit a ceiling in their careers.