Take a look at all your productions and think creatively about where job-sharing can fit.
There’s a misconception that a job-share needs to be on an established series or that it is something that’s only suitable for certain roles, but there are people job-sharing in pretty much every job role and on all sorts of programmes – and very successfully too! Job-sharers are working on pilots, first eps and first series. In factual, in documentaries, entertainment, reality, drama, film… on all sorts of fast turn around, full-on shows – all made by two brains and two people with loads of experience and talent, for the price of one!
TV is a creative industry – if you want to hire the most creative thinkers, as a company you need to think creatively about how you hire them. Just because you’ve never hired a job-share or having one person do the role is ‘how it’s always been done’ doesn’t mean that a new way of working isn’t worth a try!
Next time you advertise a job, make it clear that you will consider applications from job-share pairs.
It’s great that it is becoming much more common to see statements like ‘we are an equal opportunities employer’ or ‘we encourage applications from people of diverse and under represented backgrounds’ on TV job ads.
It can often feel quite discouraging for people who want to job-share to approach a company ‘cold’ about a job they’ve seen advertised. It can feel like not only do they have to sell themselves and their job-share partner, they’re then also faced with having to ‘sell’ the entire notion of job-sharing too.
By opening up ads to encourage job-sharing and adding statements such as ‘we will consider applications from job-share pairs’ to your job ads, flexible working in TV will become less stigmatised, the idea will become normalised and it will allow you to access a broader range of experienced applicants.
Hire two people who are great!
The two people you hire to job-share don’t need to have the exact same experience, but they should have a similar level of experience, they should bring complementary skills and be able to make similar decisions.
All you need ask yourself when hiring a job share pair is ‘would I hire both of these people individually on a full-time basis?’ – If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, then providing they also feel they can make their job-share partnership work, why not hire them both to do the same job?
During interviews invite the conversation about caring commitments and life outside work.
Normalise the conversation about caring commitments and the need for flexible hours. By allowing freelancers to speak openly about how they need to work, you’ll find that flexibility is something that can be mutually beneficial for both the employers and employees.
Trust them both.
Trust the job-share pair to communicate with one another and get the job done. Trust that you have hired two brilliant people with lots of experience. Trust that no one will want the job-share to work out more than the job-sharers themselves!
No one need even notice!
Hiring a job-share pair shouldn’t require any more work for the production or talent management teams. The right pair will have thought through the structure of their job-share and make it as simple and easy for everyone else concerned as possible.
Studies show flexible workers are more committed. They don’t take being in work for granted. On the days a job-sharer is in work, they are fully dedicated to that – they bring a fresh pair of eyes, they bring renewed enthusiasm. By working half the week, they’re often better rested and less burned-out. You’re also getting people who are thinking about the show, coming up with ideas or solutions to problems even on the days they’re not being paid for!
Just give it a go! – This isn’t a revolutionary, untested idea! – in other industries job-shares are happening more and more and it really is something that will help to bring the best talent to your door!