Helen Edwards from PetsPyjamas.com talks about flexible working opportunities.
I am Head of HR for a startup called PetsPyjamas (www.petpyjamas.com) – a wonderful concept, we are the No.1 pet lifestyle website dedicated to selling pet accessories and dog-friendly holidays.. It’s a company created by founder Karen Hanton, who also founded the very successful online restaurant booking service toptable, which she sold in 2010. I have worked with her at both business and as an employer she has always been incredibly supportive of my life as a hard working HR guru and my other life as a Mother of 2 children. In today’s climate, and with small budgets as a startup, it’s often hard to find the expertise you need to take your business forward, compromises are made and often we hire in at a more junior level than we need, due to financial constraints. A great way to tackle this is looking for flexible or part-time workers – often to be found amongst the Bugaboos and Lattes, discussing where they can find that job that suits their parenting demands as well as their needs to ‘use their brains’ and activate the experience and knowledge they have from many years of work before becoming pregnant.
In my experience more and more employers are opting for this untapped group of potential candidates, but it does require flexible thinking. Not all companies can do this. Where I would always tend to look and where I have spent the majority of my career is the startup space, particularly technology. These ‘silicon roundabout’ businesses tend to be run by forward thinking leaders, or even headquartered in US, where new views on flexibility are being trickled into the everyday workplace. Don’t be mislead, they are still few and far between, but if you can network and sell your services as highly skilled & experienced candidate for the same amount of money as a full time much more junior candidate, then you could just hit on your golden egg. These jobs are not always advertised, in all honesty, I have found my roles through my own work network, but there are increasingly more and more ‘mum-friendly / part-time / flexible’ job sites and agencies that are looking for candidates like us. And as an HR professional, I will continue to support highly skilled part-timers… who says a job well done needs to take 5 days a week?? If employers can think outside the box, and we have to educate them to do so, then they could get a whole heap of great, valued work done for the same price as a junior person would cost over more days, no brainer I say!
If you are interested in finding out about working with PetsPyjamas email: firstname.lastname@example.org.