The benefits of employing working parents are vast and as a working parent myself, I want to pass on what these are so employers are encouraged to think more flexibly, as well as some helpful tips to those who are returning to work after children or about to go off on childcare leave.
In addition, I believe by employing working parents, there are inherent benefits for other team members who aren’t parents themselves, as it creates a very different culture, which I will explore further.
I represent the recruitment sector which has historically been a “work hard-play hard’ culture and it is just starting to shift now to embrace ways to encourage and adapt to the concept of flexible working. I know myself, when I had my first child in 2004, the concept of working around my daughter was alien: I couldn't always be honest about the fact I wasn't available after a certain time of day and I would often get very stressed trying to fulfil my obligations to clients whilst simultaneously trying to be the perfect mum to my infant daughter.
The historically “normal” long hours that are typical of working in recruitment and similar sectors such as advertising, law, media and finance, are not symbiotic with raising a family and I believe that over the last decade this has been challenged by the working parents who have HAD to come back to work and also those, like myself, who have encouraged employers to think about the benefits of hiring working parents in their companies.
So what are the main benefits to employers about recruiting working parents into their staff?
Multiply your potential employee pool
You are increasing your chances of hiring a significant part of the working population who contribute a huge percentage of revenue. As a working mum, I have been the main breadwinner within my family for a number of years; it would appear that I am not the rarity either.
Working parents NEED to earn money
Nursery and childcare costs a fortune with some commenting this cost can sometimes be a quarter of their gross earnings. Recruitment as a sector is highly lucrative and therefore, hiring a working parent who has to earn X to cover basic costs means you are hiring a very loyal, committed and tenacious individual. A third of families have full time working parents so this in itself demonstrates this group of people should not be ignored!
Social media guru
As a mum to two millennial kids (14 and 11), who are constantly on Tiktok, Snapchat and Instagram (who knows what the next big thing will be?) I know that I have learned more about social media from observing these two than anyone I have asked about of my age. So by hiring a working parent with older kids, you are potentially going to buy in additional skills.
Equally, as a parent, your ability to manage tasks, time manage priorities become second nature that I genuinely think those without children surely must not compare to? I can only speak from my personal experience with that remark but I can honestly say that I am a lot more efficient, constructive and tenacious now as a parent than I ever was before hand. Put bluntly, I dont have time to waste and I think a majority of working parents would agree.
Non-parents should benefit too
There is no intention to alienate or insult anyone reading this who is NOT a parent that there is an insinuation you are not hard working or efficient. Far from it. But I am do think that knowing you have 930-430 to get through the work day instead of 8-6, for example, means you power through those 7 hours and don't get distracted by things that otherwise you may have done.
I have provided a link for you here as I think there is no reason why employers who are happy to diverse their working culture to offer flexible working for ALL employees, not just working parents, in line with this advice: https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/overview
For anyone reading this unsure of their working rights as parents or those employing, this is a useful link for you. http://www.lawandparents.co.uk/rights-working-parents.html
Lysha Holmes, Founder of Qui Recruitment (2005), advocate of flexible working, Podcast "The Qui Moment", mum to two teenagers. Day job is partnering recruitment firms by placing experienced recruiters of all levels by driving the search from their career objectives. Avid dog walker, fan of The Body Coach and proud to be AF since June 2017.