Then she had a chat with an old colleague. Mike Hill had been the CEO of a marketing company, but had sold up. He wanted to spend more time with his young children, of whom he’d seen little in the previous years, and focus on his passion: start-ups. But, Wilson says, he had a “horrific experience” looking for senior-level part-time work as a man. “The stigma was much, much worse than for women,” says Wilson.
There they were, two highly skilled professionals with decades of experience between them, unable to get jobs that reflected their skills and respected their need for reduced hours. “We were joking about job share and saying we should put a joint CV together and bandy ourselves about as a pair,” says Wilson. “And it all sprung from there.”
Dating for jobseekers
In early 2017, with her three- and four-year-olds in tow, Wilson joined with Hill to launch Puffling, an online service matching potential professional job-share partners and employers. Within three weeks of their soft launch, they had nearly 700 women signed up to the platform.
Based in Sydney but servicing all Australia and soon New Zealand, the firm works much like an online dating service, using similar algorithms and technology. “Basically, you’re looking for like-minded matches. You want people that have the same aspirations, values, interests, work ethics, similar backgrounds and similar locations,” says Wilson.
Job-seekers sign up to join the community, and then employers advertise a position which they are willing to structure as a job share. Alternatively, job-seekers might find a full-time job they want to apply for, and then look for a potential candidate to join forces with to apply as a team.