After winning the Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards last year, our Civil Service Job Share Finder platform has been nominated for another award with The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (ENEI). Our project with the Civil Service, which is essentially a job-share version of a ‘dating site’ for Civil Servants, has been nominated under the category ‘Impact under Innovation’.
GENDER DIVERSITY IN THE WORKFORCE
The need for this project arose from the challenges with female diversity in senior positions within the Civil Service.
Studies show that many female Civil Servants in high-level jobs find it difficult to return to full-time work after having a career break. Not only was this a hindrance to diversity in the organisation, but it was also costing tens of thousands of pounds to replace experienced workers.
With the public sector facing spending cuts of 6%, an effective solution was critical for Civil Servant organisations.
The Civil Service Job Share Finder reduces this inefficiency and boosts the number of women in high-level positions by providing civil servants with a pool of cross-government colleagues searching for compatible, working partnerships.
Besides being a 'dating site' for civil servants to find job share partners, it incorporates key principles of user experience, social psychology and group motivation to facilitate and encourage interaction - all for a diverse audience of age, knowledge and digital skill.
More than 1,400 colleagues (AA to SCS grades) have signed up to the service to date; with 18 out of 25 colleagues who have found partners and taken up new posts that are women at G7, G6 and SCS grades. Currently, there are new registrations, 150 on average every month. Benefits soon realised was the retention of women in senior roles, support for carers and people with disabilities as well as those seeking to ease into retirement.
BOOSTING DIVERSITY IN AGE, GENDER AND RACE
Not only has it effectively helped diversity in senior roles but since its launch, data has been collected anonymously for evidence previously not available on the demand for job shares by position, department, grade, region and profession. This information has contributed to further development of flexible working policies across the Civil Service. It has also lead to the support of other groups such as retirees, those with disabilities and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees.
IN THE FACE OF AUSTERITY
With the demand for spending to be cut by 6% in the public sector by 2020, equating to £3.5 billion, this tool gave the opportunity for people to collaborate in job shares than cut jobs. In the first year, almost £100,000 was saved in recruitment costs with a total of £99,000 without the loss of productivity, business contacts and intelligence and need for training. With two people doing the job, efficiency in work can rise by 30%.
"The job share finder tool is already reaping measurable benefits. Site survey results have shown that 80% of people found the site easy to use and, in the first year of operation, ten senior managers at Grade 7 and Director grades have found job share partners with whom they subsequently took up new posts."
"By doing this we are expecting numbers to double and even treble in registrations by next year."
- Brian Stanislas, Civil Service Job Share Finder Product Manager.