Everyone knows that great companies, regardless of size, are only as good as the people who work for them. Which is why they’re constantly on the lookout for bright, experienced and productive talent – people who will contribute the most to their growth and competitiveness. The million-dollar question for these companies: where and how do I find these people, without expending huge amounts of time and money in the process?
Here’s the irony: they may well be sitting right under your nose.
There’s a large (and growing) pool of hidden talent which in my experience is often overlooked in the search for new hires.
These people are highly educated, experienced, fizzing with ideas and energy. What’s more, they’re the most productive and motivated sector of the workforce. Who are they? Simply, they are mothers who want to work part-time, so they can balance work and family commitments.
Surprised? Have a look at the astounding results of a survey my company carried out last year of 5,000 mothers looking for part-time work, registered on the 2to3days.com website.
- Educated – 84% of them have a bachelor’s degree, 34% have a master’s degree, 14% a doctorate – they are smart cookies!
- Experienced – 62% have between 10-29 years’ work experience; 83% have managerial experience of which 2.5% at C-suite
- Responsible – collectively they were responsible for managing over £25 billion
- Socially conscious – 15% are both Board members as well as school governors and 38% also put time aside to act as mentors
Who in their right mind wouldn’t want a bit of that pixie dust?
Some ‘dinosaur’ companies view these mothers as a nuisance and far from the ideal employee, and sideline them as a result.
More fool they! A study by Ernst & Young has found women working part-time are the most productive in the workforce. They get in, they get out and they get the job done; their time is precious – and because they value it and know how to manage it properly, they will value your company’s time too. Loyalty and motivation are two other attributes in which this demographic excels. Companies know they are getting the value of a full-time brain for a part-time cost.
According to McKinsey, companies across all sectors with the most women on their boards of directors significantly and consistently outperform those with no female representation – by 41% in terms of return on equity and by 56% in terms of operating results.
The best companies balance their workforce and exploit the full spectrum of working practices – full and part time, at work and home – to keep their people happy and get the very best out of them. Companies that can’t adapt are missing a trick. Increasingly they will be seen as outmoded, unappealing and worse, simply uncompetitive.