A good friend’s youngest son started Kindergarten this year. She’s a stay-at-home mom and hasn’t worked outside the home since her oldest son, now 11, was born – unless you count organizing numerous PTO fundraisers, teaching Sunday school at her church, managing her family’s finances (including filing complicated income tax forms), and balancing the countless aspects of being a mom. She is bright, college educated, enthusiastic, computer literate, and hard-working – all the qualities employers look for when hiring a new employee. And she can’t find a job.
More specifically, she can’t find a job that allows flexibility. While there are a growing number of full-time opportunities listed on job posting boards, relatively few organization are willing to hire people into part-time or flex-time options. This leads me to believe that the employers of America are missing out on, perhaps, our greatest resource – women who would love to work outside the home but can’t find a job that allows them the flexibility they need. It seems as though it’s either all or nothing.
So listen-up employers of America…I’m going to give you five reasons why you should hire more of us – the women who want to work, yet need to be at school for pick-up at three o’clock.
1. We are smart and ambitious. Generation X’ers and Millenials are statistically the most educated in the history of (wo)mankind. Many stay-at-home-moms have earned their sheepskin – some multiple times. I am certain that there’s more than one Masters or PhD tucked away in Connecticut’s storage closets. The great majority of us had worked our way up several rungs of the corporate ladder before we had kids and we still have the skills and drive to succeed. By hiring a mom to work part-time you’ll get executive level expertise and experience – everyone wins!
2. We are dedicated. We know that part-time opportunities don’t come along that often, so when we have one, we hang on to it. I know. I’ve been working at my part-time job for 10 years. Nowadays, you don’t get that kind of longevity from most employees. While I may leave the office at 2:45, I’m not done working – I’ve made business calls from the elementary school pick-up line and answered numerous emails from my iPhone while waiting for baseball practice to end. By hiring a mom, you’ll get a loyal worker who feels a sense of responsibility and dedication that goes beyond her scheduled hours.
3. We’re organized. I mean, have you seen us? We are experts at time management – we have to be. Do you think that getting three kids pulled together (with nut-free lunches, library books, and musical instruments in hand) and at the bus stop on time is any small feat? The 8:04 bus is our deadline and if we don’t meet it, there will be consequences. Think it’s impossible to be in two places at once? We defy physics. Yes, we can have both Mary at piano lessons and James at karate at four o’clock, it just takes a little creative planning. By hiring a mom, you’ll get someone who can think through the logistics of a project and pull it together in record time without missing a beat.
4. We are experts at teamwork. Have doubts about a job share? We don’t. We do it all the time. We carpool, run bake sales, and coach soccer teams. We work together better than most corporate management teams – and often more efficiently. Moms know how to assess the skills and talents of others and work cooperatively to bring the very best out in everyone. And there’s more…many jobs now require expertise in a number of areas. By hiring two half-time moms into a job share situation, you can fill that position with two experts in their field often at the cost of hiring one employee.
5. We give 100%. When we’re there, we’re really there. Because we’re working fewer hours, there is very little time for water-cooler conversation or surfing the internet – most of us don’t even take a lunch break. We know that results are what matter – not hours sitting at a desk. By hiring a part-timer, you’re getting the very best out of them simply because they don’t have time to fool around.
And if those reasons don’t appeal to you, here’s one that may.
It’s economically sound – both for you and your employee. The truth is that part time jobs often don’t pay as well as full-time careers. But, in my case, I willingly trade cash for convenience. Half-timers aren’t usually eligible for benefits – another savings for the employer. But these smaller paychecks still have a big impact for earners by contributing to the family’s bottom line. By hiring a mom part-time, you are contributing to the greater overall economy. Jack’s mom can now afford to sign him up for guitar lessons, families can save for a long-overdue vacation, invest in a college fund, or just buy groceries…these days every little bit helps.
So, employers of America, I hope I’ve given you a little food for thought. Maybe the next time you’re hiring, you’ll look beyond the time-clock and see the talent.