Reimagining the workplace so that two heads are better than one
In 1965 NASA sent its first manned spaceship, under the Gemini program, into space.Operated by Gus Grissom and John Young, Gemini 3’s launch was so smooth that the astronauts did not even feel the lift-off. They orbited the Earth three times before re-entering and landing safely – a major milestone in NASA’s history-making journey to the moon.
More than 50 years later, another Gemini 3 is about to lift off, this time in the HR technology space.
Old concept, new approach
Founded by former senior marketing professionals Sarah Liu and Mariebelle Malo, Gemini 3 is a job-share platform that matches people according to their compatibility.
Liu and Malo are currently taking part in the Hudson-sponsored 12-week HR Tech Accelerator run by Slingshot.
“We are the matchmaker for good job share pairs,” says Liu.
Contrary to common perception, job sharing isn’t just for mums returning to part-time work. The duo says that job sharing is perfect for everyone who wants flexibility and has other life commitments.
We see this demand for flexible working conditions often in Hudson’s research as employees say that flexible conditions and a good workplace culture are important priorities (Talent Insights, 2017, Australia).
While employers may be hesitant about splitting a role for two people, Malo says that when matched compatibly, a pair can boost productivity by 30%.
“Some think that job sharing is niche but really it’s something that brings together the golden triangle: flexibility, diversity and productivity,” says Liu who believes that with a little planning, senior positions and CEO roles can also be made to share without the business suffering.
So what makes a match?
Through algorithms and research, job seekers on Gemini 3 are matched by their values and complementary skills. (Yes, Liu and Malo have tested themselves and they are a match).
Interestingly, Liu and Malo say that all jobs can be job shared but not everyone can job share. And despite what people think, familiarity and skills are not the most important factors in the matchmaking.
“Foremost, they have to be team players, and then their work preferences and skills are assessed to see how they pair up,” says Malo.
In essence, you are looking for a cultural fit between two parties before the pair is recommended to employers. The importance of cultural fit is something that Hudson has observed time again as we match our candidates to our clients.
Our research has found that finding someone who is a cultural fit (Talent Insights, 2017, Australia) is a top concern for hiring managers.
Often we hear employers say that it’s difficult to fill a role because it’s hard to find someone who meets all the criteria. Thus, if there is a cultural fit between the job sharers and the organisation, job sharing could also be a solution to filling hard-to-fill niche roles.
Status quo is the biggest threat to job sharing
“Our research found that 75% of respondents are interested in job sharing at some point in the future and 26% said they were ready now,” says Malo.
The supply is there, but the challenge for Malo and Liu is in convincing the traditional employers to reimagine and redesign their workplace. It will involve seeing work in a whole new way where old metrics will have to give way to new ones.
“Culturally there is this stigma around flexible work and job share due to the lack of awareness of what it is and how it works,” says Liu. “There haven’t been any tools, advice, strategies or mechanisms to support the employers.” This is where Gemini 3 hopes to be a game changer.
“We want to make sure that we are there and can help those who are willing to take the steps to change,” Liu says.
“We are trying to bring to the corporate world the notion that two heads are better than one, and we are trying to normalise that.”