Sophie Smallwood, co-founder of Roleshare, was working for Facebook when she became a parent. With her career always being a meaningful part of her identity, she wondered how she would continue being an A-player at work and an A-player parent.
However, what she was looking for did not exist yet. “I looked into part time and realised it would be a dead end, but I liked the idea of sharing my job to sustain growth and balance. But, finding people with whom to share and jobs to share seemed impossible.” So, together with her co-founder Dave, she started Roleshare: a talent marketplace that matches professionals to co-apply and share full-time jobs.
Here we talk to Sophie about the benefits of job sharing and how it’s the next step in creating a flexible workplace.
Roleshare is not merely there to support future parents. “Companies who are serious about competing for and retaining talent are working with us.” says Sophie. Roleshare helps to activate a new class of talent, and also helps with talent retention and productivity. The company has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a pathway to economic transformation.
Sophie and Dave are not only co-founders, but also co-parents! “Dave and I have two young children, so that’s a pretty significant responsibility. As a result, we are totally aligned on our mission and vision for life and how our work as co-founders and co-ceos of Roleshare plays into that.”
Based on their professional strengths and experiences, both Sophie and Dave handle different areas of the business.”There are parts of the business that if Dave wasn’t my partner to handle this, I’m not sure Roleshare would be where it is today.”
Our founder Jenny Saft agrees. Jenny describes her partnership with co-founder Tobias Kaufhold as a ‘’perfect match’’. While Jenny is taking care of all things external such as marketing, sales and investors, Tobias focuses on everything internal like product, operations and finance.
“Flexibility is no longer a ‘nice to have,’ it’s a must” says Sophie. With the war for talent being ultra competitive, it’s now harder to secure the best talent in the market. However, Roleshare has a unique way to hire the best professionals.
“We compete for the best talent by tapping into our own talent marketplace” Sophie explains. She recognises that being an early stage startup in London can make it really hard to compete for the best talent. However, by providing fully remote positions, Roleshare still has the flexibility to attract talent of diverse backgrounds, cultures and geographies.
Similarly, Apryl also provides employee flexibility by creating an environment in which employees feel understood and comfortable to share their needs wherever they are in their lives. Flexible working hours, remote work possibilities, mental health support and of course, fertility benefits are all part of Apryl’s benefit strategy.
All working professionals go through transitions in life, and the best companies support them through those. “We support our employees going through transitions by sharing, not only sharing jobs but also sharing feelings, hopes, dreams and fears” says Sophie.
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