Edinburgh start-up seeks to champion part-time workers

With almost half of skilled employees looking for flexible working arrangements and only 7 per cent of advertised jobs in Scotland offering part-time hours, an Edinburgh-based start-up has launched a service for employers to find highly-skilled people.

Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 2:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Many skilled people want to work part-time but struggle to find employers that will let them. Picture: Getty Images/amana images RF

With organisations experiencing escalating skills shortages and increased competition for talent, companies employing part-time and flexible workers stand to benefit.

Part-time working is known to increase productivity, encourage more effective working, improve retention and make savings on property and travel, leading to lower overheads and a more efficient business.

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Having launched eight months ago, Part Time Professionals has built a network of experienced candidates searching for part-time positions in Edinburgh.

After analysing the quality of candidates, it found all held degrees, four in ten hold a post graduate qualification and 70 per cent had five years or more experience at management level.

Director Claire Alexander, who has worked in the digital design and management field for more than 20 years, said: “Employers in Edinburgh are missing out on a huge pool of highly-skilled talent by not offering part time or flexible options.

“Since we launched we have been inundated with very high quality CVs from people looking for part-time, flexible and job share positions.

“We have found we could put forward three times the number of top quality candidates for part-time positions than we are currently able to do. From our discussions with employers we know that many want to offer more skilled part-time positions, but don’t know how to go about it. We can offer a solution.”

In last year’s Working Families, Top Employers for Working Families benchmark report, the current economic climate, resources and lack of line management skill and knowledge are identified as barriers to flexible working.

In answer to this, Part Time Professionals partnered with Family Friendly Working Scotland to offer potential employers free advice and guidance.

Alexander said: “Analysis of the jobs market in Edinburgh shows a very low rate of skilled positions offered on a job share basis. Feedback from our candidates would suggest this is something they think employers are missing out on.

“We can help match the skills and personalities to offer two part time candidates for a full time position bringing resource and productivity benefits to employers in Edinburgh, something which remains largely unexplored.”

She and Judith Mackenzie launched the business when they discovered a huge pool of professional men and women, who wanted to work at a level that matched their skill sets and experience on a part-time basis, were struggling to find suitable positions.