For most employers, the idea of paying two people for one job may seem a bit absurd at first. However, if you stop and take a closer look, this is becoming more and more common. In 2017, one report showed that more than 770,000 high earners were now working part-time, not due to bad luck, but by choice. Timewise co-founder Karen Mattison explains:
“The dramatic increase in job shares offers us a glimpse into how jobs will be designed in the future. All it takes is an open-minded employer who is prepared to try something new in a bid to hire or keep the best people, and an innovative solution is born.” The advent of job shares is beginning to leak into the legal world as well, and it may change the way many practices do business.”
For those who are unaware, job shares are one way that companies are trying to address the higher demand for work-life balance among skilled employees. Basically, two people choose to take part-time schedules in order to do the work of one full-time employee. This can be appealing to certain legal professionals and can help decrease benefit costs for employers, depending on their policies.
In many ways, job shares have a particular potential for the legal profession because, in many cases, the framework is already there. For example, it’s not uncommon for them to be multiple solicitors as a part of the client team, out of simple logistics if nothing else. Think of it this way: what if a solicitor has to travel for a deposition or make a court appearance, meaning that they can’t take a client call or handle some other sort of duty? There will generally be another solicitor to handle this, and they are already trained and skilled on keeping the entire team in the loop.
In theory, this mindset could easily be applied to other positions in a legal firm, such as legal assistants. However, it may not necessarily be limited to lower-level jobs. Recently, communications company BT advertised ahead of legal for its TV division on a job share basis. How does a job like that become a job share? As it turns out, the job was to work with the current head of legal when she returned from maternity leave. This is a rare example of a senior role being treated as a job share, but it may be only the tip of the iceberg. The legal sector was worth £26bn in 2016 and has only grown since then. To attract and retain the top talent, you need to consider every option on the table, even job-share potential.
This is one of many changes that are going on in the U.K.’s legal world—make sure that you are prepared to keep up with the help of Symphony Legal. We are the leading consultancy for the legal profession, and our experts can help you with the day-to-day details of how to react and act as the framework behind the legal sectors changes.