Work Problems Find a Flexible Solution

Newest Australian Job Site Says,

“Sometimes Full Time Just Doesn’t Work”

SYDNEY, 6 April 2011 – The debate around job flexibility has caught flame in recent months with the release of new research illuminating the benefits and public desire for flexible work options as well as the start of new government policies such as the Right to Request Flexible Work Options. Offering such flexibility seems to be an obvious solution to a whole host of work and public issues, however putting jobs and workers together seems to be the biggest challenge.

Armed with the need and the public demand, and amid the fervor created by recent ABS and Government Reports into flexible working solutions, Australia’s first job site truly dedicated to helping more people achieve that seemingly mythic work-life balance has been launched.

HireMeUp.com.au debuted this week. This new Australian-based job site is dedicated to helping the modern worker find the right role to suit their needs by focusing solely on flexible work because, as they say, “sometimes full time just doesn’t work.” With a custom-designed search facility, both job seekers and employers can find each other based on the hours, days and even time of day they want or need work.

“HireMeUp was borne simply from need,” Alli Baker, co-founder says. “Both of us were looking for contract work to fill in some spare time, but couldn’t find anywhere that helped us match our needs with those that might need us.”

A bus trip then cemented the idea and Alli recalls, “I remember in the very early stages, when HireMeUp was still just an idea, I overheard a conversation between two women while I was on my way to work.  One was saying that she just wanted to find a job that fit into her half-full schedule. ‘But,’ the woman said dismally, ‘Who’s going to hire someone for one or two days a week?’

“That same day, I was in one of my client’s offices listening to him say, ‘I just want someone with experience to come in here one or two times a week to help out in office.’ I remember wishing I had gotten the woman’s information so I could play “job matchmaker!”

Inspired by that day’s events, the website’s “job matchmaker” service is specifically designed to match the needs of employers with the needs of job seekers.

“We want our users to be able to be as specific as they want about what role they’re looking for so that we can match them up with the ideal role for their lifestyle,” Baker said. “And, vice versa. We want to match employers with the perfect employee to suit their needs.”

By putting the focus on the often second-class category of part-time work, HireMeUp fills a void in the market. There are plenty of job sites dedicated to specific segments of the workforce but none that encompasses them all and none with a search as specific. On HireMeUp, a stay-at-home parent can get help finding a casual role that makes use of his/her skills but still allows them to drop-off and pick-up the children from school. Or, the small-business owner find an experienced office manager to come in twice a week to help keep the company in order.

From the contemporary worker’s standpoint, finding a satisfying combination of work and life has become a high priority but, the fact is, the majority of people are still struggling to achieve it. Research shows that work-life balance is a high priority and top factor in job attraction and retention, but less than half of us are happy with our current proportions. A recent study conducted by Hays Recruitment found that employers promise seemingly fantastic work conditions to win over new hires, but 75% of new staff find the jobs don’t meet their expectations.

From a business standpoint, the GFC has led many businesses to reconsider less conventional hiring practices that allow them to avoid the expense and responsibility of full-time staff that they don’t always want or need. Plus, flexible work roles can often lead to a number of positive results for employers.

Nareen Young, CEO of DCA, spoke on diversity and strengthening the workforce at the Executive Level Leadership Network Annual Forum last year. In her presentation, Young pointed out that research shows work flexibility “enables employment of a diverse workforce; assists organisations to become ‘employers of choice’; generates productivity benefits through retaining experienced and skilled staff; reduces costs from turnover recruitment and retraining; and, can assist organisations better meet customer needs and adapt to change”.

With advantages for both employees and employers, flexible work practices are the wave of the future. Australia is headed for a rapid change in the workforce as the baby boomers head towards retirement; thus, making generations Y & Z powerful players in the working world. McCrindle Research reported in 2010 that the top five attraction and retention factors for Gen Y included work-life balance, workplace community, management style, broad job description, and training and development opportunities.

The fact is that there are many job seekers – roughly 180,000 each month according to the ABS – looking specifically for part-time work and many of them have skills. And before now, few avenues existed for helping them find the right employer. HireMeUp is founded on the belief that there is an employer out there for every job seeker, they just need some help connecting with one another.

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