This March we welcome back to the Northern Rivers team, Rebecca Robinson – General Manager of the Northern Rivers Branch, returning from maternity leave.
Whilst we welcome Rebecca’s return, we also celebrate a Beaumont People first, job-sharing the executive-level role with current General Manager, Victoria Nankivell.
Although not a new concept, job-sharing is rarely seen at the executive level. But why?
Job-sharing advantages have been well documented, such as:
The opportunity to leverage the skills of two individuals and drive productivity
You gain two brains, two sets of enthusiasm and creativity, and two employees committed to your success
Employees who are comfortable balancing life responsibilities experience less stress and more work satisfaction. This pays you back in increased motivation, positive customer service, and effective co-worker relationships
Successful job share partners are accountable to each other. This increases their accountability for accomplishments to the employer. They must plan, set goals, communicate effectively, measure accomplishments, and share the glory for successes—comfortably.
So, in true Beaumont style, we could not resist the prospect of having Rebecca and Victoria, who have worked with Beaumont People for a combined 14 years, both lead our Northern Rivers team.
This month we spoke with them both on their thoughts on job-sharing and how they see their combined position benefit each other, their team and Beaumont People.
Q: What was your initial reaction to the prospect of job-sharing?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: I was excited that it was something that Beaumont People was willing to consider. Having two young children I really didn’t want to work full time. I appreciate the flexibility that Beaumont offers and I love working for the company – it’s great to be part of a culture and business that is leading the way when it comes to making it possible for parents to juggle childcare whilst having still having meaningful work.
I have previously worked with Rebecca when we were both part of the Charities team in Sydney, so I’m really looking forward to working with her in a job share.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: It was an appealing concept. I was looking to return to work after my first child and wondered how being a General Manager, a billing Consultant and a ‘present’ Mum was going to be possible part-time. The reality was probably that one of these areas would suffer but this idea of a job-share could be the answer.
As a workplace, Beaumont People has always demonstrated its willingness and flexibility to try new things to best support its employees and business objectives - this is another great example.
Q: How would you describe your management style?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: I work on the basis of trust – I have a team who work various hours due to their personal circumstances and I encourage flexibility - so trust is really important. I am lucky to have a team who is passionate and driven and who want to succeed. I am not a micromanager, but like people to know what their goals are and provide them with guidance and coaching so that they can achieve these. I consider myself to be fair and approachable. I have an open-door policy – the team know they can call me whenever they need to, including on my days off and out of office hours.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: I would say empowering. I like to give the team the space to grow, develop and achieve and also, fail successfully too! As recruiters, our role is quite straight forward, but how we go about building relationships with clients and candidates will vary from consultant to consultant, and this is where we can express our individuality and creativity.
Q: How would you describe each other’s management style?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: I haven’t seen Rebecca manage a team, but whilst we were in Sydney, she did coach junior members of the team and is very knowledgeable. Rebecca is approachable and well respected within the business – and with our clients and candidates. She is highly energetic and has a strong sales background. We both have the same values and have been with the business for a long time so live and breathe the culture. Naturally, we have different strengths, but I think that the team will benefit from our different styles and expertise.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: Interestingly I have never seen Victoria manage as we both took on our management roles once we worked in different offices. Having worked with Victoria closely at a peer-to-peer level and knowing her for many years through the business I know she is extremely professional, well respected and cares. And this is fundamental in a great manager.
What I know of Victoria is that she is driven and hardworking, whilst also being a great Mum; so, I believe we will complement each other whilst also learning from each other.
Q: In which areas do you see your individual strengths complementing each other’s style?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: Both Rebecca and I had different careers prior to us moving into recruitment and I think that is really useful for building a cohesive and successful team. It means we have different ways of doing things but that we are both open to other opinions and ways of looking at things. Rebecca is an expert on all things social media so that will be a great help for me! We understand that we need to communicate and are very conscious that this is new for both of us. The good thing is that we respect each other and what we are trying to achieve so, hopefully, that will guide us.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: Victoria’s career prior to Beaumont People had a professional services angle and I came from marketing and events. Between us, we have both sides of the brain covered! We are both confident communicators, passionate and ethical in our approach to recruitment and securing the perfect match for clients and candidates. When it comes to leading the branch and team, these differences in our personalities and work experience will enable us to support each member of the team really well.
Q: On the other hand, how do you see yourselves potentially clashing?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: I am sure we will have some disagreements or differing opinions, but it would be strange if we didn’t. It will be nice to have someone to brainstorm with and for the team to have the benefit of two managers. My hope is that when this happens, we sit down and discuss so that we can agree on an outcome we are both happy with and naturally, best for the team and business.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: I can’t imagine where we will clash but I’m also aware that we are human and can’t agree on everything! I am always open to discussions and comfortable with being ‘wrong’ and changing my mind when presented with a different way of thinking or perceiving a situation. As long as we have the same outcomes and values at the front of mind, the clashes should be minimal.
Q: What has the reaction been from your team around your job-share arrangement?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: The response has been positive from the team and the wider company. We are a mix of ages, backgrounds and part-time and full-time, so everyone appreciates the flexibility that Beaumont People offers. The team is open and embraces change - they know and have worked with both Rebecca and I which makes it easier. That being said, they are aware that this is new for everyone and have been involved in the process as well as encouraged to give us feedback on what is and what isn’t working moving forward.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: I have been away, just dipping my toes back in now so I’m not sure on the feedback. But from our immediate team here in the Northern Rivers office it has been positive. The team has doubled in size since I’ve been on maternity leave, so I ‘m really looking forward to getting to know each of them and continuing to grow the branch with Victoria and the wider team.
Q: How do you see yourselves working together? I.e. sharing all responsibilities and decision making or splitting these up?
A: [Victoria Nankivell]: This is something that we are still working on. As neither of us have done this before we are very aware that we need to be flexible and honest with each other – addressing things that work and don’t work as we go along. There will be certain meetings that we will both attend, as well as using tools like Trello so that we can easily see what is going on with the team and the business and track anything that we need to address. We will have mid-week catch ups as well so that we can ‘hand over’ anything. The idea is that we will work as one and share in all decisions. We are both committed to making this situation work so understand there will be hurdles we need to cross to get things running smoothly.
A: [Rebecca Robinson]: As this is such a new way of working for us and the business it will be a learning curve and no doubt trial and error. We have had a few ideas of blocking a schedule to our days so that the team will get used to the best times to talk to us about certain things or book our time relevant to those tasks. As we are both billing managers, meaning we will also be working hands on with our clients recruiting Executive level positions, it is essential that we are extremely organised with our time.
One of the benefits of the job-share that we see, is that we will be able to trust each other with the decision making/tasks etc. when we aren’t working, hopefully making working with us easier. We use recruitment software that allows us to document and clearly communicate candidate and client information. We will each work three days, with one day cross over for a weekly handover.
You can reach Victoria Nankivell who will be in the office on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Rebecca Robinson on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.