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Part time HR

Good morning,

I hope you’re all well.

I feel the need to express my frustration with the lack of stimulating part time HR roles on offer. 

Considering the fact our profession promotes the importance of offering flexible work patterns, there are very few part time HR positions around. Perhaps this is only a regional issue, but for the last few years I have seen very few HR roles on job boards.

It seems it’s full time or put up with a mixed role - finance/hr/payroll/general admin. I don’t want to wish my children’s lives away just so I can return full time. I don’t see why that should be the only option. 

Perhaps this is just an issue where I live. Maybe I’m looking on the wrong websites. I’m close to completing my level 5 Diploma and have starting to question my choice of career.

Anyone else feel this way? Any words of wisdom? Struggling to find the motivation to complete the course.

Thanks. 

Kind regards,

Nicola

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  • Hi Nicola
    As an HR professional who has been practising for over 30 years, I can fully appreciate where you are coming from.
    When my children were small I too struggled to find good part time roles, they are out there, but hard to find! I would say I stayed at the same level for quite a few years and compromised as I wanted to work part-time. Saying all of that, I did stay in employment.
    I am now at the other end of my career (?) and again want to work part-time mainly for my work life balance, and am also finding this a problem, the age probably doesn't help either.
    I would say that generally the charity and not for profit sector are usually quite open to flexible working and part time options, as it also saves them money on their (often limited) staffing budgets.
    The websites I have found useful for part time roles are the following:-
    www.timewisejobs.co.uk/.../
    https://www.923jobs.com/
    https://capabilityjane.com/
    I also had the benefit of meeting a colleague (and friend) and we presented ourselves as a job share which worked really well for us for a number of years.
    Very best of luck, I am sure you will find something.
  • In reply to Fiona Mary Palmer:

    In my experience it is very difficult to get a part time HR job from the outside unless he employer is looking to save money
    Part of that is that agencies are not very interested because they only get half the fee.
    Much easier to go part time if you have the job in the first place
  • In reply to Fiona Mary Palmer:

    Thanks Fiona for your advice. It’s been a really hard trying to find a challenging job that fits around my family. I really like the idea of teaming up with someone else and applying for a role as a job share.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Nicola
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    Thanks for you reply, Peter. Unfortunately, I can understand why companies are reluctant to take on part time staff. I guess it can be harder to performance manage individuals who job share with someone else ...
  • It's certainly not a regional issue. As a profession, HR has still not learned to walk the talk. My suspicion is that it's because HR has become such a willing repository for random stuff. I often describe my unofficial job description as being "HR Manager & Sweeper-Up of Unconsidered Trifles". The consequence is that our jobs tend to expand to fill the time available. So scaling it back to part-time doesn't come naturally.
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    This might be the reality but misguided and sad to see in HR
  • In reply to Nicola:

    Hi Nicola

    There are some job share agencies out there too. Try DuoMe and Ginibee. I think there are others too.
  • Hi Nicola
    I'm a senior HR practitioner with over 30 years qualified experience and can sympathise with your frustrations and can relate very well to Fiona's experiences!
    I have recently put my toe back into the job market (using some of the sources Fiona mentions) and have found that the SME sector seems to be the way to go if you don't mind a stand-alone role. This sector recognises that it's growth (or future plans for growth) demands a dedicated and knowledgeable HR function; in recruiting part-time, they can attract experienced and qualified professionals they wouldn't be able to afford full-time. How you tap into this, I'm not sure, but don't give up!
    However, the stand-alone role may not be the one for you - I've been doing it for over 10 years following a career in the corporate world - it's very rewarding, great for your personal development but can be lonely....
  • In reply to Nikki Baines:

    I have had exactly the same experience after 20 years in the corporate world. I now have a great role, part time, as Head of HR for an amazing SME who had grown to the point of needing a dedicated HR person but couldn't justify a full time role. I am passionate about flexible working and believe that as HR professionals we should be role models for this. One option is to approach some dedicated HR recruiters and enlist their help in approaching smaller companies that they work with. Some companies won't have considered employing someone part time yet are paying large amounts of money to employment lawyers to handle very straightforward people issues and provide documentation for them. Please don't give up - it is a great profession and those roles are out there. Best of luck to you.
  • In reply to Nicola:

    They might be reluctant but this is often 'not what happens here' rather than a thought through commercial decision. Yes part time roles mean making changes but some may be needed and there is evidence of lots of potential benefits
  • Hi Nicola
    I was in a full time HR BP role until last month when I asked for flexible working. I now work 31 hours over 4 days and have a Friday off. My organisation was very amenable to this. Whilst roles aren't advertised as part-time it might be worth asking at application/interview stage whether they would consider flexible working. Regards
  • In reply to Robey:

    Thanks for your reply, Robey. Mopping up random mess sounds familiar! This is why I’m rarely out of the office on time!
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Thanks Steve. I will take a look at those threads.
  • In reply to Claire:

    Thanks Claire. I will take a look at those.