The Property Personnel recruitment consultancy says more job-sharing could be introduced in the industry, preventing talent going to waste.
Managing director Anthony Hesse says that with the sector experiencing the worst staff shortages in a generation, agents should do more to accommodate those who do not want to work full-time, but would be happy with a regular part-time role.
“For some reason, traditional estate agency seems to have been less willing to take on board the idea of job-sharing than other professions. But there really is no logical basis for this” he claims.
“For example, one of my clients in a London estate agency is a mother who wanted to spend more time with her daughter in the final months before she starts school. So she currently works with another woman who relishes working part time, and together they make a great combination.
“Similarly, another of my clients in Surrey has recently employed two mums on a job share. Both women involved are friends and experienced agents with young families. They decided to go to the employment market as an item, indicating that together they could cover a five day week. Apparently it has been a great success and between them they are selling more than the rest of the team in the office!”
Hesse adds that job-sharing does not have to be reserved for women alone.
“Outside estate agency, we know of two men who have one of the most senior male job shares in the country – both joint group directors of public policy and sustainability, each working a three day week, overlapping on Wednesdays. Whilst they have both taken a 40 per cent cut in salary, the improvement in their work-life balance means that they are both happy to make the trade-off.”