Australian job-pairing startup, Puffling, is set to tackle some of the recruitment industry's biggest issues – improving diversity and work-life balance – in a new way, following the launch of its custom platform and a strategic partnership with Randstad, leading recruitment and HR specialists.
Designed to allow Puffling to scale with increasing demand, the match-making platform will partner candidates based on complementary skill sets, set them up to 'date" and help create a joint CV to support the pair interviewing for shared, full-time roles.
Mike Hill, CEO of Puffling, said that while job-pairing is still a relatively new concept in Australia, the interest and demand from both local businesses and candidates has been high.
'Job-pairing gives businesses double the experience for their hiring dollar, and offers candidates the flexible working opportunities they desire. There's a long way to go before it becomes commonplace, but our new platform and partnership with Randstad will allow us to accelerate growth and help deliver on our mission to make flexible working a norm across industries and promote greater diversity at senior levels."
Since its launch in January, Puffling's growth has been driven by the increasing demand for flexible working arrangements in Australia, with data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing 120,000 more people are working part-time than last year, and around 35,000 fewer people working full-time. This is supported by Randstad's Employer Brand Research which showed work-life balance was the top priority for workers, though employers ranked it number eight.
'We've seen strong initial interest from the advertising and marketing sector, with some of Australia's biggest ad agencies initially signing on to trial Puffling and recruit shared roles including WPP, R/GA, The Monkeys, BWM Dentsu and DDB, however it is clear we still need to work with this sector – and others – to demonstrate the value of having two minds in one job," said Hill.
Puffling's approach has also attracted the interest of recruitment specialists, Randstad. The two companies have formed a strategic alliance, underpinned by the shared goal of using innovative technologies to create a more inclusive workforce for Australian businesses.
Frank Ribuot, CEO of Randstad Australia, said the partnership reflects Randstad's commitment to leveraging the best of technology and a human-centric approach to better service both sides of the employment market.
'There is no denying that flexibility is a key priority for candidates and the world of work is changing as a result. Businesses need to embrace change to truly recognise the exciting benefits of job-pairing. We believe the potential here goes beyond a solution for mums to anyone looking for a flexible role, and are proud to partner with Puffling to drive innovation and fresh thinking in the industry."
Michele Havas and Sanchia Stafford-Gaffney, marketers with close to 30 years' industry experience across leading FMCG brands, recently matched on Puffling and are now looking for their ideal role.
'We were as surprised as anyone to find ourselves in a perfect match situation. We had similar skillsets on paper but it wasn't until we met for a coffee that we realised just how well we connected, with common working styles, and a desire to balance making a significant contribution to a business with the flexibility to manage family life with young children," said Havas.
'Puffling offers a unique and appealing solution which is desperately needed in Australia. Senior part-time roles are almost impossible to come by, and Puffling's team-based model enables us to pursue full time roles knowing we can provide an exceptional solution for employers, often over-and-above what a solo candidate can offer.
'Michele and I are both very passionate about our industry and have so much value to add, so we're excited about the prospect of taking the next step in our careers as a team," added Stafford-Gaffney.
With interest from categories beyond marketing, media and advertising now building, Puffling is set to continue building its offer in the coming months.
Question: What is Puffling?
Mike Hill: Puffling is a recruitment start-up designed to help women find flexible roles after having children. It also helps employers meet their diversity targets and foster a working environment that encourages flexibility and retention of high-calibre talent.
Question: What inspired the creation of Puffling?
Mike Hill: Puffling was inspired by our own experiences in advertising after having children and finding that we had to compromise on our seniority and salary if we wanted part-time work.
Question: Can you tell us about the new Puffling platform?