Having 8 babies in 3 years: why family comes first at Bobsled Marketing
Way before I started a family of my own, I planned to make my company Bobsled Marketing a family-friendly place to work. And since we have grown from 3 full-time team members in 2015 to 25 today, that intention has been more than validated. Bobsledders have collectively welcomed 8 babies into the world (not counting the twins that are due in 3 weeks), and I believe we have actually been more successful because of this.
Here’s why being family friendly is great for business.
1. The talent pool is way larger.
To me, being family-friendly is not about bring-your-kid-to-work day and family office BBQs. Being family friendly means offering flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely. This allows parents to work around the non-negotiables in their lives: school pickups, sick children, important performances. There’s a vastly under-served talent market of people who want or need this flexibility in their lives, and the only way to tap into it is to recognize that an office-based 9–5 will not work for them.
I can tell you that after making a fairly half-assed effort over the past 2 years to talk about our company culture and growth here on Medium (I’ll be doing more, so follow me!), we have received at least a dozen inquiries from fabulous candidates who are looking for flexible, remote jobs. This tells me that despite being in a labor bull market and with great talent super hard to find, this is a major differentiator.
2. Work-life balance is for everyone, not just Moms.
When your company is family-friendly, it makes it a better work environment for people without kids as well. When team members want to do some kind of long-term travel and work remotely from a new place, it is treated in the same way: As long as the work gets done, they are contributing to goals, and clients are happy, it will work for the company.
3. Everyone deserves an exciting career.
Just because someone is in a phase of their lives (and remember, it is a precious, fleeting phase that doesn’t last long) where they can’t meet a 9–5 requirement, doesn’t mean that they can’t be a committed, ambitious contributor. Parents and carers can have an edge here: they really have something important on the line.
Hiring manager or companies who have the view that new parents or women of child-bearing age will be “checked-out”, need to check themselves. The parents on my team are rocking it, and my own drive to succeed simply got stronger when I became a Mom.
4. Win loyalty in spades.
If your company is eagerly serving this talent pool by creating solutions for them, and other organizations are putting it in the “too-hard” basket, you can count on your people sticking around.
Where to look for (or post) family-friendly jobs
I’m shocked that in 2018, more companies haven’t figured out remote work. I think that it might be because building a company that is remote first is a lot easier to manage than trying to transform a location-based company into one that offers remote working. And this is often hidden in the job ad, or only offered as a ‘benefit’ once a new hire has proven themselves.
But there are a couple of job sites that I can personally recommend which specifically offer remote positions, and are well populated with both jobs and candidates.
- Hire My Mom. I was a heavy user of this platform in the early days of Bobsled, and it is a great site and resource for home-based jobs. Note that men can join the site as candidates too, but it is primarily for US opportunities.
- Dynamite Jobs. A job site created specifically for work-from-anywhere jobs.
These sites are based on a flat advertising or membership fee, rather than a percentage of the offered salary which is what recruiters usually charge. The latter model is usually out of reach of small and medium sized businesses. So your best bet if you want to work for a smaller company is to use job sites like these.
At Bobsled, we also do our own head-hunting via LinkedIn. This is a time-consuming exercise, but as advocates of the Topgrading talent methodology, we know that we often have to proactively look for A-players. While we still advertise jobs, we’re also actively looking for candidates using all kinds of filters and keywords. So if you’re a candidate considering a move, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date!
Be open minded
I strongly believe that being family-friendly, offering remote positions, and a strong company culture all go hand in hand. It turns out that this is kind of a radical concept for larger companies, which were built on a different model.
To be fair, remote working isn’t going to work in some job types or industries like manufacturing or construction. I’m talking about the situations where positions could be made remote and family friendly, but haven’t.
Just know that Bobsled, and many other small companies like us, are able to create a space that works for everyone — regardless of their family situation.
Learn more about Bobsled Marketing
Follow me on Medium