While it’s frowned upon to ask a job candidate whether he or she is a parent, you can still attract this protected class to your company by offering work/life balance benefits, especially during the summer, when most kids are home from school.
There may be a common misconception that working parents aren’t able to handle both work and parenting, but according to a new CareerBuilder survey, that has been proven to be false. In fact, of workers who have a child living at home, 78% say it’s possible to be successful both in your career and as a parent.
While more than half of workers with a child in the household (51%) say they feel equally successful in their role at work and as a parent, more than half of working dads (56%) feel this way, compared to only 47% of working moms. Further, while 33% of working moms say they feel more successful as a parent, only 22% of working dads say the same.
While the majority of working parents (66%) spend at least 3 hours a day with their kids, more than a third (38%) have missed a significant event in their child’s life due to work in the last year—more than one in five (21%) have missed three or more events.
Flex Time for Work/Life Balance
One way to solve this problem is by offering flex time, which is a type of benefit that allows workers to work an additional hour each day to be able to leave up to 4 hours early on a particular day. If you give working parents the opportunity to flex during the day so they have the opportunity to attend their child’s after-school activities, working parents will be more inclined to feel successful in both their careers and their parenting abilities.
“Work-life balance is certainly a struggle for all professionals, but we see workers moving past the idea that they have to give something up and that the sacrifice of either a career or parenting must be made,” says Jennifer Grasz, Vice President of corporate communications for CareerBuilder. “Promoting a balance should be important to employers, too. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with coworkers, be more productive and are able to leave work issues at work and home issues at home.”
According to the survey, 46% of working parents have not taken advantage of flexible work arrangements, but of those who have (54%), 37% say it has not affected their career progress, and 12% say it has positively impacted it, which is good news to workers who may have been afraid of the repercussions for seeking a better work/life balance.
If you’re looking to attract working parents and you’re offering work/life balance benefits, highlight this great opportunity early on in the hiring process. If a potential candidate is torn between two companies, explaining that your company culture values family first will get that candidate in your door vs. the competition’s.
Also, a little fun fact from this CareerBuilder survey: Nearly 1 in 10 workers who have kids (7%) has included his or her parent skills/experience on his or her résumé or cover letter.