For many new mothers coming back into the workforce after having children, can be a major challenge. Puffling, a recruitment start-up founded by three advertising industry execs, touts itself as the solution for this dilemma.
The platform, which has partnered with leading HR firm Randstad, is essentially a matchmaking service for female professionals, making it possible for two women to team up and apply for senior roles as a pair.
After a trial launch in January with the backing of major advertising agencies WPP, R/GA, The Monkeys, BWM Dentsu and DDB, the platform currently has about 10 people going through interviews.
“We feel like we’re pioneers, because the future of the workplace is changing so much, you just have to try new things and see what happens,” said Michele Havas, a marketer with more than 15 years’ experience at companies including Diageo and Qantas.
Tired of unstable consulting work, Havas teamed up with Sanchia Stafford-Gaffney, a marketing manager who just come off maternity leave with her first baby. The pair have been interviewing at a number of companies and hope to land their first job-share role soon.
“It’s kind of a two brains for the price of one scenario,” said Stafford-Gaffney. “We’re about the same level of seniority but have a fairly complementary skill set. We have fundamental skills in common, but we each brought subject matter experience to the table.”
The pair is not worried about the potential hurdles, such as double-handling or miscommunication when two people are responsible for one role. “You just have to be excellent at communication,” said Havas. “If there’s a conference or training courses, you both need to go, but the rest of the time there should be no issues.”
Puffling co-founder and chief executive Mike Hill said while the concept was relatively new, there had been strong interest from employers already within the advertising and marketing industry, and the plan was to expand into other sectors soon.
Some companies actively working with Puffling to change the employment landscape in Australia are: Buzz Feed, Domain, Deepend, Edge., Fairfax Media and the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship.