Founder and CEO LaToria Pierce started working on Handoff while she was taking part in Ideas42 Venture Studio. Pierce was asked to build from lived experience and challenges. She took inspiration from her mother, who was a single parent, and set out to make a solution that was inclusive of single moms. She spent a year talking to mothers in the workforce and employers.
“What I discovered is that there was this mismatch and the ‘why’ hit me — how come we aren’t seeing working mothers at certain organizations in certain roles? The 40 hour a week experience is a barrier for many parents and caregivers,” said Pierce. “They’ve got the skills, they’ve got the tenure and they’ve got the tenacity, but time can be an issue.”
Job sharing is already commonly used in many European countries, and Handoff’s mission is to scale it in the United States, too, by helping employers create a foundation to start offering job-sharing roles. Its minimum viable product is a job-sharing enablement tool that makes sure a job-sharing relationship is manageable and that work is split equally between the two people in it. When Handoff launched its first pilot program, “talent started showing up in droves,” said Pierce. So the startup set up a talent connection portal for them that fast-tracks employers to qualified, pre-vetted talent.
Job sharing can help diversity, equity and inclusion by getting more women, women of color and caregivers into the workforce, said Pierce. Handoff’s talent pool has a wide range of professional and educational backgrounds, including people with a high school degree and 10-plus years of experience, people who have MBAs, and people who have worked in the public or public sectors. 98% of the people who come through Handoff’s portal are caregivers and 75% are people of color.
Organizations are looking for people to fill business administration, executive and admin assistants, human resources and marketing roles. Pierce says those spaces are Handoff’s sweet spots because employers see high turnover and need to fill multiple positions but are struggling to hire qualified employees. It also recently kicked off a pilot program with group care homes, many of which already use a job-sharing system, to test Handoff’s software for employee coordination.
Handoff is creating a more equitable workforce through job sharing by Catherine Shu originally published on TechCrunch