You may have heard of job sharing. But what exactly is it, and how can it help your company? Read on to learn more about job sharing benefits, examples, and more when it comes to QA testers.
The Definition of Job Sharing
Job sharing is when two people share the workload for one full-time job. For example, if you have a 40-hour work week, each person might work twenty hours. When working with remote freelance contractors, this type of arrangement can be a huge asset when you have a tight budget. (Read more about the advantages of hiring remote workers.)
Job Sharing Benefits
Minimizing issue with time off. Anyone can be out sick or on vacation from time to time. When you have two people sharing the job, absence-related issues are greatly minimized. Where previously you may have had to delay a release, instead you now have a built-in backup. This also reduces stress for workers, who can feel less pressure to work while sick or avoid taking a vacation.
Comprehensive coverage. Everyone has different preferences for working hours. Some might want to start at 7am and end the day earlier, while others would prefer to start at 10:30 and be on later. Given contractor law, having two freelancers on a project helps you stay compliant without sacrificing availability. Allowing testers to work during their ideal hours will also help them feel more energized and productive.
More opportunity for special releases. Most people take weekends and late nights off of work. But when you have an after-hours release, having two workers sharing the load doubles your chances of getting QA testing coverage. And with an Agile QA process, it’s not uncommon to have releases at unconventional hours. This also removes the burden of having one tester constantly on call.
Two heads are better than one. This common saying has been around for hundreds of years for a reason: it’s true! Two people working together can accomplish more than even the sum of the parts. Collaboration brings about new ideas, and helps identify issues that even the most talented individual may not have reached on their own.
Focusing on areas of expertise. Even within the same field, each QA tester has specific areas in which they shine. With job sharing, each person can spend more of their time on their unique skill set, boosting productivity and making work tasks more enjoyable.
Increased sense of ownership and responsibility. A dedicated QA tester will, ideally, always take responsibility for their work. But being relied on by another QA colleague increases the sense of ownership even more.
Job Sharing Examples
So what are some practical examples of job sharing benefits? When it comes to QA testing, there are lots of ways to implement job sharing:
Double coverage for testing a new feature on a tight timeline. Say you have a new chat feature, with a QA estimate of thirty hours. You have defined test cases, but only fifteen hours before the QA deadline is up. With job sharing, you could have your two QA resources work in tandem. This would enable them to complete thirty hours of work by the fifteen-hour deadline.
Documentation and execution at the same time. While one QA tester is writing test cases and documenting specs, their testing partner can jump right in. Performing smoke testing as early as possible helps identify critical issues, shortening the feedback loop and giving developers more time to fix them.
Make Job Sharing Work For You
One of the few disadvantages of job sharing can happen when you pair resources that don’t work well together. This can be prevented by being proactive during the hiring process. If you find people with dynamic personalities and skill sets, they can excel in many different situations.
Job sharing can be a significant asset when working with contractors. In an Agile software development life cycle, it’s a powerful way to increase productivity and diversify perspective.
Of course, having multiple full-time QA resources is always beneficial — and this can still be accomplished with job sharing. For example, you could split three full time positions among six people to get all of the above benefits and more. But even when your budget is capped at 40 hours/week, you can still make the most of your resources with job sharing.
Need QA Testers to Help with Your Workload?
Many of our clients have collaborative job sharing structures. Depending on your preference, we can split a project between multiple people — or just provide a backup QA tester when you need it. We don’t have any long-term contract requirements or high hourly minimums, so it’s a good opportunity to test out job sharing without risk. Want to know more? Check out our QA testing services, or learn more about why we’re a top software testing company.