RECRUITMENT / NOV. 22, 2014
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Truth vs. Misconception when Hiring a Working Mom

Due to popular misconceptions about working mothers, there seems to be a common prejudice amongst recruiters. Most of them are not too keen on hiring mothers as they are prejudiced that it will only add to their woes at the workplace. Most mothers do not take to this very kindly, and if you are a working mother yourself, you would want to know if there is any logic behind this attitude.

Popular misconceptions

 

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They call in sick very often

Employers believe that working mothers are prone to calling in for sick leave because their child has fallen ill and needs to be taken to the doctor. This appears to be a common misconception with quite a few employers, and the truth is that there is hardly any truth in the claim.

Working mothers will quit whenever they please

Another popular theory is that most working mothers are not reliable, and may quit on you when you need them most. A working mom may start missing her kid badly and would want to be home more often, and may quit her job abruptly, without even bothering about something called notice.

They do personal chores while working from home

A hiring manager may try to show some compassion and decide to allow the mother work from home. However, he feels that instead of keeping an eye on the kid while working, she would be busy with household chores like doing the laundry or cleaning the front porch.

It’s the kids before work

Employers feel that when it comes to ‘passion for work’ or ’love for the kids’, the mothers always make it their priority to fuss over the kids instead of being devoted to their work. Most companies can ill-afford such acts, which will be detrimental to the interests of the company.

The truth about working moms 

She is not fully responsible for sudden bouts of sickness

One thing a working mom dreads most is a call from her baby-sitter or school, with the information that her child is sick. Children are prone to infections and small injuries, one never knows when they will fall sick or hurt themselves. Very often, there is a tussle between the parents as to whose turn it is to take the day off. Though the husband justifies his nature of work and wins the argument most of the time, the mother too insists her right and need to be at work now and then.

There are a few options like requesting the in-laws to fill in temporarily, to take care of the kids, while both parents can get to work without worrying too much. Hence, if a mom calls in sick very often, it is not because she is trying to take the day off for other personal reasons. It is better for working couples to arrive at an understanding that is convenient for both, so that working moms do not have to bear the brunt all the time.

Working moms turn housewives due to compelling financial needs

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Some women have worked out the financial intricacies and found that at times it costs more to hire baby sitters than whatever they earn from working. This is in spite of the fact that watching over a naughty or demanding child can often be more difficult than working at the office, where it is probably easier to please the manager or boss.

However, if the mother were the sole earning person in the family, things would be quite different and she would have to work anyway. Making the job more attractive for such moms would help maintain better retention figures for employers.

Working mothers find it easier to work from home

Some working mothers claim that the time spent on showering, getting dressed and reaching the office can be used gainfully while working from home. The commute time alone is quite substantial, if you live far away from your place of work. They can start working before their colleagues reach the office, and can even continue working long after the others at the office have left for the day. Though the temptation to take breaks frequently to attend to some domestic chore or the other is always there, the overall productivity of moms working from home is better.

Moms give more importance to their kids

It is obvious that any working mom would instinctively give first priority to her child, and work always comes afterwards. Nothing can be as important as her kid for any mom. In spite of this, most working moms love their jobs and take pride in what they do. Moms realize that it is the company they work for that keeps sending the paychecks regularly without fail, and missing a PTA meeting, or the school play occasionally is OK. The important thing is that just because working moms need to take care of their kids as well, it does not mean they cannot be good workers.

It is up to the employers and hiring managers to strike the right balance and be adjustable when necessary. If a manager or boss is too stringent, he or she may stand to lose a very good worker, and on the other hand, a mom who prioritizes her family over work may stand to lose a well-paying job. Overall, there is no reason why a mom cannot be an asset to the employer.

 

Image Credit : Image: alphamom.com

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