Marie Pellerin, founder of Parents on Board, explains her concept of “Family Score” for businesses

Marie Pellerin, founder of Parents on Board, explains her concept of “Family Score” for businesses
Marie Pellerin, founder of Parents on Board, explains her concept of “Family Score” for businesses

Fromon the one hand, more and more talents are looking for a job that allows them a harmonious balance between professional and private life, particularly young mothers who no longer want to put their careers on hold after maternity leave. On the other, companies facing the increasing difficulty of recruiting and retaining employees in a job market marked by waves of resignations and a “fluttering” of candidates. What if the solution was to connect the needs of each person?

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This is the bias of Parents on Board, a platform created in 2023 and specialized in job searches for parents. It has even just created the Family Score, a label to distinguish organizations that best adapt to the needs of employed parents. Meeting with Marie Pellerin, coach, founder of Parents on Board and mother of three children.

Point : How did Parents on Board and Family Score come about?

Marie Pellerin : It all started from my professional and personal journey. I was employed for around ten years in publishing marketing. When my first daughter was born, I burned out and left my company. I took three years to think about my aspirations, my future… but also having my two other daughters. I trained in career coaching to support professional transitions.

I have supported many mothers on work issues after maternity leave or young mothers who, returning to work, no longer found themselves in the values ​​of their work. I noticed that very often, once they had identified their new professional project, it was very complicated for them to find, with the tools they had at their disposal, a position that would meet both their ambitions. professionals and their desire to be able to take care of their family. In other words, a position that doesn’t give the impression of sacrificing one or the other.

On traditional employment platforms, there is nothing to identify companies that are keen to enable their employees to reconcile professional and personal lives. This is how I had the idea of ​​creating a platform that would bring together “family friendly” companies: through their actions, their commitment and their values. Parents on Board was born at the beginning of 2023. Today, it has 7,000 registered candidates and around a hundred partner companies who publish their job offers there. On the platform, beyond the classic criteria, search filters focus on parenthood: for example, teleworking, breastfeeding room, etc.

Concretely, how to define a “family friendly” company?

The answer is complex because it is based both on objective criteria and other more human and individual ones. Before creating the Family Score in early 2024, we worked a lot on the selection criteria by approaching the Family Friendly Company label. It is supported by the association Together for Early Childhood and commissioned by the government to meet the needs of employees to be more serene at work and in their family. And that this has an impact on the development of children whose parents work. This label is very detailed, with audits, and paid. We have refined and simplified our selection method and created a questionnaire behind the Family Score.
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The criteria relate, for example, to these questions: does the company have a parenting charter for employees? A parenting advisor? Trained managers? A support process for returning from maternity leave? The possibility of gradual return after maternity leave? Organized teleworking? Strict meeting times? Help with research and financing of childcare? Additional leave such as paid sick child days? A right to disconnect? This questionnaire results in a score: this is the Family Score. Before joining the platform, each company must obtain a minimum score to publish its offers there.

What is the point for companies to seek to recruit parents?

Those who come to see us have two reasons: first, recruitment. Today, it’s complicated to find talent and retain them. We have children a little later than before and the parents generally have between six and ten years of experience. Recruiters know that they have access to people with rather experienced profiles, generally quite committed and looking for stability in their professional life.

The second reason, which is correlated, comes from the need for companies to communicate about their employer brand. Parenthood is becoming a subject increasingly looked at by candidates. This allows them to highlight what they do in this area and stand out from the crowd because, today, candidates, especially young people, are very careful about issues of work-life balance.

The health crisis has helped a lot. This has changed teleworking, flexibility…

Which countries are furthest ahead on the link between parenthood and work?

I like to look at what is being done abroad. Not everything is better elsewhere! But it is true that the Scandinavian countries are very advanced in terms of balance and sharing of time between the two parents, particularly in terms of the time allotted after the birth of a child. These are very good examples to follow. I very much follow what Switzerland and Belgium are proposing with the principle of job sharing. This involves hiring two people, each part-time, in the same position. This makes it possible to maintain a high-level position part-time, which is almost impossible in France.

However, do you notice that France is moving on these issues?

Yes ! The health crisis has helped a lot. It brought about teleworking, flexibility… When we launched the platform, I told myself that I would not have any offers to offer, that “family friendly” companies did not exist. I was surprised to see that more and more people are tackling the subject, whether for their values ​​or to improve their employer brand.

There is a craze about reconciling professional and personal life. It becomes a necessity for recruiters to take advantage of it. We offer HR awareness workshops to implement parenting policies. At the same time, we offer support and coaching for employees. This also helps to move the lines within the company.

We support pregnant employees who are going on or returning from maternity leave: anticipating departure, managing the return… But also workshops for managers: what to say, what to do, how to react, the basic rights of employees… Another sign that things are changing: many consulting, coaching or service companies are being created in the parenting sector.



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