Lifeshifter is a revolutionary new company that places top female talent in flexible working positions in fast growing SMEs and start-ups (the Lifeshifter website is also chock-full of great articles and tips). With Lifeshifter reinventing the recruitment market for women, Suit & Pie got the download from Jana Hlistova, the company’s Founder and CEO.
Whilst working at Yahoo, I recognised that I always wanted to build a business that would ‘help change the working lives of women’ and I realised that if we could surface more flexible working opportunities for women, we could help maximise women’s employment which is valued at £14bn in the UK alone. We could also help employers fill a skills gap and scale their resources with experienced hires who can make a significant difference to their business.
As I have worked in tech and digital for 15 years, my approach has always been to think about how best to use tech to help scale a solution to a business problem. I enjoy researching the market, talking to clients and customers, and crafting an approach which can really make a difference in the market.
We are a mobile-first marketplace designed for flexible working deals, which matches fast-growth businesses to highly skilled women who want to work in a flexible way.
It is great that you are encouraging companies to think about flexible working. What examples have you seen of flexible working working?
We focus on the tech & digital start-up and SME market. We find companies are looking for experienced hires but may not need a full-time employee or simply can not afford a full-time employee. The Founders and CEOs of these companies work flexibly and are very output focused. These companies are redefining how work is done and have to be very agile in their response to an ever-changing and competitive market.
It is much more important to find the right talent, with the right skillset for the right opportunity, then to worry about whether the candidate can come in to a London office 5 days a week.
We are working with clients who need to scale their resources, and may require localised skillsets and experience, therefore working remotely on a flexible basis, for example, is imperative.
You are obviously a big promoter of and believer in female talent – How has this female only focus been received in the market? Have companies been receptive?
Our clients embrace Lifeshifter’s philosophy and approach in the market. They are very excited and supportive of us and also appreciate the social impact of the business.
It is important to mention that employers are matched to candidates’ skillsets and experience-they are hiring the right talent, with the right skillset for the work.
Do you think it is possible for women to have it all?
I think it’s really important to be clear about what your values and priorities are and to design your life according to these. And that includes finding the right partner who can support you in these.
Partners should work together on defining and agreeing on what ‘having it all’ is…
How has it been being a female entrepreneur yourself and starting off in your own – what has been your biggest challenge? Your biggest win?
I started this journey in 2012, with my first company called Smartwomen Smartconversations (SWSC) and we pivoted to Lifeshifter in November 2014.
My biggest challenge has been to leave the corporate world after 14 years and commit to starting my own company without any real safety nets (they don’t exist in entrepreneurship). Once I became clear on my passion or ‘my work’ and how much of an entrepreneur I am at heart, it became much more straightforward.
I will never forget how I acquired my first client and my first candidate which validated Lifeshifter in a big way.
Where do you see Lifeshifter in the next 5 years?
Lifeshifter is likely to develop into a global business and we will address additional market segments.
And now for some quick fire questions:
Your female role model:
Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook)-she is a ‘change-maker’ and is helping to change our society and workplace.
What you wanted to be when you were 5 years old:
I wanted to be a writer. And I’ve always wanted to affect change.
If you had one extra hour per day – how would you use it?
I would learn to code!
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
I would help raise human consciousness so we could end war, end poverty, end famine and balance out the world culturally and socially-because we would all be better off!