Bus Stop Mamas job board targets parents looking to re-enter the workforce | Nation

In 2015, Mary Kay Ziniewicz decided to switch to a work-from-home model for her consulting business after her husband re-entered the workforce after being a stay-at-home dad.

She resumed the daily routine, including waiting with other moms for the school bus. Getting to know other parents, Ziniewicz learned that many mothers had put their careers on hold to be the primary caretaker for their children.

Some of these mothers wanted to return to employment, but also wanted the flexibility to remain fully involved with their children. Ziniewicz found that many feared being overlooked by companies who saw gaps in employment history as a red flag.

These discussions gave rise to a business idea, and after a few years of research, surveying mothers and employers – and developing a platform – Ziniewicz launched Bus Stop Mamas, a marketplace of l employment based in the Twin Cities where employers have access to an untapped pool of talent. moms.

The platform, launched in 2019, posts part-time, temporary and full-time positions and connects interested people with company representatives.

Bus Stop Mamas is used by more than 12,000 moms – and some dads – across the United States, primarily in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Ohio. There is also some international use. More than 600 employers have posted job openings on the site, including Boston Scientific, LearningRx, real estate firm Ryan Cos. Minneapolis-based and Brooklyn Center-based Caribou Coffee, Ziniewicz said.

Tracey Baubie, chief executive of the Minneapolis-based Comprehensive Research Group (CRG), a company that conducts clinical research for the beauty industry, has used Bus Stop Mamas to hire since 2020. Most of those positions were for recruiters part-time jobs that took on people participating in research studies, as well as technical positions, Baubie said.

“It’s been a fantastic way for us to tap into a resource that I think is underutilized and give moms the flexibility they need,” Baubie said. “We need this flexibility because of the way our business operates. It’s fabulous.”

This flexibility was crucial for CRG during the pandemic, Baubie said. His company has a small number of full-time employees, but adds part-time staff as needed. Using Bus Stop Mamas has become an easy tool for finding quality workers willing to work part-time and remotely, she said.

“The market has been shaken by COVID,” Ziniewicz said. “We now have this great opportunity to leverage what we’ve learned about how to operate differently as organizations and apply that flexibility to a group of people that our society so badly needs.”

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the number of mothers in the workforce as a whole, according to the US Census Bureau. In January 2021, 10 million mothers lived with school-age children who were not actively working, 1.4 million more than in January 2020.

Between March and April 2020, approximately 3.5 million mothers living with school-aged children left active work. The exit was the result of a move to paid or unpaid leave, job loss or resignation, the bureau reported.

“We have a backload of talented moms who are ready to work, and we have employers who desperately need people,” Ziniewicz said.

Ziniewicz developed Bus Stop Mamas using a mix of angel investment dollars and $56,000 in grants from Launch Minnesota, an initiative of the Minnesota Department of Jobs and Economic Development to support start-up businesses.

In 2023, Ziniewicz plans to improve the platform by adding automation and data analytics to measure the behavior of job seekers and employers. It also plans to grow in six new markets while refining its pricing model. Employers can pay per job posting, for a set number of posts per month, or subscribe to a business model to post throughout the year.

“We solve the problem of finding highly skilled part-timers who can come in and cost half the cost of a full-time employee and start right away,” Ziniewicz said.

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