Parents on Board: the employment platform that reconciles professional ambition and family life
A 2014 graduate of the Master cycle in Finance in the Grande École Program at IÉSEG, and former CFO in a large corporation, Hubert PELLERIN decided to take a new turn in 2022 by joining his sister in an entrepreneurial adventure with a social mission, named “Parents on Board“. Read his interview here.
Parents on Board – what is it?
Parents on Board is first and foremost a job board that offers both flexible job offers and customized coaching programs. What makes us different from other platforms is that we mainly target a population of parents with the mission of helping them balance their professional ambitions with their personal lives. My sister, who co-founded Parents on Board, has experienced the difficulties of raising three daughters while trying to maintain her career and continue to grow professionally. That’s how she decided to launch Parents on Board. Indeed, it is often a great challenge to keep an interesting and challenging job within a company that you like, while remaining available for your children. In order to address this issue, we offer coaching programs adapted to the individual, and our job board facilitates the search for a flexible job (part-time, full remote,…) by identifying the most Family Friendly companies available and which are concerned about parenthood. The benefits offered by these companies are very diverse (nursery spaces, longer parental leave, sick leave, breastfeeding rooms, post-maternity leave coaching…).
We also have a blog written by experts (psychologists, HR managers, parenting coaches, etc.) with articles on specific topics such as maternity leave management, parenting in the workplace, etc. It is mainly aimed at women, who are 90% of those most affected by issues related to parenting in the workplace.
How do you find companies that are Family Friendly?
We work mainly with external labels such as B-Corp, which is one of the main CSR labels and which includes a fairly dense section on parenthood. We also work with Parental Act and Family Friendly Company, which are labels that are specific to parenthood in companies. However, if a company without a label contacts us to be listed on our site, we have a selection committee that identifies and collects information about the company and determines whether or not we can include it on our job board. We remain very selective about the companies we choose because we know that the talents who register on our platform trust us on this selection. Similarly, when it comes to job offers, we only publish flexible offers that meet certain specific criteria.
In the end, on our site, you can find all types of companies (from very small companies with a dozen employees, to very large companies with several thousand employees, start-ups, scale-ups…) as long as they respect parenthood!
Did your studies at IÉSEG help you prepare for entrepreneurship?
Yes, completely. It helps me in several ways. First of all, it allowed me to start a great career in finance because the master’s degree gave me a solid base of expertise in the field. Thanks to this, I was able to join an investment fund at a very young age, where I observed how a company works from a strategic and financial point of view, and then to become the financial director of a small company, and finally, to become the manager of my own company. The Master in finance not only gave me knowledge in the field of finance but also in business management, project management… The consulting project I did during my studies also allowed me to learn about legal and tax issues. Not to mention the exchange in China which gave me a great open-mindedness, very important in today’s globalized world to work with different types of people. Even if it was almost 10 years ago, what I acquired still resonates with me today.
What is Parents on Board’s biggest challenge today?
We’ve just launched the company (in January 2023), so I think the first challenge will be to prove the value of our service and above all, to keep the balance between the number of job offers and the number of qualified candidates, so that it becomes a sustainable service.
Any advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?
Communicate as much as possible with other people about your project, your ideas, your strategy, and constantly iterate to make your strategy evolve and to obtain advice that is sometimes precious. When you develop something on your own, you tend to have your head in the game and sometimes you don’t realize that you’re making mistakes. You have to be open to continuously make your project evolve and not stick with the original idea that you absolutely do not want to let go of. You have to test and adapt according to what works or not.