A common scenario for the mtime team is to find a Moncierge that meets every preference a family has listed but one - the Moncierge will not have their own car. Although we are always happy to keep looking and find a Moncierge who does drive, it usually takes 2-3 weeks longer than usual as the candidate pool is smaller, which can be problematic for some families who need care quickly. This made us realise that having a car has been a limiting factor in many of these Moncierges ability to work, for us and for other companies in the past.
So why don't they have cars? Well, there are two main reasons: cost and necessity.
Necessity. The majority of people we hire to be our Moncierges are former stay at home mums, recent migrants or retirees so many of them no longer have regular access to a car as they simply do not need one. They're not shopping for a family anymore and don't do school pick ups so getting around by bike or public transport is easier for them.
Cost. Cars are expensive, to buy and to maintain. So for people who are only just returning to the workforce such as former stay at home mums or those who are new to the country such as migrants or refugees, affording a car isn't an option. We often see Moncierges who join our team initially use public transport to get around, but once they've been working for us for a while they are then able to afford their own vehicle.
As cars are such a limiting factor in a person's ability to work, we decided to remove this barrier and thereby give many talented and motivated individuals the opportunity to support families by incorporating ridesharing into our offering.
We let every mtime family use our Shebah rideshare account. By using Shebah, we are still able to prioritise family fit as well as provide an alternative method of transportation which is safe and reliable. Many mtime families and their Moncierges are now using Shebah, most commonly for school pick ups and getting errands done; in this way they get to keep an amazing and hard working Moncierge but also enjoy the full flexibility of our service.
Families who take advantage of our rideshare option are not charged any markups, instead we will just send you copies of the receipt and charge the amount to your account. Their Moncierge is also able to share their use of the app with the family so that they can track the rides along the way.
But why Shebah? There are three main reasons why we prefer to use their service.
1. Safety first. Shebah is a female only share rider and it is all about safety. All Shebah drivers go through extensive background checks and must have a valid Working With Children Check to create a safe environment for passengers.
2. Scheduling features. Shebah's pre-booking feature makes it easier for a Moncierge to plan her session. Using the 'Schedule Later' feature in the Shebah app, they can let the driver know if there are any special requests. For example, capsules and toddler seats can be previously requested to ensure safety for the children. By pre-booking a ride our Moncierge are sure they'll have a friendly rider waiting for them at the specified location at the right time.
3. We have shared values. Similarly to mtime, Shebah employes women and supports them with flexible working hours, financial freedom and, inclusive working environment. Every driver keeps 85% of the ride fares to make sure they are fairly compensated, higher than other ride sharing services. Shebah is also a female founded social enterprise, and donate 1% of their profits to charity.
With this in mind, if you're part of a family that only requires pick-ups and drop-offs, say, to take your children to and from school, we couldn't recommend using Shebah more highly for the same reasons.
We hope this adds some context as to why finding Moncierges with cars can take a little longer than usual. If you really need a Moncierge with a car we can definitely find them for you but if you're willing to be flexible, you'll be giving a previously unrepresented group a chance to show you their talents and support two female owned businesses!
At mtime, our focus is on ensuring that we help you find the best possible support for your family, and this is the case whether or not we as an agency are the best fit for you. We hope this blog post has been helpful and provided a great base for you to work from when choosing which transportation option will provide the right support for your family.