If you’re in need of additional staff but don’t necessarily need a full-time employee (or can’t afford a full-time employee due to current budgetary limitations), consider hiring a part-time employee. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t define what makes an employee full-time or part-time, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor does. According to them, part-time employees work less than 34 hours a week.
It’s also important to know the difference between part-time employees and independent contractors since misclassification can result in stiff penalties. The main differences between part-time workers and independent contractors is that you control how and when a part-time employee does their job as well as when and how they are paid. There is also a written contract defining the relationship between part-time workers and their employers.
Benefits to Your Business
There are a number of potential benefits to hiring an employee on a part-time basis instead of full-time. Here are just a few of the possible advantages of doing so:
- Lower hiring costs – Taking on part-time employees costs a lot less. Not only do they work fewer hours than full-time employees, but if your budget is stretched at some point, you can schedule them for fewer hours than normal. You have total control over how many hours you give them, and you do not have to offer part-time workers the same benefits as your full time staff.
- Reduce current workload – If your business experiences busy seasons and slow seasons, hiring part-time employees is a great way to reduce the workload of your current staff. Once things slow down, you won’t have to worry about having full-time employees on your payroll that have nothing to do. You can simply cut the hours of your part-time employees when business is slow.
- Improve scheduling flexibility – When it comes to your full-time staff, scheduling isn’t as flexible. Most full-time employees have set times during which they work. With part-time workers, you can schedule them when you need them. If you know things are going to get hectic on a certain day or season, you can schedule them for that time. You can also schedule part-time employees for days that your full-time employees have taken off.
Prepare a Clear Job Description
Just because you’re looking for part-time employees does not mean that the job isn’t important to your company, so be sure your job description is accurate. You will want to attract candidates who will be capable of doing the job you need done. Being too general with the job title and description will make it difficult to hire someone that will fulfill your company’s goals and expectations.
Use Specific Wordings
Be as specific as possible when writing your job description. For example, list out the types of skills and experience the job requires as well as what the position itself will entail. This will help ensure that interested individuals can determine whether they qualify or not. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time going through resumes of people that aren’t qualified. Find a way to emphasize how much your organization will value the work done by the person filling this position, even though it is part-time.
Be Selective with Job Postings
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to submit your job posting everywhere. Doing this will just result in more resumes being sent your way that you’ll have to spend countless hours going through. Be selective with where you put your job postings. Think about the type of employee you’re looking for and focus your efforts on where job candidates who would qualify for your position might be looking. Do a little research online for niche job boards and job sites that relate to the open position.
Don’t Overlook the Unemployed
Don’t assume that the majority of people who are unemployed won’t be interested in part-time work because they are looking for a full-time job. There are many unemployed people who may be specifically looking for part-time work. There may also be workers out there who have just been laid off and need short-term work until they are able to find something more long term. You might keep your eye out for any local layoffs.
Don’t Rule Out Students
Students are a great source to tap for part-time employees, especially for retail companies and service-related businesses. Students often seek part-time work while they aren’t in class so that they can pay for things like tuition, living expenses, or just to have some money in their pockets. When you hire a student part-time, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to use them during school breaks as well, including on some of the major holidays. If you have a part-time position that requires particular skills, look at students who are enrolled in programs that are relevant to your industry. You could ask the school to advertise the position on your behalf.
When you ask a job candidate to come in for an interview, be sure to ask questions that are open ended. Part-time positions are important and you’ll want to make sure that they are a good fit. Misaligned hires could result in poor work being done and could affect your other employees as well. Gauging whether they will take the job seriously even though it’s part-time is an important part of the interview process. Ask questions like how have they managed to perform a job in the past with limited resources or how do they prepare for working in a high-pressure environment.
Promote Flexibility to Specific Demographics
The flexibility of part-time work can be a huge perk for a lot of job candidates. It’s not just students who need flexible work hours because of school. For example, freelancers often take part-time work to supplement their main source of income. Parents who need additional income will be more attracted to part-time work that they can do while their children are at school. Make it known if the position allows for flexible hours and you’re likely to attract more candidates.
Offer Competitive Pay
You can pay part-time workers well and still save money since you have control over their work schedules and you don’t have to offer benefits. Competitive pay can help you attract some of the more highly qualified candidates interested in part-time work. It also helps to highlight the potential of earning a pay increase if you’re offering it and detailing how an employee can earn that pay increase.
Offer Attractive Benefits
Although you’re not required to provide benefits to part-time workers, you can still offer benefits to make the position more attractive, like health insurance, vacation pay, or other fringe benefits. This can help your job offer stand out from other similar job offers out there.
Give Generous Employee Discounts
If you don’t have the budget for competitive wages or benefits, you can always offer generous employee discounts. If the job candidate already spends a significant amount of money on your company’s products or services, then providing substantial employee discounts can be incredibly attractive.
Use a Professional’s Expertise
Part-time employees can be very beneficial to your company’s staffing needs. However, a lot of work and time goes into advertising part-time positions, collecting resumes, holding interviews, and then finally actually hiring the right part-time employee. It’s why you might want to consider hiring a professional staffing agency. Professional staffing agencies adhere to very strict standards when it comes to finding workers for your company, even for part-time positions. Not only will you save time when you work with a staffing agency, but you’ll be more likely to fill your part-time positions with hard working, qualified employees.
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