Should I Hire a Part-Time Employee?

Should I Hire a Part-Time Employee?

Hiring a part-time employee might be right for your small business if you

  • need more help but don’t want to increase your labor costs too much
  • don’t have enough work to keep them occupied for 40 hours each week
  • want to see if someone will be a good fit for your company

The Department of Labor doesn’t define how many hours a full-time employee works. Traditionally, though, full-time staff members work 40 hours per week. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) defines full-time employment as working an average of 30 or more hours per week.

Keep reading to learn more about whether a part-time team member is right for your small business.

Advantages of hiring a part-time employee

  • Save money by lowering labor costs. Particularly because part-time staff members don’t generally receive the same benefits as full-time workers.
  • You’ll expand your talent pool. There are plenty of qualified candidates who don’t want a full-time job. When you choose to hire someone part-time, you might attract stay-at-home parents who only want to work while their kids are in school or a retiree who wants to supplement their income and stay busy. You might even be able to hire students who want to work around their class schedule. Read also: 9 Tips for Hiring Students
  • You can find out if the worker is a good fit for your company. If you’re worried about a new employee disrupting your carefully curated culture, hiring someone part-time can help you see them in action and determine if they’d be a good cultural fit. You might decide later to hire them full-time.

Disadvantages of hiring a part-time team member

  • They’re not always as loyal as full-time employees. It’s often more difficult to retain part-time staff, especially if they want a full-time position and you don’t have anything for them.
  • They might feel out of place. Because your full-time staff members are around each other all day every day, they’ll build friendships. If they only see their part-time coworkers occasionally, they might not get to know them as well. This might lead to your part-time team members feeling left out.

Tips for hiring a part-time staff member

Although hiring a part-time worker is very similar to hiring a full-time one, there are some additional things to consider.

  1. Define part-time versus full-time in your employee handbook. Besides specifying how many hours each type works, also indicate which benefits part-time team members are eligible for and which only apply to full-time workers. This will cut down on confusion once your part-time staff member joins the company. Read also: What’s in an Employee Handbook?
  2. Indicate that you’re hiring for a part-time position in your ad. To ensure you’re attracting people that don’t want full-time employment, make it very clear that the open job is part-time. Be careful not to make any promises about it eventually leading to a full-time gig.
  3. Ask why candidates want to work part-time. Many job hunters want a full-time position but are willing to take something part-time while they’re searching. To ensure qualified candidates will stick around, ask them why they prefer part-time off full-time work.

Read also: 5 Tips for Improving Your Hiring Process