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Benefits of hiring part time workers

Part time workers offer businesses the chance to hire from a diverse group of talented and skilled job applicants who cannot work full time hours.

Hiring part time workers can prove to have many benefits for businesses. These workers help businesses to lower costs, increase diversity in the workplace, introduce flexibility into the office and improve productivity.

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What is classed as a part time worker?

The UK government defines a part time worker as an employee who works fewer hours than a full time worker. It states full time work as being 35 hours or more per week, but notes that “ There is no specific number of hours that makes someone full or part time”.

To be a part timer, a contracted employee must work fewer hours than an employee contracted to full time hours for the same business. The exact number of hours worked each week can vary from one company to the next, meaning that part time workers are classed as such only in relation to their full time colleagues.

What are the pros and cons of hiring part time workers?

Employers need to consider both the pros and cons of hiring part time workers before advertising job positions. Here are the major advantages and disadvantages of hiring part-time workers instead of full time employees:

Advantages of hiring part-time workers:

Lower costs

Businesses don’t always need to pay for a new full time staff member, especially if a part time staff can complete the work in fewer hours. Part time workers also help employers to lower their costs in other ways. For example, bringing in part time staff instead of paying more for full time workers to complete overtime lowers money spent on wages.

Increase diversity

Businesses can increase the diversity within their workplace by hiring part time employees such as parents, carers or people on career breaks, who don’t have the time to commit to full time work. These part time workers have other commitments, but they also have a valuable skill set, expertise and experience gained from previous work.

Introduce flexibility

Part time workers act as a part of the flexible workforce. Employing them is an excellent way for a business to experiment with introducing flexible hours or remote working opportunities, without committing the entire workforce to a new work schedule. If these employees are successful in the role, then businesses can look at allowing full time employees the chance to work from home or to pick their working hours.

Improve productivity

Even though their employer has contracted them to work fewer hours, part time workers can help to improve productivity in the workplace. They are often better motivated when they are working, as they have fewer hours to put in and more recovery time than full time workers. Part timers also help to take the strain off full timers, taking on extra workload and allowing other staff members to take time off.

Disadvantages of hiring part-time workers:

Organisational difficulties

Managers might face difficulties when it comes to scheduling meetings, hitting deadlines or delegating work. As part timers work different hours or days of the week, managers may have trouble finding suitable times for team meetings, or they might struggle to assign projects with tight deadlines. Employers can work around this challenge by improving communications and setting precise work schedules.

Difficulties integrating

Part time workers face more difficulty integrating into the teams and work culture of an organisation because they aren’t present as often as the full time workers. They might struggle to fit in with their team and feel undervalued or even unknown because of this issue. Employers can counter this problem by inviting them to the same team events and providing them with the same opportunities as everyone else.

Types of roles to consider filling with part timers

Employers can offer a range of different roles to part time workers, but some jobs are more suitable than others for this style of work. Remote jobs are good candidates for part-timers, as are roles that are contracted hourly or on a shift basis. Project work or work that usually requires outsourcing or freelancing also works well when you assign it to part time staff. Examples of suitable part time roles include the following:

  • Accountants
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Bartenders
  • Customer Service Assistants
  • Graphic Designers
  • Project Managers
  • Writers

There’s a good reason for business owners to consider employing part timers if they can bring added value to the workplace, while also streamlining the costs. Business owners interested in employing these workers can start by assessing how their business stands to benefit from the potential added value offered by part timers working alongside their full time staff.

FAQs

How do you keep part time employees?

Employers need to make part time workers feel included in the full time team to keep them in the long term. You can provide them with the same opportunities and rights as their full time colleagues, including further training, development and career progression in the future.

How do I find part timers?

Employers can find part timers by advertising vacant roles and specifying that they are accepting applicants who want to work part time hours. Employers also need to include information on the number of hours of work and if there are specific days of the week when a part timer’s attendance is necessary.

Do part time employees have to work holidays?

UK law entitles part time workers to the same working rights as full time employees. This entitlement gives them the same amount of holiday on a pro-rata basis as full timers. Part time employees only have to work bank holidays if they are contracted to by their employee.

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