There are approximate 8.4 million part time workers in the UK. For businesses of all sizes there are a huge range of advantages to employing members of staff on a part time basis – but there are also several challenges which must be taken into consideration.
Advantages and disadvantages to employing part time members of staff:
Keeping costs down. Employing somebody on a part time basis can be an effective way to reduce staff costs in roles where there isn’t necessarily a need for someone on a full time basis.
Attracting the best talent. Having the option of part time work can help both with recruitment and staff retention; part time work can be attractive to parents with young families or those approaching the later years in their careers and are looking to reduce their hours. These people can offer a wealth of skills and experience and offering flexible and/or family friendly working arrangements can lead to improvements in staff retention.
Flexibility. Part time employees can enable a company to ensure that it has the right number of people in the right roles during times when business demands are greater. Roles and working hours can be determined around a variety of scenarios and may be fixed with an individual working fewer hours each day or working set days or alternatively a part time employee may work shifts which could vary on a week to week basis. There are also options around employing members of staff on term-time contacts or on a job share basis.
Staff morale and productivity. It’s not just part time employees themselves who can benefit; they can alleviate the pressure of workloads on full time members of staff – particularly if a business is relying upon overtime to keep up with demand – and therefore help reduce stress and combat low levels of staff morale in the workplace.
Additional costs. Part time workers can impact on costs and businesses need to consider that employing individuals on a part time basis can lead to additional expense – for example with benefits and training.
Recruiting part time employees:
As an employer, you will need to determine whether a particular role would be suited to a part time working arrangement. To do this you will need to take into account:
Objectives and outcomes. Establish what you want the employee to achieve and consider what time is needed to do each aspect of the role. Also think about the particular skills and personal attributes that will be needed and include these in a detailed specification.
Working hours. Think about whether there are elements of the job which have to be done on certain days or at certain times – this will help you understand how much flexibility there is in the hours you would require the successful candidate to work. Also consider whether the role is to be created on a part time only or job share basis.
Recruitment process and interviews. Make the process as convenient to those looking to work part time as possible to attract the best candidates; part time opportunities can open up the recruitment pool to applicants who may not have considered the position if it was on a full time basis. Try and schedule interviews at times which suit the part time hours being offered i.e. on the relevant days.
Managing part time employees:
It is important to consider how part time employees will fit into your existing team structure and to also give thought to how you will effectively communicate and manage those who are not working full time hours.
Communications. You must make sure that all part time workers receive all staff communications; you may need to contact them by phone, email or text message if they are not at work on a day when you make an important announcement or send out a message for the first time. For staff meetings and company briefings, try to find a time when all team members will be available or if this is not possible, hold additional sessions which will give every employee an opportunity to attend.
Flexibility. Establish whether your part time workers can work additional hours on major projects or attend meetings which fall outside their normal working hours. Are they happy to be contacted by you on days that they are not at work?
Training. Part time employees should have access to the same training courses which you offer to full time members of the team; consider if you need to make adjustments to how these are delivered i.e. inclusion of home study time and condensing particular elements of the course.
Employing part time members of staff:
Part time workers must be treated equally to comparable full-time employees who work for the same company and perform similar roles under the same type of employment contract. This includes:
Salary / rates of pay
Access to occupational pension scheme
Training, career development opportunities and consideration for promotion
Right to receive enhanced sick, maternity, paternity, adoption leave and pay as well as parental leave and dependents leave
Pro rata contractual benefits such as paid annual leave and staff discounts
Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today to speak to a member of our team about your recruitment needs.