How to Successfully Tap into the Part-time Talent Pool

When there’s a candidate shortage and great people are not readily available, it might be time to rethink the role you want to recruit for.

There are many, many great people looking to work part-time. These are people spanning all business levels and often all industries and sectors.

Their reasons for wanting part-time work could be because of family commitments with children or carer responsibilities. They might be nearing the end of their careers and want to reduce their hours. They could be one of the many who had planned to retire at 60 but have been caught out by the sharp rise in the state pension age. They could be returning from a career break. Or there is a new wave of millennials wanting ‘portfolio careers’, which is basically multiple part-time jobs. Plus, many, many more reasons.

A lot of these people have held down big roles and have a wealth of experience. They know their stuff, have been part of big projects. They don’t want to work in frontline retail roles, they want to use their skills.

Part-time jobs are in very short supply. We know that we can fill a part-time role at the drop of a hat, five times over. Whereas full-time roles are being impacted by the candidate shortage.

The Guardian has reported on just this and one of their contributors Karen Mattison commented that:

“We’re still relying on the idea that normal is full-time, Monday to Friday, and part-time is what you get as a concession – because you asked in a clever way, or you’re so good that they wanted to keep you,”

“What we’re only just starting to do is think: what would we do if we had a blank sheet of paper? What would you actually need to deliver this job?”

The evidence to support offering part-time roles should also help with your decision process. The CIPD has conducted research that shows part-time workers are often more focussed on improving their health and well-being and benefit from reduced stress levels, which mean they are actually more productive and dynamic in the workplace.

They also found that part-timers had reduced absenteeism and increased employee engagement and business loyalty.

The Economist has also been looking at the correlation between hours worked and performance and have found that there is a ‘sweet spot’. Someone doing a working week of 40 hours = 8 hours a day Monday to Friday, will on average not be productive for 14 of those hours. This gives them 5.2 hours a day where they are performing.

If you employed a part-time worker for 5 hours a day, 25 hours a week, you will likely get the same results from them versus a full-time equivalent person because you’re avoiding the less productive hours in the day and they will be focussed on the job.

Being able to positively respond to team requests for reduced hours also helps to reduce your recruitment costs and further increases engagement and loyalty.

Being open to flexible and part-time workers could be answer to your recruitment needs. We are seeing a trend emerging for jobs to be advertised as full-time but open to part-time or flexible hours. It’s something to consider or even trial to see how it works for you and your business.

If this is something you’d like to try in your business, please get in touch.

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We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – Sales, Marketing, Accountancy & Finance, HR and Office.