Will ‘jump ship’ once a better, full-time job comes along
While there will always be those who might take a part-time gig until a full-time job is found (and there are ways to determine this in the interview process by the way), I have found that this is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to professional jobs. Whether it be a parent who wants to be home by 3pm, a recently retired professional who wants to remain engaged, or a millennial who wants to launch his/her own business but needs some steady income, there are a growing number of job seekers who not only will choose a part-time job but will feel they hit the jackpot if they can find one! These are people who do not consider themselves ‘underemployed’ (like those forced into part-time work by an employer) but instead fortunate to have found a role that offers them the flexibility they ideally seek. Rather than jumping, these part-time employees will want to maintain the ‘part-time’ gig for a very long time.
Not as experienced or educated
People looking for professional, part-time work can be just as accomplished, and sometimes even more so, than those seeking full-time. How? Because those who choose part-time are typically of the ‘been there, done that’ mindset. They have already proven themselves through years of professional work experience and are now at a time in their lives where seniority and responsibility (and the stress that comes along with that) are not as important as the environment in which they work and the flexibility which they are offered. They have the confidence and maturity to accept certain roles that might have been considered ‘beneath’ them at one time in their career, but is now considered ‘perfect’ as they prioritize other obligations and interests. Throw the ‘never higher an over-qualified candidate’ rule out the window when considering part-time hires.
Not fully committed or productive
Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘part-time’ is the same as ‘temp’. Those employees who value part-time and feel fortunate to have found a part-time opportunity recognize that not all employers are so flexible. Therefore they are 100% committed to your business over the long-term. They realize that they need to focus and prioritize on the fundamental aspects of their job in order to successfully maintain their part-time schedule. They are forced to eliminate meetings and side conversations that are non-essential to their roles, and as a result can be even more efficient on an hourly basis than traditional employees.
Will not be there when you really need them
Flexibility goes both ways! Because of their business experience and maturity, most part-time professional workers understand that just like with a 40-hour work week, there will always be those times when you have to work a bit more or outside your schedule due to pressing business needs. Therefore if your company has a tight deadline or crises, valued part-time employees will rearrange their schedule or work additional hours virtually to accommodate the needs of the business. As long as unexpected deadlines and crises are the exception versus the norm, you will find that your part-time employee will be motivated to do what it takes to make your business and their work successful.
Working part-time is a benefit only to the employee
While part-time job seekers value the benefit of being able to leave at a certain time or work less than 5 days per week, they are not the only ones that benefit from the flexibility a company may offer. By embracing part-time hires, a company has access to a whole new talent pool of people (including the 27.7 million already choosing to work part-time) that they might not otherwise be able to attract in the old, 9-5 model. Given that these voluntary part-time workers value flexibility, many see it as part of their compensation and are willing to work at competitive rates and no benefits in exchange for the opportunity to work in a part-time role. This gives companies, small businesses in particular, access to a level of skills and experience that they might not be able to afford otherwise. Those companies positioned for growth but don’t have the money or work to justify a 40-hour hire now have an effective way to bring in talent and stay on a growth path without having to break the bank.
Ellen Grealish is one of the co-founders of FlexProfessionals, LLC, a niche staffing company that specializes in sourcing professionals for part-time, project-based and flexible work arrangements at a fraction of traditional employee costs. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.