Part-time employees can be very valuable to your organization since they are often the ones who help out during mid-shift busy periods or take on extra hours during the holiday season to prevent you’re having to hire en masse. They can also pinch hit when a full-time employee calls in sick and you need someone to step up quickly who already knows the ropes. Part-time employees should be valued as much as full-timers because they’re just as vital to your organization’s success.
You might think that part-time employees can have no real role in day-to-day operations because they’re only there for half the time. But some part-timers actually work as much as 32 hours a week. Involving part-time workers as much as possible allows you to benefit from their knowledge. Consider having them take on management tasks with an eye to eventually promoting them to full-time positions.
One company that is using part-time employees effectively is CarMax. Part-time employees in the business office at CarMax are treated exactly like full-time employees. Promotions are offered on the same merit, and duties are rotated so that all employees get the same type of experience. Once a full-time position opens up, if a part-time employee wants it and is performing well, he or she is usually promoted.
Hiring part-timers can offer a company a lot of flexibility. If a business is iffy, it’s better to have fewer full-time employees on the payroll. And hiring someone part-time to see how he or she works out is one way to lessen the high cost of bad hires. There has been some discussion about the Affordable Health Care Act causing more companies to hire part-timers to avoid having to pay for healthcare. In fact, the mandate on providing healthcare has been delayed until 2015, so it shouldn’t be an immediate issue. We’ll have to wait and see how the ACA plays out to fully understand its impact. And in any case, each company needs to determine how best to properly compensate its employees and provide benefits, whether they are part-time or full-time.
The jobs given to part-time employees are usually just that: jobs that can be handled on a reduced schedule. There really aren’t any general rules about which jobs can’t be performed by part-time employees. But you know best which jobs within your company are better served by full-time positions. However, as long as the duties and responsibilities are covered, part-time employees shouldn’t be ruled out of performing any job.
What kinds of jobs or benefits are you able to afford your part-time employees? How vital are they to your organization?
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.