Should I Hire a Part-Time Employee?

Should I Hire a Part-Time Employee?

Once you’ve determined it’s time to expand your workforce, you’ll have to decide between hiring a full-time and part-time employee.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time

The Department of Labor doesn’t define how many hours a week a full-time employee work. Traditionally, however, full-time employees work 40 hours a week. The Affordable Care Act defines full-time employment as working an average of 30 or more hours a week.

If you’re hiring part-time employees, it’s important that you define part-time versus full-time employment in your employee handbook. You should also indicate which benefits part-time employees are eligible for and which benefits only full-time employees are eligible for.

You should also be very clear in your job description and during the interview process that you’re hiring for a part-time position. During interviews, don’t ask candidates, “Are you looking for a part-time job?” Many job hunters want a full-time position, but are willing to take a part-time job until they find a full-time job. To determine whether someone will stick around in a part-time job, ask them, “Why do you want a part-time job?”

When you’re deciding whether to hire a part-time employee, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether a part-time employee is right for your company.

Pros of Hiring a Part-Time Employee

Hiring a part-time employee over a full-time employee will save you money by cutting down on the cost of labor. Typically, part-time employees don’t receive the same benefits as full-time employees. If this is your first employee, a part-time employee is less risky because the employee costs you less money.

Hiring for a part-time position will expand the talent pool. There are a lot of qualified candidates who don’t want a full-time job. You can hire a stay-at-home parent who only wants to work while their kids are in school, or a retiree who wants to supplement their income and stay busy. Or, you can also hire students who want to work around their classes.

You can “test drive” an employee before hiring them full-time. You can determine whether the employee will be a good cultural fit and if they’ll fit a future position before committing to hiring them full-time.

Cons of Hiring a Part-Time Employee

Part-time employees are not always as loyal as full-time employees. Even if they are, your full-time employees may assume they’re not as committed and treat them poorly because of that assumption.

It’s often more difficult to retain part-time employees, especially if a part-time employee wants a full-time position and you don’t have anything for them.