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Why hiring part-timers is a smart move for SMEs

With many companies reworking their recruitment strategies as a result of the pandemic, it’s worth remembering that there are some clear benefits to hiring part-timers, especially for SMEs.

By Jenny Vadevalloo, Senior Account Manager, Timewise Jobs

Business people

As we begin to emerge from Covid-19, and are getting a clearer sense of the way the economy is going, many companies are starting to reboot their hiring strategies. And the focus on hybrid means that more and more employers are building an element of remote working into their roles.

However, there’s another kind of flexible working that can be hugely helpful for employers at this time: part-time. And while the focus on remote working is a positive step, it does mean that part-time is getting less attention. That’s a real shame, because there are some clear benefits to hiring part-timers, especially for SMEs.

Here are some of the reasons why it’s worth building part-time into your recruitment plans.

Senior-level experience and knowledge for a junior-level budget

If you have the budget to recruit a full-time junior employee, it’s worth considering using it to hire a more senior, part-time individual. For the same spend, you’ll get a wealth of experience that a junior employee wouldn’t have; for example, operating at a strategic level, or manging budgets and teams.

Additionally, although they would be working fewer hours, it’s highly likely that a senior part-timer would work more efficiently and independently than someone less experienced, due to the depth and breadth of their knowledge base.

This is certainly the view of Meg Abdy, Development Director of Legacy Foresight, a longstanding client of Timewise Jobs which offers strategic advice to leading charities across the UK, Netherlands and Australia. Their team of highly skilled analysts, researchers and marketing experts have always worked flexibly, at a time and place that suits them.

As Meg notes:

“We’ve found that the best use of our budget is to have someone more experienced and of a higher calibre for, say, two days each week. It means we can trust them to get on and do the job, without having to spend lots of time managing them. They bring a maturity of mindset and skills that you wouldn’t get from a more junior team member.”

Smaller financial commitment in uncertain times

Similarly, given the economic impact that the pandemic has had on many companies, hiring a part-timer can be a less risky step to take. And remember it’s not just the basic salary, but also NI and pension contributions, which will be pro-rated.

So if your forecasting is making you wary of taking on financial commitments, but you know you need to add someone into your team, hiring part-time would allow you to bring in the expertise you need, but without a full-time outlay.

Access to a bigger pool of committed, talented individuals

Part-time job vacancies are like gold dust; only 8% of jobs are advertised as fewer than five days per week. So by offering a part-time role, you’ll widen your candidate pool to include talented people who want to work, but need a part-time opportunity to do so. This is particularly pertinent at a time when skills shortages are on the rise.

As Meg explains: “Our business requires some very specific skill sets, and needs people with complementary skills who can work closely together. Offering part-time opportunities does give us more choice when it comes to recruiting for these roles, as it opens them up to people who can’t work full time – or prefer not to.”

And there’s an argument that part-time employees offer heightened commitment to their employers, as Meg would agree:

“In our experience, our team appreciates the commitment we are showing them by offering a working pattern that suits their circumstances, which they repay with their loyalty and work ethic. And from our employees’ perspectives, there are no negatives to get in the way of them doing an excellent job.”

Over 100,000 part-time candidates, all in one place

The benefits of hiring part-time employees are clear, then; they are also particularly relevant to SMEs. As well as widening your access to candidates, it will allow you to compete for talent against larger businesses and help stretch your budgets. It also offers a soft touch approach to D&I initiatives.

And the good news is, we can help you access them. Timewise Jobs has over 100,000 registered candidates, of which 72% have professional or management experience, and we have a great track record in supporting our clients to find the right people.

As Meg concludes: “We have recruited our last nine employees through Timewise Jobs. They have the right calibre of interesting people on their books, and they really understand what we’re looking for.” We’d be happy to help you in a similar way; feel free to get in touch to find out more.

Published July 2021

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