Whether out of necessity or choice, the number of part-time employees represents a growing share of the workforce. In 2018, 28 percent of workers were part-timers compared with 20% in the early 1990s.

If your organization employs many part-timers or is considering shifting full-time employees to part-time status, consider these factors.

Recruit for part-time jobs as carefully as full-time jobs.

Recruiting part-timers is a full-time job! Don’t scale down your requirements because it’s only a part-time job. Once an employee is in your books, they represent the same liability and bring just as many challenges as full-time staff.

Tip: Recruit part-timers with the same process (e.g. interviews, assessments, pre-employment checks) as you would for full-time employees.

Bonus tip: Many employees start as part-time staff. The transition to regular employment will be easier if you have done your due diligence when they came in as part-timers.

Treat part-timers as their full-time peers.

Focus on the work performed, not the number of hours worked. Part-time staff needs training and performance evaluations just the same! Promotions to a new position might mean the end of a part-time arrangement. Discuss this with your part-time employee looking for advancement.

Tip: Employees who feel valued are more productive than those ignored by supervisors.

Consider part-time work as an option to accommodate a valued employee.

If your employee wants more time to pursue a personal goal, is dealing with health challenges or aging relatives, a flexible schedule might be key to retaining them.

Tip: The same goes for employees nearing retirement age. As Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce, employers should consider part-time work as a way to transfer knowledge and ease older employees into the next phase of their life.

Respect part-timers’ schedule.

Part-time work doesn’t mean on-call workers. Many part-timers work shorter hours to attend to other obligations. They want a reliable schedule every week instead of rotating shifts.

Tip: If variable hours are required, make that clear during the recruiting process to avoid disappointment and tension down the road.

Part-time workers can provide flexibility.

But schedule it in advance and make sure you pay for the extra hours worked.

Tip: A part-timer is more productive than a temp hired from the outside.

If you have questions regarding the classification of your part-time workers, contact me for advice.