In decades past, most professionals were only interested in adding full-time positions to their resumes. Today, a growing number of people are seeking more flexible, part-time positions to give them more freedom in how they live their lives and manage their time.
For businesses, this increasing interest in part-time work is a win-win: You can get the highly skilled and specialized talent you need, at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Whether you make a part-timer an official staff member or hire them on a freelance or contract basis, you can strategically use these employees to accomplish your business goals. Below, we explain how to do it.
1. Involve Them in the Ideation Process
Many part-timers are looking for flexibility to pursue their own endeavors. These folks are daring and rarely take "no" for an answer. They also bring with them a variety of experience and perspective. My advice to leaders is to involve part-timers in the ideation process. These folks are out there practicing innovation and redefining the future of work. Why not tap into that knowledge base?
2. Use Part-Timers for Special Projects
Leaders are challenged with achieving strategic priorities while running daily operations. Overcome this by utilizing part-time employees like elite special forces. While your full-time workforce is gaining ground with day-to-day operations, put your part-time employees to use taking on tactical projects. They can work more independently, yet still be effective at helping to achieve your mission.
3. Bring in Part-Timers When your Internal Processes, Management and Culture are Solid
Leaders who have created an environment where there are strong internal processes, project management and change management cultural capabilities are the ones best positioned to take advantage of the part-time workforce. Build up internal, operational processes and declutter decision-making layers if you want to exploit the benefits of a part-time workforce.
4. Cross-Train Them to Take on and Fill in for Various Roles
Leaders can take advantage of the part-time workforce by hiring them with the intent of cross training them for the various job roles within the company. The part-time workers can fill in as needed so that the productivity of the work is uninterrupted. This further positions the company and its leaders for continued success.
5. Help Your Full-Timers Build Leadership Skills by Managing Part-Timers
Often, there's a period before a company needs to hire additional employees where responsibilities expand and multiple smaller projects can emerge on the scene. Hiring part-time contractors can help existing employees grow in their management skills, prevent those same employees from being overwhelmed by smaller side projects and potentially provide a path to discovering a future full-time hire.
6. Scale Your Business More Effectively with Part-Time Workers
Today's global talent pool of specialized experts makes it possible to act big while managing your bottom line. Leaders can access every possible expertise on demand making it easier to respond to any business demand. Part-timers can also allow you to scale in a more manageable way. Part-timers can make it possible to test out new ideas without having to make huge financial investments.
7. Fill in Current Skill Gaps
Leaders can leverage part-time workers to determine what skills, competencies, strengths and weaknesses exist in its current full-time workforce. Part-time workers can add value through providing needed skills while saving some money on benefits, bonuses, etc. Therefore, finding highly competent part-time workers to build out a team is a perfect way to use a part-time workforce.
8. Introduce Flex-Time into the Workplace
The part-time workforce represents an incredible jumping point for giving all personnel what they want: a flexible schedule. When you see these individuals as pieces who fit in the puzzle to close those gaps and eliminate those frustrations, you are harnessing a powerful employee satisfaction tool. Everyone wins when schedules can flex to meet staff needs, goals and work styles.
9. Pay for their Training
Many people in a part-time role value what they learn and the mentorship involved in part-time roles. Companies and leaders can create powerful bonds by offering this group training and specialized skill development. The beauty of this move? It often costs very little to treat your part-time workforce this way. But this often creates a bond with those people that lasts a career lifetime.
10. Diversify your Workforce with Nontraditional Part-Time Candidates
The part-time workforce includes moms, dads, semi-retired, experience seekers, etc. Engaging motivated people within these groups brings a diversity of skills, knowledge and experience. This is a win-win. It allows these groups to share their perspective with full-time employees. And it engages groups that are often overlooked.
11. Hire Part-Timers to Work Outside 9-To-5 and Keep your Business Flowing
Part-time employees can work non-traditional business hours, which allows the business to run smoothly when you are not there. If you have a business that needs representation for international clients, take advantage of the part-time workforce to assist you in getting things done efficiently so that you are not working in the business instead of on the business.
12. Value Them as You Would a Full-Time Worker
With the steep rise of the gig economy, part-timers have become part and parcel to the U.S. workforce. Our view of them also has to rise to effectively leverage this valuable talent. Treat them as you would your full-time employees. Ensure they attend critical meetings and are kept abreast of project and department updates. Communicate their tasks ahead of time instead of at the last minute.