The Best Way to Hire Part-Time Workers

Cartoon of part-time workers in retail store.

In 2022, 2.7 million temporary workers were employed weekly by staffing companies in the U.S. This number is on the up–modern temporary and part-time workers are in high demand, highly qualified, and actively pursuing flexibility and freedom. After releasing the annual Palmer Forecast™, Greg Palmer of G. Palmer & Associates said this:

“The largest issue remains the number of workers re-entering the workforce, since there is greater selectivity in seeking new opportunities, with the current high demand for employees. Staffing companies are reporting extreme difficulty filling the many current open jobs they have.” 

In this new and challenging hiring climate, companies need to rethink the best way to hire part-time workers–especially when demand spikes during winter and summer. If your business relies on this kind of support annually, your hiring team now needs intentional strategies for hiring part-time workers to attract the best employees. What are 5 strategies to hire the best employees? Read on–we’ve got you covered. 

1) Find your legal bearings

If you’re asking “How do I hire a first part-time employee?”, congratulations! Hiring a new employee indicates your business is expanding (and perhaps experiencing growing pains). Every new manager has to start somewhere. To protect your business, take the time to understand federal and state hiring laws. 

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define what a part-time employee is–businesses decide what that means to them. However, regulations related to minimum wage, overtime, hours worked, recordkeeping, and child labor laws apply to all employment statuses, including part-time workers.  
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) states part-time employees are generally those who work less than 30 hours per week.

Make an appointment with a legal or human resources professional and bring all of your burning questions. 

2) Make the position attractive

If you’re a seasoned manager asking “How do I get more part-time employees?”, know that your competitors are wondering the same thing–and pursuing the same talent. To make your business stand out, assess what you can offer them.  

An important conversation: how to pay part-time employees. The federal minimum wage has remained stagnant at $7.25/hour. Experts agree that a nationwide raise to $15/hour is overdue; across the country, a single adult (without children) working full time had to earn more than that to afford housing and other basic living expenses in 2021. If the minimum wage had risen to keep pace with inflation and productivity since 1968, it would be $21.50/hour.

A competitive wage can help attract and retain high-quality part-time workers. Review your budget and determine what is sustainable for your operations. Non-monetary perks are just as desirable: holiday pay, personal or sick days, health insurance, or employee discounts. 

3) Write the best job description

Ready to hire? A thorough job description will generate interest from the right potential part-time employees. With more information, they self-select and decide if the position is aligned with their goals. Use specific language to communicate who you are looking for and what they can expect in the role. Vague, unclear postings receive fewer applicants. Some components to include when writing:

  • Job title
  • Identify the role as part time
  • Minimum age requirement
  • Minimum education requirements
  • Pay rate
  • Company history & background information
  • An overview of the role & responsibilities 
  • Required skills & traits
  • Desired skills & traits
  • Employee benefits
  • Opportunities for professional advancement

When you begin your interviewing process, use this job description as criteria to measure whether an applicant will be a good fit.  

4) Post selectively to target your ideal candidate

Posting your job description to excessive job sites can have an unintended effect: too many unqualified, unaligned applications to wade through. Instead, lean into underutilized recruiting ideas for part-time employees:

  • Research industry-specific job boards to find workers with a specialized interest in your field. 
  • Distribute postings to your networks! Family, friends, and former coworkers are all excellent, underrated leads.  
  • Identify college programs relevant to your industry and ask the school to advertise the position on your behalf.

Temporary staffing is still a realistic solution for seasonal demand for workers. Especially for retail and service-oriented businesses, knowing how to recruit college students for part-time jobs is one way to combat the high demand for part-time workers. Many students seek temporary, part-time work to have a little extra money in their pockets. They are also usually available during school breaks and major holidays when extra help is needed.

5) Ask good interview questions  

What is the best way to hire staff? Ask the best questions! Getting face-to-face with prospective employees is an excellent way to set the tone for a positive working relationship. 

Good questions are open-ended, spark conversation, and allow you to evaluate for fit with your customers and your culture. New hires that aren’t aligned can negatively affect your current employees and result in poor work. Look back at your original job description for guidance, and consider the unique needs of your business. 

Ultimately, the best way to hire part-time workers is to formulate a plan with your team and lean into help where you need it. Outsourcing your hiring process saves valuable staff time and helps you hire, fast.

Cool Events quote. Learn more about staffing with Jobble.

About the Author: Meghna Jaradi is a freelance writer and events manager with experience working for the Seattle Times, Kitchen Arts & Letters, Book Larder, Peddler Brewing Company, and more. You can contact her on LinkedIn.

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