If you consider only full-time hires as part of your organizational structure, your business is missing out on some really smart and affordable talent. Who are they? They’re a growing number of individuals, from various stages of life, who specifically want and value part-time as they raise children, take care of an ailing parent, volunteer or simply desire to scale back as they get closer to retirement. They are experienced, confident and mature, and they value flexibility more than a title or compensation package. Historically, ‘moms’ have comprised the greatest percentage of candidates seeking part-time. However, increasingly this talent pool is becoming more diversified and a growing number of job seekers who choose to work at competitive rates (and no benefits) in exchange for the opportunity to work in a meaningful, part-time role.
Let’s take a look:
Baby Boomers – 74 percent of adults now plan to work past retirement age — 63 percent part-time and 11 percent full-time (Gallup Poll). As life expectancy increases, so too does a desire to stay engaged among this growing demographic. In a part-time role, Boomers can serve as mentors, passing down a wealth of critical knowledge and experience to younger workers.
Care Givers – 1 in 2 employees expect to provide elder care in the next 5 years (National Study of Changing Workforce). Both men and women, young and old, can find themselves in this situation. Allowing a work schedule that reduces the stress involved in caregiving not only helps attract new employees but reduces the likelihood that your current ones who fall in this growing category will leave.
Millennials – Yes, even some millennials desire part-time! A reduced schedule allows this group to earn a steady income yet gives them the flexibility to pursue a passion, volunteer, or open their own business. Given that this group represents the largest percentage of the workforce (Pew Research), companies need to think of creative ways to attract millennials who tend to prioritize flexible work schedules over pay.
Re-Entry and Working Moms – There are still thousands of highly talented women who wish to re-enter the workforce in a part-time way or scale back from the 9-5. They are typically so grateful to find a meaningful part-time role, they will give you their all and then some! You can’t beat their value.
As the ‘part-time’ talent pool grows, those businesses that are not offering part-time and flexible work options will increasingly miss out on some of the best and most affordable talent out there. Where can you find these talented job seekers? Many are not looking through traditional channels as they are historically not good options to find part-time work. Figure out where your targeted talent pool hangs out and go there. If you want to attract re-entry candidates, meet with moms groups or find someone who runs a local listserve. Want to attract baby-boomers? Contact people who run retirement planning seminars or retirement groups. As with most hires, start with your own network (as well as your employees network) and make it clear in your job posting that the hours are part-time. You will be surprised at just how many talented, cost-effective resources you can find once the word gets out that you are open to part-time hiring.
Ellen Grealish is Co-Founder/Partner of FlexProfessionals, LLC, a niche staffing agency that matches professionals seeking meaningful, flexible work with growing businesses looking for top talent. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.