Hiring part time employees: How can you tap into their potential?

The world of work and employment is constantly changing. Businesses need to adapt roles to meet business requirements; they also need to meet changing employee expectations, including a want for more flexibility or an improved work-life balance.

A natural consequence of this has been an increasing number of employers considering more part time roles, particularly in more senior positions…

What trends are there around senior part time roles?

The number of UK employees who are working part time for a salary of more than £40,000 has increased by 10% in the last year (2017-18), according to Personnel Today. That suggests more and more businesses are tapping into the potential of part time, senior roles.

According to the same study, a quarter of workers would rather work part time, for less money, if they knew it would have no impact on their career progression.

The benefits of a part time role for your business

These stats are interesting – but they do beg the question: why are more businesses recruiting for part time roles? Of course, every business will have different requirements from a part time employee but, broadly speaking, they will be tapping into the following benefits:

  • A part time role could use your full time salary budget differently. By offering the full time salary to a part time candidate a business is likely to secure a technical or experienced skill set, adding value but over fewer hours. The right part time employee could positively contribute to the technical capacity of a business but for no additional cost.
  • By being open to part time roles employers will open their vacancies to a new set of candidates – including those who are looking to establish a better work life balance. There are many high-quality, ambitious workers who could be attracted to the right part time role.
  • Part time positions may give more granularity to roles. For example, employers may recruit for two part time roles with more focussed specialisms – as opposed to trying to find someone who can ‘do it all’.

How can your business make the most of part time roles to attract the right talent?

If more flexibility around part time roles sounds like something your business could benefit from, then make sure you take the following into account too:

Start by assessing why you are hiring

We would begin by suggesting you assess exactly why you are hiring. Is it to fill a vacancy following a departure? Is it because of a change in structure that a new role is being created? Or do you simply need ‘more hands on deck’?

By establishing why you’re hiring you’ll then be able to identify whether a part time role is, in fact, feasible.

For example, if you are hiring because a new role had been created, would you benefit from someone with expertise but, realistically, will the capacity be there for him or her to work on a full time basis?

Alternatively, if you are hiring because someone has left your business, consider what his or her workloads were like. Be careful not to simply compact a full time role into fewer hours. Look more at whether more experience or expertise could increase productivity in a role.

Consider career progression when you are hiring

After assessing the possibility of a part time role, think about how you can attract the right candidate.

Remember – a significant factor holding people back from part time positions is the concern that it may impact their progression or career. Why not consider this when you are recruiting? Think about how you can provide part time staff with appropriate support, opportunities and training.

Talk to your recruitment partners

Finally, speak with your recruitment agency about the fact you are considering making a role part time. They will help you market the role to the right candidates, who may only be considering part time work. We often speak to candidates who very specifically want a part time role: they may be perfect for your next new vacancy but may not have considered a full time position in the past.

Shifting perspectives

Despite all of the benefits we have explained, the term ‘part timer’ is often associated with negative connotations. However, as more and more job seekers are looking for a positive work life balance, it may be time for businesses to shift that perspective and tap into quality, experienced candidates on a part time basis.

Speak to the Anne Corder Recruitment team today to learn more about how we can support you in making the right hire – which may be part time!

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.