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7 Tips for Hiring a Great Part-time Employee

Human Resources

For many small businesses, a part-time employee is just what's needed for specific job responsibilities. Hiring part-time staff is also a good strategy for slowly growing your business, particularly if you aren't ready to commit to the obligations incurred with a full-time employee. There's also the opportunity to select from a different talent pool, including talented individuals who are looking for a supplemental income, or others not wishing to commit to a single full-time position.

The trick is taking the right steps to ensure you hire the best part-time employee you can find. Here are seven tips to help you increase the odds of success:

1. Think Carefully about What the Part-Time Job Entails

Realistically speaking, do you expect too much for anyone to succeed in achieving your goals in a part-time structure? You're more likely to find the right person if the duties of the job are best accomplished within a part-time framework.

2. Start the Search for Candidates by Asking For Referrals

Ask people in your personal and professional network if they can recommend someone. If you already have employees, see if they have any potential referrals. But take this approach with your eyes open, since taking on a part-time employee whose name came from your aunt or best friend can be a little more complicated than hiring a complete stranger. It's good to have a "Plan B" for how to address the situation if this person doesn't work out.

3. Use Specific Wording in the Job Description

carefully worded job description for a part-time opening is no less important than its full-time counterpart. Spell out in detail the degree of skills and experience the position requires (thus discouraging applicants who clearly don't qualify), and emphasize that part-time jobs are important and valued in your business.

4. Be Selective in Posting the Job

Some employers mistakenly feel the best strategy for filling a part-time position lies in blanketing the job posting everywhere they can find. In fact, this generally results is an avalanche of applications that are far too time-consuming to sift through efficiently. Instead, consider where your ideal candidate is likely to be searching and focus your efforts there. Various small, niche job boards are usually more promising, as are part-time-focused sites such as Flexjobs that specialize in flexible and part-time positions.

5. Offer Competitive Pay

If you can offer a competitive wage for the position you may increase the quality of candidates interested in the position. Inform the newly hired part-time worker how pay increases may result, such as after regularly scheduled, favorable job performance evaluations, and their motivation to work harder should naturally follow.

6. Ask Behavioral Interview Questions

Don't waste time during a job interview merely asking about a person's background. Hone in on questions that can better predict future job performance, such as, "You say you've worked in high-pressure work environments before. How did you prepare for and meet those challenges?" Other questions might include, "How have you performed in a job with limited resources to fall back on?" and "Describe a situation where the boss left you to figure out a solution on your own." The answers you get can go a long way toward evaluating the candidate's workplace potential.

7. Never Stop Searching

Experts strongly encourage small business owners to always be on the lookout for good part-time employees. Have you met a person who looks promising but you don't currently have an open position? Invite them to apply and promise to keep their information on file. Also keep an eye on part-time employees you encounter in your daily life. "If you're in line at your favorite coffee shop and you see a worker who shows initiative and personality, ask that person to interview for your open position," writes Stephanie Farris at Frequently, she adds, "many of the best workers are already employed elsewhere."

Finding a qualified part-time employee for your business isn't as difficult as it seems. With a few strategic moves, you'll be more likely to recruit and hire the right person for the job.


This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.
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