How to Get the Most From Part-Time Employees

Part-time employees can play a valuable role in a small business. They can help you deal with variations in workload without having to hire a full-time employee. Because part-timers often look for a job that requires fewer hours, you can find a person with above-average skills for the position.

But part-timers can turn into a liability if not managed well. You could end up with poorly motivated workers, unsure of their duties, unfamiliar with the company, and unsure who they report to. Here are a few tips to prevent this situation.

  • Think before you hire. Know why you’re hiring. Decide exactly what you want the person to do, what hours you want the person to work, and who he or she will report to. The position may have well-defined duties, or it may involve filling in wherever needed. Decide on the pay level and what benefits you’ll offer.
  • Communicate clearly with the part-timer. Explain the person’s duties, and who his or her superior is. Be very clear on hours and benefits. The more flexibility you can offer, the easier it will be to recruit somebody and the happier the new worker is likely to be. Make sure you explain what job performance you expect.
  • Communicate clearly with your full-time staff. Explain why you’re hiring a part-time person. Make it clear what that person will and won’t be expected to do. Designate who will manage and assign work to the part-timer. Otherwise you might find everyone trying to unload work on the new employee.
  • Make the part-timer feel like part of the company. Provide introductory training on specific duties and on the company’s business and policies. Assign a mentor or “buddy” ‒ someone the new person can turn to with everyday questions.
  • Monitor part-timers’ progress. Don’t just forget about them after they’re hired. Provide feedback on their performance and recognition if they’re doing a good job.

With attention to these points, you can make hiring a part-time employee a winning decision for your company.