A guide about part time workers – when, why and how

A guide about part time workers - when, why and how
Photo: SeventyFour, Bigstock

Part time workers can really fill a void for many employers, especially during times that are extra busy, such as the Christmas rush. You don’t always need fulltime workers and you don’t want to employ permanent workers when you don’t need them permanently. So what are your options when it comes to part time workers?

In this post we’ll be going over some options on how to find the right workers when you need them, as well as reasons why you may want to employ part time workers and when.

When might you need part time workers?

Many people equate part time work with casual work. Meaning, the positions isn’t likely to be ongoing.

A perfect example of hiring a casual or part timer in this scenario would be when a female worker goes on maternity leave and you need someone to fill the gap until they come back to work.

Many businesses experience a sudden rush around peak periods such as Christmas time and need extra staff to handle the added workload. Once the rush ends, so does the part time or casual employment.

Another common scenario is when regular employees take annual leave. It might be anywhere from a week to a few months at a time. Rather than pass on extra work to existing employees, a temporary employee might be brought in on a part time or fulltime casual role until the regular employee returns to work.

A few pertinent examples of when you might need temporary workers in the blue collar world might be the following:

Let’s say you own a panel beating shop and very recently a hail storm tore through the local area. Suddenly you’re deluged with insurance repair work on multitudes of vehicles and you don’t have the staff on hand to cope with the sudden extra workload.

Or, you might be a mining company and have just located some new ground rich in gold or iron ore. You need extra staff to get the new mine up and running. Some of these employees may stay for the long haul, while others you’ll only need until the new mine is operational.

There are countless scenarios where businesses might need part timers or casuals for a set period of time, and there are actually quite a few workers on the employment market looking for opportunities like these.

Travellers are a good example. They return to Australia after spending a few months exploring overseas and need some temporary work until it’s time to go travelling again.

What are some other advantages of hiring part time and casual employees?

We’ve already touched on a few, but let’s investigate some other reasons why it would be to your advantage to hire some part timers.

There is more flexibility when you have a number of workers who work on a part time basis. You can rotate their shifts. If a morning part timer needs time off one morning, you can switch them to the afternoon and have the regular afternoon worker do the morning shift.

When workers are only there part time they can be more focused and productive.

It’s much easier to work hard and work well for say, a 4 hour shift than it is to put in maximum effort for 8 hour work days.

If workers are employed on a casual basis then you’re not responsible for paying holiday pay or paying the workers to have time off for a public holidays.

Where and how to find part time workers

How you go about recruiting part time workers when you need them will depend somewhat on your type of business and how urgently you need staff, as well as whether they need certain qualifications, skills or training.

Some ways you could find staff are:

  • Classified ads in the newspaper
  • Posting job ads online on sites like Seek
  • Headhunting staff from rival companies
  • Word of mouth referrals
  • Enlisting the help of a recruitment agency
  • Labour hire companies

The above list doesn’t cover every single option there is, but these are some of the most common ways to find and recruit staff.

Let’s now look at a few of these options in a little more detail.

Classified ads and online job boards

On a minor note, these will cost you money for advertising.

On a more major note, while it can be one of the easiest ways to get plenty of applications for your positions, it will also involve a lot of work on your end, either by you or members of your staff.

You and your team will have to field phone calls, read through cover letters, stacks and stacks of resumes, compile a shortlist of possible candidates, check references, call people in for interviews, then deliberate and make a decision on who to ultimately hire.

It can amount to a hell of a lot of work and will take up much of your valuable time, time that really needs to be spent on running the business.

Recruitment agencies

Often this can be a better route, though more costly because you’re paying someone to do much of the ground work for you.

The recruitment agency will either refer people on their books to you, or they’ll advertise on your behalf and do all the initial screening, sending you a shortlist of candidates to interview for available positions.

Probably an all round better option than trying to handle the entire process yourself.

Labour hire

If your business in is the blue collar sector, then labour hire for part timers and casuals will be just what you need.

Labour hire companies have qualified staff on hand all ready to start work when you need them. There’s no need for any screening or interview processes as all workers have already been pre-qualified.

The labour hire firm will contract the workers to you and invoice your company for the hours they work. You just pay the invoice amount, and the labour hire firm takes care of everything else.

You get the skilled workers you need as soon as you need them, with no hassle, no major effort on your behalf and no headaches.

It’s both a cost-effective and time-effective solution.

What do you think about it?