The secret that numerous employers are beginning to unearth is that part-time employees represent an underutilized resource. For those that have taken a long voluntary career break owing to maternity leave or caring for a loved one, part-time work offers a route back into employment.

Some employers also require part-time staff to remain flexible, while others need a more reliable and predictable workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines part-time as 35 hours or less of work per week.  The number of people working part-time in the U.S. has remained quite steady within the past decade.

A huge proportion of part-time workers report that they were working part-time only because they couldn’t find full-time jobs; but in recent times, more people are working part-time simply because they want to. There are no federal laws or regulations that entirely define full or part-time employment.

Rather, Fair Labor Standards Act regulations and ACA benefit requirements can help employers understand the difference. Most often, part-time employees work fewer hours cumulatively than full-time employees. Part-time employees are known to work less than 40 hours a week, although there are numerous exceptions to this generalization.

Numerous employers use both part-time and full-time employees depending on the needs and demands of their business. Nonetheless, here are the top reasons why companies hire part-time employees instead of full-time employees.

Reasons Why Companies Hire Part-Time Employees Instead Of Full-Time Employees

  1. Provides Greater Flexibility

Part-time employees allow employers to staff according to their company’s needs, and also make adjustments as time and events permit. For business establishments in volatile industries, it is not always recommended that you pile your roster with full-time employees during busy times, especially when they will barely have anything to do during downturns.

Part-time workers can stand for employees who are sick or on maternity leave, but long-term part-time employees can work schedules not covered by full-time employees.

  1. They Help Employers Support Over-Stretched Workers

There are situations where employers tend to be quite over-stretched that they struggle with keeping up with the needs of the business. This can in many ways negatively impacts the well-being of the affected employee, their productivity, and the overall team. By leveraging part-time staff, employers can avoid these issues and also support an overworked employee whilst increasing both employee engagement and retention.

  1. Proffer Cost-Effective Solution

Part-time employees tend to offer employers significant cost savings over full-time employees, especially owing to the rising cost of health care benefits. With full-time employees, you are on the hook for providing a full-time salary, benefits, sick leave, and retirement programs. Aside from that, you will also be expected to provide adequate workers’ compensation should an on-the-job injury occur.

  1. Part-Time Staff Can Make Businesses More Agile

Note that businesses that have customers or clients whose needs are outside the normal 9-5 working hours will gain massively from employing part-time staff. Part-time workers can help you respond to, and also manage changes in peak demands. For instance, you will have more workers to use at peak times and also be able to extend your operating hours.

  1. Helps To Improve Diversity And Enhance Your Workforce

A good number of employers in this modern age are having issues when it comes to improving and sustaining diversity, especially when it comes to recruiting women.

Aside from being a successful method of re-introducing highly skilled and valuable professionals, working with part-time employees can help to improve diversity initiatives, and also bolster your workforce. And this comes with the additional benefit of showing clients and customers that you value a diverse workforce.

  1. Provides Seasonal Support

In some situations, a business needs specialized expertise for a very specific amount of time. For instance, your company might require experienced cashiers to check out customers during the peak of the holiday shopping season, or accountants to help take care of your company’s books during tax time. With part-time employees, you can always get the staff with the right expertise.

  1. To Get Requisite Experience 

SMEs and start-ups know that they don’t have the employer brand to compete with the big boys. However, by offering part-time and flexible opportunities when hiring, these businesses can attract the attention of previously untapped candidates.

According to experts, this is one viable way small businesses can open their doors to a talent pool they probably would have overlooked (e.g. moms re-entering the workforce, or retiring workers who are not quite ready to leave it).