Finding quality, part-time help, especially around the holidays, may seem like an impossible task for your small business. Hard-working employees are not only difficult to find, but also to keep. Depending on the type of business you own, your needs for additional help may shift throughout the year. This makes it all the more the important to find flexible staff that will be able to adapt to your needs throughout the year. Here are 10 tips to help find part-time employees for your business.
Employee referrals are often the best source for qualified candidates. Not only are referred candidates typically cheaper to hire, but also able to start sooner, and likely to stay in the position longer, increasing employee retention rates (Source: LinkedIn). Start by asking good employees if they have any friends who might be interested in working at your business. While a referral isn’t always possible, especially for more experienced roles, offering a referral bonus is a great incentive to accumulate qualified candidates. You are free to build your referral bonus structure how you would like, and even offering small incentives such as sporting event tickets or gift cards can yield good results.
While Indeed and Monster tend to dominate the free job posting arena, there are many other websites that may actually garner better results for your industry. Other options include Glassdoor, Jora, FlexJobs, Facebook, and even Craigslist. Many business owners are surprised where they’re able to find qualified candidates.
Especially for seasons where job hunting is most active, it’s important to advertise your job far before you’ll actually need the help. Listing the position 3-4 weeks in advance will give you enough time to interview, hire, and train someone before your workload begins to ramp up. Waiting until the last minute will result in fewer qualified applicants.
In-person interviews are your best measure of whether a candidate will be successful in the available role, so make sure you are asking the right questions, giving the right information, and staying professional. While it may be easy to fall into casual chit-chat with a candidate, especially if you feel they would be a good fit, keeping the interview on topic is key to a smooth review process. Be sure to ask questions such as:
Be sure to add in a mix of friendly inquiries to get a feel for their personality as well as functional ones to determine their capabilities. You may also want to have another manager available to interview them as well so you can make a collaborative decision.
If the position is an entry-level hire, then employing teenagers or young adults is a great way to save on hiring costs. Younger employees are also more likely to have flexible night and weekend hours, shifts that are often difficult to fill, and will accept lower wages. Depending on where you live, employees under 18 may require additional paperwork, so hiring high school or college students could save you a headache down the line.
While experience is undoubtedly important, don’t forget about the human behind the application. When reviewing an applicant pool, be sure to consider other aspects beyond their job history, such as personal projects and interests. Be sure to listen when applicants speak about themselves, the things they enjoy, and their experience, and look for things such as a good sense of humor and flexibility. Hiring a qualified candidate is extremely important, but you want to make sure they are a good cultural fit as well.
Maybe the role you’re looking to fill is very niche and brief, such as painting a mural for your business or assisting in filing taxes. When these occasions arise, it’s often preferable to hire a freelance or contract role, rather than a part-time position. Because these positions are so specific, the hire must contain a very specific set of skills, which probably wouldn’t be found in the standard applicant. Freelance and contract roles typically require a larger budget but will save you money in the long-run.
While hiring for a part-time position may seem easier to fill, be sure to take your time in selecting the best candidate. It’s important to be selective and intentional when making an offer, rather than just selecting the best of a few. Make sure to get back to applicants quickly who didn’t fit the bill, and take your time in making an offer. Often the right candidate isn’t found in a day or two.
While we’re all looking to save where and when we can, hiring is probably not the best place to cut costs. Even for entry-level positions, strive to pay 10-15% above minimum wage. This small difference will help to draw in even more qualified applicants.
Hiring the right person takes time, patience, and effort, but the right choice will make a world of difference in the long run. Select the person that not only meets your expectations, but exceeds them!