Hiring Strategy: Target Those Seeking Extra Income by Converting Jobs to Part-time Roles

November 3, 2023
Photo via Adobe Only 150,000 new jobs were added in the U.S. in October 2023.

Reliable Workers Are Seeking a Second Job to Make Ends Meet, a Retirement Income or a Part-time Gig that Works Around Childcare

If you’re an employer having trouble hiring and retaining full-time workers that will show up and get the job done, it may be time to re-think your strategy. Focus Waukesha has talked to numerous employers frustrated that they can’t find or keep full-time employees for critical jobs, but most have not considered that perhaps a motivated and reliable worker for 6 hours/day or two part-timers working half shifts might solve the problem. 

As inflation has taken a big bite out of the family budget, with consumer prices about 16 percent above their 2019 levels, Americans have returned to the days of picking up an extra job to make ends meet. This includes the man or woman with a full-time job and seeking a part-time gig to pay the bills, the college student needing to make the rent, the mom hoping to pick up extra cash but needing to be home when the kids need her, and the early retiree who is bored or worried about his budget. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report today, only 150,000 new jobs were added to the country’s workforce in October, despite about 9 million open job postings. That’s a huge problem. However, two trends not often reported are the return of the multiple job holder and the rise in the labor force participation rate, which has been climbing steadily the past few years. We now have about 10 million more people in the workforce than in 2019, according to the BLS. And 5.2 percent of the total workforce is now working multiple jobs, including 5.9 percent of women and 4.7 percent of men, with the majority of both genders working one full-time and one part-time job. 

Most of the part-time or flexible jobs currently posted in Waukesha County are in retail, healthcare, and gig work like DoorDash and Uber, which means manufacturers and small businesses outside of those sectors may be missing opportunities to attract talent in search of a part-time or flexible work option. Waukesha’s Meta4 Marketing has been working with several companies to improve their recruitment marketing and they suggest the following: 

  • Review all of your hard-to-fill jobs and consider the skills and hours you really need for those jobs. Could they be a good fit for an early retiree with higher skills who doesn’t want to work full-time? Could a college student be a good fit, if you offer flexible hours to work around their classes? Can you offer a part-time shift in the evening for those seeking a second job?
  • Test the market by re-posting jobs as part-time opportunities and offer flexible start times that may better accommodate those working around a full-time job or childcare responsibilities. Emphasize your flexibility in your job headline and description. 
  • Try making a job post with hours from 9-3 to attract working parents that may only be able to work 6 hours per day due to childcare. Filling a role for thirty hours a week is better than having a vacant position. 
  • Rewrite job descriptions to attract seniors who retired early and may be highly skilled but are looking for a job without the stress of going back to their old careers. Too many jobs for seniors are very low skill and seem demeaning to those who had higher-skill careers. Don’t assume seniors are all technologically illiterate because they’re not. If you’re hiring for retail or manufacturing, include a description of working conditions that don’t require them to stand all day. 

If you’re already offering competitive compensation and benefits but still can’t fill your workforce, the part-time strategy may be worth considering for your organization.