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How to Hire Part-Time Employees in 7 Steps

Gavin Oxley07 Jul 2021

How to Hire Part-Time Employees in 7 Steps

The current job market is competitive, making it more difficult for employers to attract and hire the best, most qualified individuals. Understanding what tools are available and the general hiring process can give you the opportunity to offer opportunities and benefits that will make your job offer stand out. In this article, we’ll walk you through what could separate you from the competition. 

As most part-time employees are usually offered no benefits, you can stand out from the competition by offering an affordable option to all your workers. Mira offers a care membership that only costs $45 per month, per employee, and provides access to affordable urgent care visits, up to 80% off prescription prices, and same-day lab testing. Learn more through our employer portal!

7 Steps to Hiring Part-time Employees

Hiring part-time employees continues to become more challenging due to new laws and the competitive nature of attracting talent in a very tough job market for employers. Ensuring that you know what you have to do during an application, interview, and hiring process as well as knowing what you should do to attract the best candidates is the key to long-term sustainability in your market.

Here are the seven steps to hiring part-time employees that will help you do it the right way:

  1. Research the Hiring Laws and Requirements
  2. Write Down What You Want in an Employee
  3. Post Your Job Description & Get Applicants
  4. Hold an Effective Interview
  5. Offer Competitive Pay
  6. Offer Benefits, if Possible

1. Research the Hiring Laws & Requirements for Part-Time Employment

Before beginning the hiring process for part-time employees, it is important to understand federal and state hiring laws. The Department of Labor (DOL) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define what a part-time employee is and instead leaves that up to the business to decide. However, there are plenty of laws and rules and some part-time generalities to be aware of to make sure that you understand what you’re hiring and that you protect your business.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), for example, states that part-time employees are generally those who work less than 30 hours per week and full-time employees as those who work 30-40 hours per week or more than 130 hours per month. There is no legal hourly designation and the divide is generally determined by the employer.

Furthermore, employers should be aware of other employment requirements under the FLSA. The FLSA outlines laws and regulations focused around but not limited to minimum wage, overtime, hours worked, recordkeeping, and child labor. These regulations are applicable to all employment statuses, including part-time employment. The image below shows the general topics covered under the FLSA.

Minimum Wage

Current federal minimum wage standards state that adult workers are to make no less than $7.25 per hour and the minimum age for youth workers is no less than $4.25 per hour. States hold the right to adjust the minimum wage, but the adjusted minimum wages may not go below the federal standards.

One exception to this rule is employees who are tipped. If an employee is tipped more than $30 within one month, the minimum required pay is $2.13 per hour.

Employers are not allowed to dismiss workers who earn the adult minimum wage in order to substitute youth workers and pay them less. Additionally, the FLSA prohibits employers from differentiating pay between men and women who perform the same job requiring the same amount of skill. 

The FLSA also does not require employers to pay wages in all circumstances including:

  • Vacation/Holiday Pay or Premium Pay
  • Sick Pay
  • Severance Pay
  • Raises or Fringe Benefits
  • Immediate Pay of Final Wages to Fired Employees

The basic wage standards of the FLSA also do not require employers to offer meal/rest breaks, vacation/holiday, or notice or reason for termination.

Overtime

Overtime hours are considered any amount of time over the 40-hour limit that an employee works within a week. Overtime pay is calculated differently based on the payment method in which the employee typically is paid: hourly or salary. Part-time employees are most commonly paid at an hourly rate.

For employees paid at an hourly rate, hourly wages are multiplied by at least 1.5x the normal hourly rate for the employee. Salaried employees are paid at 1.5x the hourly rate which is determined by dividing the salary by the number of hours the salary is supposed to be compensation for.

Hours Worked

Hours that an employee is able to be compensated for are any hours within a workweek, where a workweek is seven consecutive 24-hour periods totaling 168 hours. Payment is processed by the workweek and cannot be averaged over two or more weeks to avoid paying weekly overtime or avoiding overworking employees.

Recordkeeping

All employers must keep records of employment criteria as described by the Department of Labor. These record requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Employee personal information
  • Business defined “workweek”
  • Individual employee hours per workweek
  • Individual employee hourly rate
  • Earned wages by pay period
  • Amounts taken from or added to pay
  • Dates and payment confirmations

Child Labor

Child labor laws are strict and are meant to prevent youth from being taken advantage of in the workplace. Distinctions are made between rules of agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. 

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In the farm setting, children of any age are eligible to be employed. Under the age of 12, children are able to seek employment from their parents only with jobs not covered by minimum wage requirements outside of school hours. Children of ages 12-13 are able to work on other farms on non-hazardous tasks outside of school hours, with written parental consent. From ages 14-15, children are able to work non-hazardous jobs outside of school hours without parental consent. At the age of 16, children are additionally able to work non-hazardous jobs at any hour.

In a non-agricultural setting, children are able to begin working at the age of 14-15 under the following conditions:

  • Not a manufacturing, mining, or hazardous job
  • No more than 3 hours on a school day
  • No more than 8 hours on a non-school day
  • No more than 18 hours total per workweek
  • Work may not begin before 7 AM or extend until after 7 PM

Children ages 16-17 are able to work in a non-agricultural setting in any capacity for any amount of hours. 

Certain exceptions are made for jobs that children are able to work at any age including delivering newspapers, entertainment productions, and other direct work for parents.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

The equal opportunity employment rules are based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal law. The specifics and wording of these laws tend to vary by state but generally prohibit employers from enacting employment policies that diminish equal opportunity for those seeking employment. Employers cannot discriminate on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National Origin
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy

Some states also have recently included rules against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, traits historically associated with race, and veteran status. 

2. Write Down What You Want in an Employee

Understanding why you want to hire a part-time employee over a full-time employee or contractor is significant in the hiring process and can help you better understand what to expect out of your employee when they are hired. Below we outline the main pros and cons of making a part-time hiring decision.

Pros & Cons of Hiring Part-time Employees

Pros of Hiring Part-time

Cons of Hiring Part-time

  • Less Expensive to Hire
  • Flexibility for Employer
  • Additional Help to Full-Time Workers
  • Less Commitment from Workers
  • Lack of Professional Expertise
  • Not Always a Regular Worker

Once you know what classification you need in a new employee, it’s important to determine the qualities, skills, and traits you’re looking for. You should write down all of the job requirements, what skills are required, and how easy it is to teach those skills. Some requirements might not matter because they have to be learned on the job while you may discover that some requirements are “must-haves” and you can’t give on them during the interview process. 

Having a written document that discusses the job requirements is also the first step in creating a job description that you can post on various sites or social media to attract applicants. If you can’t effectively communicate the position in writing then these days you’ll get a lot fewer applicants. 

Having your list in hand will help you weed out unqualified or undesired candidates as you start taking them through an interview process. 

3. Post Your Job Description & Get Applicants

Now you’re ready to post the job and start bringing in applications. Sometimes you can post a “help wanted '' sign on your place of business and it will bring in enough talent, but today’s market makes it more difficult to attract the talent you need with just this method. Especially when hiring part-time employees, the younger generations are looking for work online more today than ever before. Posting on relevant job sites will help you maximize the number of applications you receive.

Oftentimes the most qualified and best employees can be found through your own professional network. While professional recruiters and head-hunters are impractical for part-time employment, friends, family, neighbors, and former coworkers often will know a person who is seeking something similar to what you have to offer. You never know unless you ask, and oftentimes these are the best candidates!

Through your networks, you may find a person with who you already have a rapport or who has been directly recommended from first-hand professional experiences. Virtual hiring methods for part-time employment often come without a clear recommendation from previous experience or character references. The hiring process is always 

Know Where to Post Your Job (and Where Not To)

With the rise of social media, there has also been a rise in the availability and accessibility of professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. Professional networking platforms can act as a great way to advertise a job opportunity with your business in addition to posting directly on your company website.

Many of these platforms will require you to pay a fee to post a job on their site which may or may not be affordable for your company. One way around this is to post the job on your company feed, but users will have to access your page directly to see the opening. 

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Additionally, be careful to fall into the habit of posting on as many professional networking platforms as possible. This will lead to receiving too many applications to even sort through and will not be worth the work put in. 

There are also often industry-specific sites that only allow job postings from companies/opportunities within that specific industry. It is important to tailor your post to the type of employee that you are seeking to hire in order to hire a great employee more efficiently. Be exact with the background and qualifications that you are seeking in an employee as well as the specific pay and benefits you are able to offer.

4. Hold an Effective Interview

Conducting a job interview is arguably one of the most important steps in the hiring process of a part-time employee because it presents the opportunity to directly interact with your potential hire and to see if any red flags are raised that may have been hidden behind the application. Getting a face-to-face interview with potential employees is also a great way to start a positive workplace relationship.

To be effective at interviewing it’s important that you prepare appropriate questions that will help you find the qualities you’re looking for. There are numerous job interview questions out there on the internet that you can find, but the most important thing to remember is that your business is unique. Make sure you ask questions that help you know if your potential employee can do the job, but also that they will be a good fit with your customers and the culture you’ve built. 

5. Offer Competitive Pay

When searching for a part-time job, potential employees are most often looking at the experience that can be gained and the income they will receive. In addition to providing an experience that will boost your employee's skillset for their future career, an employer should provide competitive pay in order to attract employees.

Offering competitive pay when hiring part-time employees will benefit your business immediately as well as in the future. Employees will be more motivated and can accomplish more, there will be a higher employee retention rate, and the hired employees will more likely recommend working for you in the future.

6. Offer Benefits, if Possible

While offering competitive pay will often draw in and retain many employees, offering benefits can often be what sets the company apart from other similar opportunities. Offering benefits for part-time employees may not be possible or practical for all businesses, but offering benefits often furthers employee retention and morale.

Larger businesses may be required to offer certain benefit packages while small businesses may be able to create more customizable benefits, especially regarding part-time employees. Some benefits an employer may consider offering are:

  • Healthcare
  • Retirement plans
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Fringe benefits (holiday pay, tuition assistance, personal and sick days)

While offering full-time medical insurance may be too expensive an option for an employer to offer a part-time employee, a care membership may be a worthwhile and affordable alternative. Care memberships through Mira are a new way to offer partial health coverage to part-time employees at an affordable cost of only $45 per month per employee.

How to Hire Part-Time Employees: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hiring part-time employees is simply not as easy as one might think. Below we add some more considerations to questions employers may still ask.

How do I hire seasonal employees?

Seasonal employees function very similarly to part-time employees but are often hired under the understanding that they are only working for a short period of time, such as a summer or winter. Retail stores often hire more seasonal employees because of the cyclical nature of the industry and thus experience more employee turnover. Employers may consider offering fewer benefits to employees that are only working on a seasonal basis.

What if I hire an employee with a fabricated resumé?

If an employer hires an employee who has falsified information during their application process, this is grounds for dismissal from the job. Depending on the level of falsification, an employer may decide to confront the employee but allow them to keep their job if they have done it well so far.

What are the laws and regulations on dismissing an employee?

There are many fair situations in which it is acceptable for an employee to be fired from the job. These may include but are not limited to poor job performance, sexual harassment, and downsizing, but each state has reasons that are acceptable for firing an employee. Be careful to not commit wrongful termination and  

Bottom Line

Understanding the hiring process and what you can do as an employer to stand out from other companies is essential to hiring the best and most qualified candidates for the job. When hiring part-time employees, remember to offer competitive pay and alternative benefits. Mira is an affordable solution to give you an edge against your competitors.