Considerations When Employees Go From Part-Time to Full-Time Work

Considerations When Employees Go From Part-Time to Full-Time Work

As companies struggle to find qualified candidates, the best choice for an open position might be right under your nose. One of your rock star team members might be looking at the current job market and considering going from part-time to full-time work. You don’t want to lose them to a competitor – especially because it’s more cost effective to retain a good employee rather than onboarding a new hire.

We’re in a period of economic growth, making this the ideal time to rethink your staffing plan. Do you have roles that could be expanded from part-time to full-time? Would promoting employees familiar with your business practices, your culture, your products, and your team help you grow? If so, now is the time to make your business case.

Making The Business Case

The Economics of Employees

Has the part-time position you hired the employee for expanded and they’re working 35 hours per week or more? If that’s the case, there may be legal implications. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), there are federal and state laws that define the difference between part-time and full-time work. For instance, the Affordable Care Act defines full-time work as 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month. If you have a part-time position that fits that description, you may be required to offer full-time benefits.

Some of the costs to take into consideration are:

Depending on what you offer, these benefits can add $10,000 or more to an employee’s cost. However, the increase in productivity may be worth it in the long run.

Benefits vs. Overtime

If your workload has greatly increased, you may be required to pay overtime. In general, salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay, but hourly employees are not. If your part-time staff is regularly working more than 40 hours per week, there are financial implications. Ask yourself, would your budget benefit more from paying a time-and-a-half rate? Or would it be more cost-effective to offer the employee full-time status and the associated benefits?

Avoid the Revolving Door

Often, companies feel they can’t promote a part-time employee to a full-time position. This is frustrating for your workers and may create a revolving door where fed-up employees continuously leave for better opportunities. This leaves you constantly short-staffed putting greater pressure on remaining team members, creating more frustration.

Then there’s the cost of hiring and training a new team member. Recent estimates say it takes about 42 days and costs about $4,129 to fill a position. You have to advertise the position, interview candidates, check references, and conduct required screening. Once the new team member joins, they require increased management oversight until they’re fully trained. This leads to lost productivity.

You’ll also have to consider the costs for training a new employee. This includes the time they spend shadowing other staff members until the newbie knows how the systems in your organization work. You can improve the acclimation rate by partnering with a training partner that offers both off-the-shelf and custom training modules that allow staff to learn at their own pace.

As we’ve all heard, recruiting can be a challenge in the current market. You can expect both the number of days and price to recruit new staff members to increase this year. These staff shortages are causing some businesses to reduce hours of operation because they don’t have enough employees to cover shifts. Is that something your business can afford?

Employee Engagement Considerations

If you rely on part-time employees as part of your workforce, it’s important that they know their options. Be open and honest. If there isn’t a path to a full-time position, don’t string them along with empty promises.

A co-worker of mine used to work part-time for a high-profile organization with many non-traditional perks. The work was seasonal, so even though she was classified as part-time, there were weeks where she was working 60+ hours! During the off-season, she only worked 20 hours per week. Since she was a college student at the time, she had insurance benefits through her parents. She took on other tasks when asked and proved herself to be a stellar worker. When she graduated, she was able to use that experience to secure a full-time position within the organization, so her hard work paid off.

What if a part-time employee wants to remain part-time? That’s okay! Some people only want part-time work. That doesn’t mean that you don’t check in on their career goals. For example, we ask our part-time employees yearly about they’re at and manage accordingly. You still need to communicate with them, provide them training, and encourage their best selves, regardless of how many hours they work.

If a part-time position at your company can lead to full-time, make sure you:

SMART Feedback

If a part-time worker isn’t on the right track, let them know. Allow them to make corrections. Encourage them to use SMART goals.

SMART Goals:

As a manager, you can review their SMART goals and offer guidance. You can download these materials to assist in the process.

Part-time staff deserve the same level of respect as your full-time employees, and should be given timely feedback on their performance. Reward good work and encourage part-timers to flex their professional muscles to show they’ve got what it takes to move up. If they’ve gone above and beyond, share the news with your superiors. The more visibility you give a good employee, the more it builds confidence and builds your case that this employee can make a bigger impact as a full-time worker.

As you make plans to promote someone to a full-time position, review their goals. Ask the following questions to make sure you’re in alignment:

It’s important to make this an ongoing conversation. Employees that feel heard will have greater loyalty to their supervisor and their company.

Once a part-time employee has mapped out their goals, offer them the training they need to achieve them. This should go beyond job-related skills. For instance, new employees may need help with soft skills such as active listening, time management, and conflict resolution. Someone re-entering the job force after an extended absence may need job related or technical skills.

Considerations When Employees Go From Part-Time to Full-Time Work

Making the Business Case

When the workload justifies it, and you’ve identified a star player, it’s time to create a proposal to justify adding a full-time position. You’re asking your organization for an increased spend in your department, so make sure you’ve done your homework.

Working with a company like HSI, you will have access to all the training topics I mentioned. Of course, you would start with making these available to your full-time employees. As other team members go from part-time to full time, you can easily curate a curriculum of training to help them with the transition. HSI offers an extensive library of off-the-shelf business, career, and personal development courses that are specifically designed for adult learners.

Additional Resources:

Close Menu