Star staffing: how to hire for part-time jobs

While resources and budgets play a significant role in the diversity, depth and overall quality of our resident services here at HCA, staffing is by far the most determinant factor in our long-term performance. A great instructor will have the creativity, flexibility and initiative to overcome budgetary constraints with integrity, with or without direct supervision. Pinpointing greatness however, can feel a little like searching for Wally in a Where’s Waldo? spread.

When your position offers less than 5 hours of work a week, as is the case for many of our teaching positions, your search can start to feel like a quest for the proverbial needle in a haystack. How do you continue to attract strong candidates when your positions are very part-time? Here are a few pointers from our annals of hiring:

1. Post with transparency

Do very part-time jobs have less general appeal to job seekers? Absolutely. Which is why this should be one of the first items that you address in your post. Em- power the no-fit candidates with the information they need to weed themselves out of the running so that your inbox has room for submissions from job seekers who are actively looking for part-time jobs and more variation in their work schedule and environments (Yes, these people do exist!).

2. Roll the credits

If your company has a website, Facebook page or other online proof of existence, be sure to include it in your post. These platforms will lend credence to both your company and your posting while simultaneously familiarizing candidates with your culture and mission.

3. Phone first

As much as in-person interviews are preferable for both the employer and prospective candidate, we highly recommend a brief preliminary phone interview for super part-time jobs. This gives you the chance to reiterate any potentially deal breaking jobs deets (like the fact that this position is only 1.5 hours a week). There’s nothing worse than a candidate spending an hour in rush hour traffic to get to an interview that they would never have taken, had they been clear on the time commitment.

4. Foster creative freedom

At HCA, we encourage our instructors to incorporate their ideas as much as possible into their classes. They design their own programs, syllabi and supplies lists. Over the past several years, we’ve found that this perk excites even the most seasoned of instructors. Your target audience and position’s core capacities may be different, but there’s always a way to empower future staff with creative freedom. Figure it out and make it known to your candidate pool.

5. Flaunt your inner yogi

Show up front flexibility. Even if your hourly rate is high, chances are that your super part-time job won’t provide the lion’s share of candidates’ income. Make peace with this and let them know about things you can do to allow your position to fit in with their other paid commitments. Can you (eventually) offer flexible scheduling? Can you provide a (partial) work from home option? Is there a supply or resource that you can provide on-site to save staff the hassle of lugging it around?

6. Generate demand

All the above said, the right candidate will view your job as an opportunity, no matter how many or how few hours it promises. If you are interviewing multiple candidates for your opening – you should be – let each one know it. You want your position to feel like a Tickle Me Elmo during the Christmas of ’96, not a pack of generic chewing gum.
Super part-time positions will always be a challenge to fill, but you can ease your search and secure better staff by revising your hiring process and redirecting candidates’ focus. What hiring tips do you suggest for these types of positions?

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