The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) argue that employers have yet to thoroughly utilise the number of part time workers available.

Given the growing amount of individuals who work less than full time hours this is not something employers can continue to ignore. They reported that more than a quarter, 6.6 million in fact, of individuals now work less than full time.

The recession has seen a rise in the number of part-time positions offered. As businesses have sought to cut costs they have attempted to reduce the number of hours needed and have accordingly, employed part time workers where possible. Prior to the economic downturn, part-time roles were more of a last resort for employers, for example when there was no one person suitable for the role who could work the necessary hours. The employment of part-time workers has often been met with a lack of enthusiasm from employers who are aware of the “extra paperwork” that will be involved. Employing two people where one would have sufficed, means two people to sort out holidays for, to pay pensions for and so on. The more part-time workers employed the more hours that will need to be dedicated to their personnel management.

The CIPD sites experience as a key driver for businesses now wishing to recruit more part-time workers. Increasingly more and more people are looking for part-time rather than full hours. There are many reasons for this including, the increase in parents who wish to fit work around parental duties, mature students wishing to fit work around their studies. Similarly, the rise in life expectancy has seen more retired individuals with years of experience want to take on a few hours of paid employment a week. As supply of these often highly skilled part time workers has increased so too must the demand from employers wanting to take on practised workers.

In reality, despite the large pool of workers available and businesses who claim that they are open to trying to take on more part time workers there seems to be a problem when it comes to actually designing the role. Employers have struggled with some of the procedural matters such as whether or not Bank Holidays should form part of the package? Deciding on how a role will work involves thinking outside of the nine till five box.

The recession has caused many businesses to change their tactics and this is one such tactic that employers should seriously be considering particularly if they are seeking growth in this difficult market. Part time recruitment can help employers to avoid recruitment and, or pay freezes and redundancies as well as provide access to a pool of experienced talent. By employing more than just full time employees are also giving themselves more choice. Of course this extra choice also benefits the potential employee too and could well be one of the solutions to employment's current problems.

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