- An increasing number of industries are turning to professional part-time workers to make up talent deficits — including industries where such work hasn't been the norm, a new FlexJobs report shows. To find the hiring trend, FlexJobs analyzed first quarter 2017 job postings from 40,000 companies specifically looking for part-time listings.
- Healthcare, education, finance, technology and other industries are represented on the company's recently released list of organizations hiring for part-time jobs. For example, Wells Fargo, CVS Health, Johns Hopkins University, Hilton Worldwide, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are on the list.
- “Part-time work really used to be associated with temporary, low-skilled or entry-level positions, but today there are excellent professional part-time opportunities available in a much wider variety of industries and careers than ever before,” Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, said in a statement.
With the rise of the gig economy has come an increased interest in what can be summarized as "alternative working formats." The full-time, in-office job remains the primary type of employment available across most industries, but as more employees call for flexibility, employers are getting creative to meet needs and retain talent.
The transformation of the part-time job from low-prestige to high-prestige may be influenced in part by contract work and the conflicts it has generated. Contract workers at a variety of companies and in a range of positions have sued the organizations they worked for, claiming to be full-time employees that deserved benefits. Benefits and wages are at the crux of tension over contract work and gig economy jobs. In a healthcare market that still depends on an employer-provided model for health insurance, benefits remain the thorn in the side of contractors and the companies that hire them.
In response to such tension and trends, some employers are trying new approaches to meeting workforce needs. For example, Amazon has piloted a program in which they hire part-time professional workers and provide them full benefits — a sort of "best of both worlds" scenario in regards to flexibility and benefits. Whether the costs will recoup over time isn't known yet, but the program bears watching.
As telework opportunities expand, the divide between full-time, part-time and contracted work could also get even blurrier. More employers are seeking ways to meet demand in a scalable way, and both part-time and contracted work could be part of a larger solution as the workforce continues to evolve and workers' needs shift. FlexJobs research indicates that for a growing number of companies part-time work is already part of their hiring practices, but the pitfalls and tensions cannot be ignored.