We’re back with the second part of our four-part series on the top categories – or personalities – of hourly job seekers. Last month we kicked off our four-part series by taking a closer look at retirees and sharing what we know about Snagajob members ages 55+. This month we’re looking closely at hourly job seekers who want to work part time – or “supplementers,” as we like to call them.

If you’re looking to hire part-time hourly staff, it’s important to know what this group is looking for in a job so you can highlight the aspects of your open positions that are appealing to them so that you’re able to entice top talent to work with you.

But before we get into what part-time job seekers want, let’s get a better understanding of the group as a whole.

Part-time work is classified as 1-34 hours a week. Analysts cite four primary demographic categories into which most part-time employees fall: retirees, parents, students and temporary agency workers. Perhaps not surprisingly, two of these demographics are included in our four-part series – retirees and students – because part-time employees are almost exclusively hourly employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of part-time job seekers are between the ages of 18-24 — and that’s exactly the age group most Snagajob members fall into if they’re seeking part-time employment. BLS statistics show also that women are more likely than men to seek part-time work. Female job seekers often look for part-time work because they’re also raising children. The Single Parent Center tells us that 30 percent of single mothers are working part time.

We know part-time job seekers are mostly young,  mostly female and that they tend to want to work close to home. Snagajob members seeking part-time employment prefer jobs within a 5-10 mile radius from home. That’s seems to be the sweet spot in terms of distance, and the percentage willing to travel farther declines drastically after that.

Part-time employees offer a great deal of value to employers. Elwood N. Chapman, in “Human Relations in Small Business,” outlined some of the key benefits of hiring a part-time workforce. Part-timers have been found to have more energy and enthusiasm and tend to have better scheduling availability, especially during peak periods such as holidays, summer months and times when seasonal attractions are open. Part-time employees have demonstrated a strong willingness to learn, especially in younger demographics.

Having a part-time workforce helps when full-time positions open up. Employers have their choice from among an in-house group of part timers familiar with the business, eager to learn and take on new responsibilities and already proven in terms of their value.

So what do part timers want in a job?

  • Flexibility. This is first on the list for a reason. Job seekers looking for part-time work need schedule flexibility. If they didn’t, they’d probably be looking for full-time work. If you’re able to offer shorter or staggered shifts or to let the employee choose the shift that works best, then you will stand out as the employer of choice.
  • Benefits. Many part-time employees would jump at the chance to have benefits normally reserved for full-time staff. According to BLS, only 28 percent of part-time employees have access to paid sick leave, 35 percent have access to paid vacation and 24 percent have access to medical benefits. If you are able to offer any level of benefits, you should shout it from the rooftops (or at least highlight it in your job description).
  • Training. The ability to learn new skills beyond the basic job requirements is attractive, particularly for younger part timers. If you have a built-in training program or encourage employees to pursue certifications, you will attract motivated job seekers who, with the right training, could become your best full-time employees.
  • Career paths. After graduation, your student employee may want to rise up the ladder. Or once their children are older, your parent employees may want to increase their hours. If you have a policy of promoting from within or a clear path leading to advancement, the part-time job seekers who may one day want more will choose you over an employer not offering that chance.

Even though they don’t work full time, part-time employees can pack in a lot of value. Employers who take stock of their job opportunities to determine how to appeal to this category of job seeker are better able to attract top-notch employees and capitalize on that value.