Looking for more applicants? Offer part-time (and WFH) options

Part-time jobs

Having trouble filling a role? You might want to consider splitting it into two part-time jobs. Struggling job seekers will no doubt take umbrage to this bit of advice, but there are some numbers to back it up.

Workopolis’ data team recently analyzed over 450 thousand job descriptions, 150 million job searches, 49 million job views, and eight million job applications. What they found was that searches for part-time jobs has nearly tripled in the last three years, rising from 3 per cent in 2014 to 8.5 per cent in 2017.

In addition, based on resumes uploaded to Workopolis, the number of job seekers working more than one job has also tripled between 2000 and 2015, from 8 per cent to 24 per cent. These findings correlate with data from Statistics Canada, which show the number of people working over 50 hours per week, at more than one job, has increased by more than 10 per cent between 2011 to 2015. Teachers and registered nurses were the top two professions most likely holding more than one part-time job in the same field.

“Part-time work is becoming ‘the new normal’ for many Canadians as legacy employers reorganize and attempt to reduce their bottom line,” says Marsha Forde, director of human resources at Workopolis.

“But what’s striking is that we’re also seeing an increase on the side of job seekers who are searching for additional part-time work – either to supplement their existing income, secure employment in their field, or because of the flexibility that working part-time offers,” she says.

Employers are starting to offer more part-time job opportunities

Many employers have started to act on this trend. Postings for jobs offering less than 30 hours per week have nearly doubled since 2013 – from 9 per cent to 17 per cent – with the greatest increases being seen in the west, Ontario, and Quebec. The top three categories for part-time job opportunities were in retail, customer service, and healthcare.

“The increase in availability, as well as demand, for part-time work underscores the changing jobs landscape in our country,” says Forde. “While it’s true that some full-time jobs may be harder to come by, particularly for younger job seekers, we are seeing a steady rise in workers who reject the traditional 40-hour work week, single-job model. Companies are now reacting to this and offering more flexibility to attract applicants,” she says.

Forde’s observations are backed up by the fact that searches for “work from home” and virtual jobs – including virtual assistance, project manager, bookkeeper, and call centre jobs are some prime examples – have also gained momentum since 2014, doubling year over year.

Based on these findings, it seems likely that employers can get more applicants for a hard-to-fill position by splitting it up into part-time positions, and by offering flex work options.

For more on how to optimize job postings, please see the full Workopolis report here.

And for additional tips on how to get more applicants to your job postings, check out this handy infographic we put together:

How to get more applicants to your job postings

See also:
How to write targeted job postings that save you time (and money)
Job posting basics: what is an intake meeting?
The do’s and don’ts of writing job postings for small businesses


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