Your Best Candidates Might Be Searching for Part-time Jobs

Charlotte trainLooking for STEM talent? Struggling with a skills gap? Your best candidates might be searching for part-time jobs.

You see, popular coverage of the role of part-time jobs in the economy often attributes the rise of these positions to employers who have turned some full-time jobs into part-time ones. While there are 7.5 million Americans working part time for economic reasons (they’d like to work more hours but can’t find a full-time job), there are millions of others who are actively interested in more flexible work options or reduced hours — and this interest isn’t isolated to low-skilled workers.

New research from our Indeed Hiring Lab breaks down the demographics of who’s looking for part-time jobs by gender, years of work experience, occupation, and location. These data mirror employment data from the BLS — women make up 60 percent of people working part-time and 63 percent of people searching for part-time jobs on Indeed are women.

Women’s high level of interest in these jobs means that offering more part-time positions could be a way to attract women to roles as employers seek to increase diversity. One thing to keep in mind is that both men and women may be interested in flexibility to fit their lives and schedules — they aren’t necessarily interested in part-time jobs where the hours are set by the employer.

And these candidates might be the qualified talent you’ve been looking for. One of the most surprising findings of Indeed’s research is that workers in computer and math-related occupations show a high level of interest in part-time jobs. As we might predict, there aren’t very many part-time jobs available in this occupational category, creating a mismatch between what job seekers want and what employers are offering.

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For both men and women, interest in part-time work rises as they age. Crafting roles for baby boomers as they ease into retirement is another way employers might find the highly experienced workers they need.

If you’re considering creating a number of part-time positions, focus on lower-cost cities where interest in these jobs is stronger. There is substantial interest in part-time jobs across a range of cities, with Indeed’s research revealing that the top three cities for part-time job searches are St. Louis, San Antonio, and Charlotte.

The profile of each candidate can help employers understand what job seekers are really looking for and how to create roles that appeal to the most qualified talent, regardless of the number of hours each person prefers to work. As the economy continues to improve it will be harder to find the right employee. Flexible jobs including part-time options are another way to attract top candidates.

Tara M. Sinclair is an associate professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University and Senior Fellow at Indeed's Hiring Lab. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in macroeconomics and econometrics. Her research interests focus on modeling, explaining, and forecasting macroeconomic and particularly labor market fluctuations and trends for different countries. She is the co-director of the George Washington University Research Program on forecasting. As Indeed’s economist, she is developing original research using Indeed data on jobs and labor.

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