As a travel and leisure employer, you might have struggled with talent issues at one point or another. These include difficulty filling open hospitality jobs, increasing the diversity of your workforce, supporting female employees, or mental health concerns for employees. But have you considered how hiring hospitality employees on part-time arrangements can help you tackle some of these challenges? 

Hiring a part-time manager, for instance, can increase women’s participation in the workforce, particularly those considering leaving the industry because of family responsibilities. As the mental health of hospitality employees becomes a growing concern, working part-time hours can help these workers regain their mental wellbeing, whilst giving them a chance to continue their career. 

Read this piece to find out what part-time work entails, learn the benefits and pitfalls of this approach, and discover best practices you can adopt to achieve maximum efficiency with part-timers.


What Does Working Part-Time Hours Entail?

What constitutes part-time work varies per country and from one employer to another. According to Convention 175 of the International Labor Organisation, a part-time worker refers to an employee whose normal hours of work are less than those of comparable full-time workers. Normal hours of work according to this convention can be calculated either weekly or on average over a given period of employment. 

Full-time employees in the United States, Spain, and Italy, for example, work 40 hours per week, with anything less considered part-time. Some employers set the threshold for part-time hours at 25 hours per week or two-thirds of full-time hours. Depending on company policy, part-time employees may also opt to take on extra shifts during busier seasons or to stand in for absent coworkers.


The Benefits of Hiring a Part-Time Manager in Hospitality

Here are some benefits of filling vacant supervisory hospitality jobs with part-time managers:

  • Increased flexibility: People with young or newborn children may consider working part-time hours to allow them to spend ample time with their families. In addition, part-timers might be able to save money on childcare costs, which could be greater than the additional income from working full-time.
  • Cost savings: You can hire part-time employees only when you need them, thereby lowering employee-related business expenses. Additionally, part-time employees may not be entitled to the typical perks obtained by full-time employees. 
  • Increased diversity: part-time hires can allow hotel/restaurant businesses to target a diverse talent pool, which can help workplaces become more inclusive. A workforce that reflects the diversity of your customer base can lead to increased revenues and a stronger brand. 
  • Filling employment gaps: Hiring part-time employees allows you to fill positions without making a long-term commitment. For instance, if you own a small hotel, you may only need to hire (extra) staff during peak season. You can also onboard a part-time employee to fill in for a full-time employee who is out of work on sick or maternity leave.
  • Easier conversion to full-time: Hiring part-time employees may make it easier to find qualified candidates for full-time employment. Part-time employees gain valuable knowledge about the business, which qualifies them for open full-time roles. They need less training because they are already familiar with the industry and company culture.
  • Attract early talent: Millennials and Generation Z are on course to becoming the largest pool of workers. Hospitality employers keen to attract this talent to the industry can use a part-time hiring approach to accommodate Gen Z, and win their hearts and minds when they are still deciding on a career path.


🥳→ Looking to cast your net wider during your upcoming hospitality recruitment? Here are 7 talent pools you can tap into and cut through the competition.


The Potential Pitfalls of Hiring Part-Time Managerial Staff

Here are some drawbacks that you may have to contend with when you opt to hire part-time managerial staff:

  • Divided loyalty: Part-time employees might not be as passionate about working for your business because they may be juggling two or three different jobs. In addition, part-time employees are more likely to quit if challenging situations arise since they do not have attached benefits compared to full-time employees.
  • Scheduling challenges: Setting work schedules for part-timers can pose a logistical challenge. Senior managers may find it challenging to adjust to shift changes, and human resources departments may be reluctant to incorporate a new worker categorisation into existing management practices. 
  • Operational consistency: Hotel operations may suffer as part-time employees may face confusion when they report to work, especially when there have been last-minute adjustments. This can create a negative impression on your clients and affect the level of customer service. 
  • A clash of cultures: Because part-time employees may work for more than one business, a mix-up of different workplace cultures may occur. This can cause confusion among your full-time employees and have an impact on the quality of service you provide to your customers.

Besides the concerns stated above, you also need to navigate the legal aspects of part-time employment, depending on where you operate your business. 

In the United Kingdom, for example, the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Unfavourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 prohibit employers from treating part-time employees less favourably than full-time employees. This regulation also provides for the calculation of pay and benefits earned by part timers in proportion to hours worked and comparable to what a full-time employee earns.[1]

In Spain, employees are entitled to an uninterrupted 12-hour rest between shifts and a weekly rest of at least a day and a half. The law also requires that employment contracts for part-time employees be in writing. [2] 

Knowing what the law states enables you to tailor your job description and stay within the applicable labour regulations.


5 Best Practices for Hiring Part-Time Managers in Hospitality

So, how do you reap the benefits of part-time hiring and minimise the cons? Here are some best practices you can implement to get the most out of the situation.

1. Regularly Invite Part-Time Managers to Meetings

Because of scheduling issues, you probably won't meet your part-timers that often. Invite your part-timer managers to meetings to give them a sense of belonging to the team and the business. Use a variety of communication channels, such as phone, video, chat, and email, to stay in touch. Go the extra mile to get in touch with them and let them know you are available if they ever have any concerns.

2. Pair Inexperienced Part-Time Managers with Experienced Staff

In an industry that relies heavily on shift work, such as the hotel and tourism sector, it's critical to take greater care when pairing part-timers with full-time employees. Junior or newer part-time managers may not have the experience to respond to high-pressure situations. Therefore, expecting them to manage a shift on their own might harm your business outcomes and reputation. But you can help them quickly gain experience by pairing them with more seasoned workers. 

3. Schedule Shifts Based on Employee Abilities and Personalities

Consider the skill set and personality of your part-timers when planning shifts. For instance, during the lunch or dinner rush when customers want quick service, let your most productive employee take the lead. Conversely, personable staff members are better suited for off-peak periods or evening shifts when clients are more leisurely. 

4. Create Bespoke Benefits for Part-Time Managers 

Employees' expectations of an employer are evolving. They're not necessarily looking to establish a long-term career with one particular employer, but they want work that challenges them and broadens their skill set. Employees are also looking for employers who value their input. Offering part-time workers some perks, such as health insurance and wellness programs, might help them feel more connected to your business and the hotel industry.

5. Set Clear Performance Standards

Set clear performance expectations for your part timers from the get-go. Establish their KPIs, agree on the part-time hours they need to fulfil, and determine how to readjust depending on prevailing business circumstances. On your part, provide the support they need to succeed in their roles. This includes giving them adequate training and allowing them to access employee handbooks and other helpful resources. 

😅→ Hiring hospitality staff quickly can be tough even for robust HR departments. Get access to 2 job offer templates that you can tailor to your business!