The Great Debate: Hiring Full-Time vs. Part-Time Tech Employees

December 1, 2022

8 min read

25,9 million people in the US are part-time employees as of 2022. It is 17% of the total workforce. In the Netherlands, part-time employment has grown to 51%. We can witness a significant increase in the UK (to 23%), Canada (to 19%), and other countries. Considering the number of people choosing not to work full-time is constantly growing, a question arises: should your business try to take advantage of this new trend?

When it comes to the IT sector, a wide variety of tech work can be done part-time. But still, there is yet to be a one-size-fits-all answer to hiring full-time or part-time tech employees. It depends on various factors, including your company’s size, budget, and needs. This article will explore the pros and cons of both full-time and part-time tech hires so that you can decide which option would be best for the different types of work your business requires.

The difference between part-time and full-time employment

Let’s start our full-time vs. part-time discussion with a brief overview of the essential differences between these two types of employment.

Full-time employees

A full-time employee typically works 40 hours per week, although some jobs may require 32 hours as a minimum to give this status to their staff. Full-time workers have all the benefits and perks of regular employment, including vacation days, paid time-offs, health insurance, and retirement savings plans. They are also usually eligible for promotions and raises. All these are spelled out in full-time employment contracts. According to laws in most countries, full-time employees are entitled to certain protections, such as the right to minimum wage, overtime pay, and unemployment benefits.

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Part-time employees

Hiring part-time employees means bringing somebody to work fewer hours than a full-time employee. Part-time employment usually entails working 20-30 hours per week, although some jobs may only require a few hours each week. Depending on the company’s policies, part-time employees may or may not receive benefits. For example, they may not be eligible for health insurance or other benefits that full-time employees receive. However, there may be exceptions related to legislation. We will talk about them in a little more detail later.

This type of employment’s finance and payment side is also worth mentioning. In the US, 59% of part-time staffers get paid every two weeks. 37% would like to get paid every week, which shows their anxiety about not having access to a consistent income.

Types of part-time employment

There are several sorts of part-time employment arrangements, including

  1. Permanent part-time is similar to full-time employment, except the employee works fewer hours each week. The number of work hours for each week is typically spelled out in the employment contract.
  2. Casual part-time is less formal than permanent part-time employment. Employees typically work on an as-needed basis and do not have a set schedule.
  3. Seasonal part-time is common in industries that experience spikes in demand at particular times of the year, such as the retail industry during the holiday season. Employees typically work only during these busy periods and are not guaranteed a certain number of hours per week.

Part-time vs. full-time hours under the Affordable Care Act

In full-time vs. part-time employment discussions, laws and regulations are also worth mentioning. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the US regulation that requires employers to supply health insurance to employees. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is accountable for enforcing the ACA. ACA and IRS define a full-time employee as someone who works an average of 30 hours per week or more. This means that part-time employees are not eligible for health insurance under the law, but there are some exceptions to this rule.

ACA requires large employers (those with 50 or more full-time equivalent workers) to provide health insurance or pay the penalty. Those “equivalent” means that the number of hours performed by part-time employees is added and divided by 30 to get the full-time equivalent. So, if a company has 50 full-time employees and 20 part-time employees who work an average of 15 hours per week, the company would be considered to have 60 full-time equivalent employees and would be required to provide health insurance.

Employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent workers are not required to provide health insurance. Also, employers who provide health insurance to their employees but do not offer it to part-time employees are not subject to the ACA’s penalties.  

Part-time vs. full-time hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the US federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor standards. The FLSA applies to all employees, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time. The FLSA does not define full-time or part-time employment. It simply requires that workers be paid at least the minimum compensation for all hours worked and one and one-half times for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

Payroll and taxes for full-time and part-time workers

Full-time and part-time employees are both subject to payroll taxes. These taxes include Social Security and Medicare, unemployment, and state income taxes. The amount of these taxes will vary depending on the employee’s salary and tax bracket.

Pros and cons of hiring part-time vs. full-time tech employees

If there is a need to expand or reduce the workforce, it is an excellent idea to analyze your field’s and location’s labor market. Our professional recruitment team is often invited to conduct such analyses for our clients. So, drop us a message to get in touch and make the best decision for your company. The need for research also applies to the type of employment. Before debating which kind of engagement would be a better fit for your business, it is vital to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each. It may even turn out that you should consider both. Let’s take a closer look at the theory; our recruiters will help you with practice!

Part-time employees

We will start with part-time employment and some of its advantages and disadvantages for both employers and employees.

Advantages and disadvantages for employees

Pros of being a part-time worker:

  • opportunity to be engaged in fascinating projects;
  • more free time;
  • fewer responsibilities;
  • additional income;
  • flexible hours.

Let’s see what issues can occur while working under a part-time contract:

  • fewer working hours per week which affects the salary;
  • Fewer or no benefits;
  • limited opportunities for career growth and development.

Advantages and disadvantages for employers

Businesses can both win and lose from hiring part-time employees. Here is what we mean.

Advantages:

  • opportunity to attract the best experts as advisors; 
  • reducing labor costs;
  • increased flexibility for seasonal activity.

Disadvantages of hiring a part-time worker:

  • higher turnover;
  • more training is needed;
  • limited availability.

Full-time employees

To understand if permanent workers will be perfect for your company or if you need a hybrid employment model, check out the pros and cons of having full-time employees.

Advantages and disadvantages for employees

The advantages of full-time employment for employees are:

  • knowing the work schedule in advance;
  • access to employer-sponsored benefits, such as health insurance, retirement savings plans, and vacations;
  • more job security than part-time or seasonal employees have;
  • typically receiving more training than part-time employees.

The disadvantages of full-time employment for employees are:

  • Possibility of working more hours than usual;
  • Chance of being required to work on evenings and weekends;
  • Wages might be lower than similar part-time employees ones.

Advantages and disadvantages for employers

The advantages of full-time employment for employers are:

  • Full-time employees are usually more productive than part-time employees.
  • They are typically more invested in their work and the company.
  •  More job stability, which can lead to better performance and fewer mistakes.
  • Usually more training and experience than part-time employees.

The disadvantages of full-time employment for employers are:

  • This type of worker may receive a higher payment in wages and benefits.
  • Employees with 30 or more working hours per week may get provided health insurance.
  • Full-time workers usually get paid vacation and sick days.

The bottom line on full-time vs. part-time workers

You can take the best from both sides of the coin – full-time and part-time employees – to create a balanced and effective workforce for your business. Reevaluate your company’s needs at least once a year and try to make a decision that will help you reach your business goals. Still, have doubts about how to organize your team? Contact us and our recruiters will assist you in staffing your business! We can work on 30+ of your vacancies at the same time while you will focus on your company’s development. Let us know if we can be of any help!

What is the difference between full-time and part-time workers?

The main difference between full-time and part-time employees is the number of hours they work. Full-time employees usually work around 40 hours per week, while part-time employees typically work fewer hours.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of part-time jobs?

The advantages of part-time jobs include the following: cheaper labor cost; a more flexible workforce; the opportunity to attract the best experts as advisors.
The disadvantages of part-time employment include lower loyalty and commitment.

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