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'You can't get quality staff on part time hours'

(60 Posts)
cakeandcustard Tue 09-Dec-14 11:22:17

This was said to me at a recent job interview. The job was advertised at 0.6 fte but it was made clear at the interview that it would very soon be increased to full time because 'you can't get quality staff on part time hours'!!!

AIBU to think that just because I have commitments outside work (i.e. 3 DCs) and therefore wish to work for fewer than the regulatory 37.5 hours a week, that doesn't mean I am going to do a crap job? I applied for the job on the basis that the number of hours advertised would mean that I could fit it in around my family and still be able to give the best service in work that I am able to provide. (didn't get the job but wouldn't have taken it anyway as I need something part time!)

I'm getting increasingly frustrated trying to find a professional part time position (for which I'm very well qualified) as when I filter on part time contract all that seems to come up are low paid, unskilled and/or temporary.

AIBU to think that employers are missing out on a wealth of skills and expertise if this view is as prevalent as it seems to be.

DoraGora Tue 09-Dec-14 11:49:26

Employers have a right to say dumb things all the time, on account of the fact that someone is coming to them looking for a job. People do enjoy expressing stupid opinions. That's life. (Some even spend money on reading other people's stupid opinions, too. But, that's a different topic.)

JassyRadlett Tue 09-Dec-14 11:52:17

Some of my best staff are part-time for the reasons you've outlined. It's shit that so many employers have this idea that 'good' people will only want to do full time, but I must say it's worked out very well for me as an employer as by treating people decently we are able to attract and retain some great talent.

Two of the most senior people in my organisation are in a jobshare, which is a great example to the rest of the staff.

OP, I'd try applying for the FT ones and ask before interview if they would be willing to consider part time or jobshare.

Icimoi Tue 09-Dec-14 11:56:18

In my experience employers get extremely good value out of part time staff. When I worked part time I regularly did more than my contracted hours because some things just couldn't wait till I was next back in the office, and that is also something I have seen regularly with other people.

NoSundayWorkingPlease Tue 09-Dec-14 12:02:49

Hmm. I would love to say yanbu.

But...I work in a large organisation where mainly those who have part time hours are parents. And generally, IME parents are more 'difficult' employees than those who are childless.

More likely to have an essential Doctors/dentist/opticians appointment. More likely to ask for shift slides or amendments, to make the school play or overcome a childcare problem. Less likely to be able to muck in last minute if extra cover is needed. Parental days when the kids are ill. And so on.

I manage a team of people and without exception my part timers are much harder work than full timers.

And I say that as someone who also works part time (0.8 FTE) and although I do my best to juggle things has probably also been a pain in the arse for my boss at times.

In short, although it's obviously hypocritical of me, I don't blame employers for wanting full time staff - although as an employer you'd be rather silly to vocalise that in the way you describe.

EatDessertFirst Tue 09-Dec-14 12:17:46

I work part-time and I have 2DC. I have been with the business I work for for seven years. I wouldn't still be there if I was rubbish as the work is hard and the managers are cut-throat. I am very flexible in my working hours (contracted 16 but can go up to 30 if it is required). I have never had to take time off due to 'appointments' as I plan my time out of work correctly. My shifts are planned by my manager around my DP's shifts and have been since my second maternity ended four years ago. Its an arrangement that works for everyone and I am very lucky to have it. But I do work very hard to balance everything so I can be as flexible as possible.

As a comparison, my SIL works full time for HR, and she spends more time off sick than at work. They pay her full time for this. More fool them!!

YANBU. If they don't want part-time workers then they shouldn't advertise it. And their comments were unprofessional and demeaning.

Mrscog Tue 09-Dec-14 12:21:27

nosundayworking I don't allow my Part Time staff to have bookable appointments on their working days - no dentist (unless toothache), optician, Drs etc. Hospital appointments are different as they are hard to get and rearrange, but routine stuff is a no no. Maybe that could help cut down some of it?

YackityUnderTheMistletoe Tue 09-Dec-14 12:26:14

YANBU - They may be harder work when they are working (and actually, if there are sensible rules in place I doubt that - being part time means you have the hours to do those extra things in your own time), in the long run they are more reliable. Part time workers won't willingly mess about with their job or hours. With so much going on in their lives they don't want to start new jobs willy nilly. So you have a far lower staff turnover, with a saving of the associated costs (training, recruitment, etc).

aermingers Tue 09-Dec-14 12:26:50

I think for a lot of jobs you get better staff part time. They fit more into the hours they're paid for and have to be very disciplined to get everything done. I work 18.75 a week in a job share and I know that they get more out of two of us than they did when it was one person in a full time role.

But mine is a senior administrative job. I do think that when you start looking at professional jobs it does get more difficult. As you go up the payscale it starts to become more expected that work will go home with you and you will put in extra time out of office hours. For that reason if a part time member of staff is closing their laptop and leaving dead on every night when full time members of staff have to pick up extra work it does create an imbalance.

Unfortunately I think that part time work just is something which works better lower down the pay scales. As you go up the pay scales there is more responsibility and there starts to be issues with what you do when someone holds a particular responsibility but it's not their working day. I've known people make it work quite well with compressed hours, or maybe working 4 days out of 5. But I think any less than that and you really can run into problems with more senior roles.

BikeRunSki Tue 09-Dec-14 12:30:07

I'm quality and I'm part time (0.6)!

You'll probably find a better attitude and flexibility in the public sector OP.

QOD Tue 09-Dec-14 12:31:55

I'm in sales and the top performing staff? Majority are part time ...

Girlwhowearsglasses Tue 09-Dec-14 12:42:59

I have a friend who if v high flying (think head hunters) and she applied for full time and charms tem in the Interview. Not sure at what point she does this though

cakeandcustard Tue 09-Dec-14 14:31:02

When I've worked part time in the past I've always ended up doing more hours than I'm contracted for, in the evenings etc. I think there's an extra pressure to prove yourself invaluable, especially if you're going to need a little more flexibility for child related emergencies. I would say previous employers have always got more than their money's worth.

I honestly think that the 'quality part time' thing is code for problems envisaged employing working mothers with young children, as we primarily fill these roles. Employers still have a massive problem thinking outside the box and fully adapting flexible working principles.

funkybuddah Tue 09-Dec-14 14:46:29

I perform the best in my team both sales and customer feedback wise and only work 16-21 hrs a week

Fallingovercliffs Tue 09-Dec-14 15:01:29

I agree there's no link between part time/full time and quality of staff. But I don't agree that part time staff are better than full time staff or more committed either. It's always down to the individual involved.

fiorentina Tue 09-Dec-14 15:11:56

Have you looked at the agencies/websites that specialise in professional jobs offering part time working? Timewise or similar?

Stillwishihadabs Tue 09-Dec-14 16:18:18

shamefully marking place

NoSundayWorkingPlease Tue 09-Dec-14 16:22:13

I honestly think that the 'quality part time' thing is code for problems envisaged employing working mothers with young children, as we primarily fill these roles

Of course it is. Very few people without caring responsibilities choose to work pt so pt=working parents to many employers.

Boomtownsurprise Tue 09-Dec-14 16:23:32

I'm unsure if you can stop a doc or dentist app just because a person is part time tbh. Politeness would suggest a pt might try to do in the personal time but I can't off hand see how that could be enforced or forced.

Boomtownsurprise Tue 09-Dec-14 16:24:41

Nosunday. Sad tho as I was a professional before kids but apparently being a mum renders one stupid and incapable hmm

Whippet81 Tue 09-Dec-14 16:29:11

My most difficult staff are two full timers with no immediate family commitments outside of work (not married no children). Cause me absolute mayhem. Best employee I ever had (now retired) worked part time and had a terminally ill husband she cared for. So I'm afraid I don't go for that at all. I can think of lots of examples of unreliable staff (unfortunately) and they are mix of full and part time.

NoSundayWorkingPlease Tue 09-Dec-14 16:31:36

Who said stupid and incapable? hmm

KarenHillavoidJimmyswarehouse Tue 09-Dec-14 16:33:29

Ha well any employers that think part time workers = crappy "mums with doctor's appointments" are in for a big shock soon.

Our ageing population mean that increasingly working age people in their are acting as carers for parents. So between those with no children and those with no parents, employers are going to severely limit their pool of "suitable" employees.

rookietherednosedreindeer Tue 09-Dec-14 16:37:40

Wow - what an inane comment.

I'm part time and they get much better value out of me than many full timers. For a start I went down a grade to support genuine p/t working but haven't lost the skills I used to have so I manage staff and take on responsibilities higher than my pay band.

Also am very rarely off sick and (touch wood) DS has a good constitution as well so I think I have had one half day off and a couple of working from homes over the past 5 years. As I am p/t I schedule doctors/dental appointments/furniture deliveries on my day off.

Harrumph - I suspect what has happened is that they have had one bad apple, as there are so few p/t positions, people tend to remember when it goes wrong and just with f/t workers sometimes people do forget that they are getting paid to turn up and do some work and that people don't really want to hear too much about their DCs ( just as I'm not that interested in other peoples spouses, dogs, horses, elderly relatives etc. etc.)

Phoenixfrights Tue 09-Dec-14 16:46:54

Why would you ban part-timers from attending non-essential appointments on their working days, but not full-timers?

Have you checked with a HR person who knows the law that this would not count asindirect discrimination?

As for the interviewers' comments, well, how ignorant.

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