Over decades the percentage of part time workers has risen dramatically. Forty years ago 1 in 10 Australian workers worked part time. Today 30.4%* of the general population in Australia work part time, that’s a huge 3,062,977 people. However, in stark contrast only 10%** of employees within the travel & tourism industry are in part time travel jobs.
What does this mean for the travel industry? With 73%** of workers in the Travel & Tourism industry being female, are we missing out on individuals with valuable skills to contribute due to their part time availability and the inability of travel businesses to think outside the box in this changing employment landscape?
There are many reasons people choose to work part time, some of which include; to raise a family, support elderly or those with a disability, to study, for health reasons, to pursue other business ventures or simply a lifestyle choice.
Adrian Boccia from TMS Talent in Melbourne, a specialist in travel industry recruitment remarked that 40% of the candidates he interviews are looking for part time travel jobs. Some are wanting 5 days with reduced hours, others are looking for 2-4 days with full hours. “Placing these experienced candidates is unfortunately always a challenge as many Travel & Tourism organisations aren’t open to considering a part-timer. Which is a real loss to the industry as most of the job seekers I meet have years of experience with good references and have only taken short breaks in their career to raise a family.”
Adrian speaks from experience when he says “Part timers travel employees are extremely efficient, sometimes even completing 5 days’ work in 3! They are reliable, loyal and get the job done. In my previous role overseeing large retail travel chains (with stores who had many part time employees) there were even times the part timers had higher sales figures than some of the full-time employees in our stores”
There are many benefits for employers in hiring part time employees;
1. Cost benefits
Employers can hire highly skilled and specialised travel staff without the full-time salary commitments. Part timers are generally paid on an hourly basis therefore you can schedule them for the number of hours that the business requires.
2. Increased staff retention
When employees are happy, and their needs are met regarding work/life balance, they will be less inclined to leave.
3. Improved work culture
Part timers can help share the workload thus eliminating overtime and excess stress on the full timers.
4. Scale your business
The part time workforce contains individuals with a pool of specialised skills and experience that can make it feasible to try out new markets or ideas to scale your business without a large initial financial investment.
5. Job Share
Two part timers can job share to cover full-time travel jobs that may otherwise take months to place and bring the new incumbent up to speed with the appropriate training.
6. Project work
Is a cost-effective way to utilise the skills and experience of part timers or contractors without having to commit to a full-time salary. Use their experience to improve your business operations while full timers concentrate on the day to day tasks.
7. Additional staff during peak periods or to fill in skills gaps within an existing team
Part time employees are useful to add strength to areas of weakness that may be present within a team at a fraction of the full-time salary. Their hours can also be managed accordingly during peak periods and quieter times.
8. Work place diversity
Part timers are usually made up of a diverse range of individuals from Mum’s and Dad’s to the semi-retired, students and entrepreneurs all offering strengths in different areas. These strengths can only add to the success of your business as a whole.
9. Extend business trading hours
Part timers can often work varying hours. By hiring a part- timer you may be able to offer your clients additional services outside traditional business hours.
In the coming months we will see an even larger increase in part timers entering the workforce with the government’s recent childcare subsidy changes requiring the household care giver to work a minimum of 15 hours a week to qualify for childcare subsidies.
Now is the time to assess your business and find out where a part timer could benefit your organisation. Contact out team for a confidential chat today.
* ABS 2016 figures
** Travel Daily & Travel Bulletin ‘Annual travel industry salary and employment survey' of 1300 travel & tourism industry professionals
Author Kristi Gomm