How to Use Part-Time Employees To Fill Your Manufacturing Gaps

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Embracing Generational Diversity with Flexible Work Options

If your company isn’t offering part-time work like it does full-time work, you could be missing out on a big competitive advantage.

As the manufacturing workforce continues to evolve with the entry of Millennials and Gen Z, and even the re-entry of retirees, part-time employment emerges as a strategic tool to address the unique needs and preferences of these diverse groups.

Yes, even in manufacturing.

Offering flexible part-time roles can be a key strategy to address manufacturing gaps and benefit your company. Let’s explore.

Understanding the Generational Shifts in Manufacturing

With each generation comes distinct expectations and work habits, making it crucial for employers to understand and embrace these differences.

Millennials and Gen Z

Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping expectations for work-life balance and workplace culture, with an increasing demand for jobs that offer flexibility and personal fulfillment.

They are, for the most part, willing to earn less money now and enjoy their lives, while living at home longer and staying on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. With these perks, they don’t have as much incentive to work full-time upon entering the workforce, and can stay in part-time roles longer.

While Millennials were pioneers in advocating for flexible work environments, Gen Z has taken this a step further, emphasizing mental health and the integration of technology in their work. With Gen Z expected to constitute more than a quarter of the workforce by 2025, their influence is rapidly growing.

Baby Boomers and Retirees

Baby Boomers are the highly skilled workers you simply don’t want to lose, holding valuable knowledge to pass down before retiring out of the workforce. Yet the manufacturing industry has long been plagued with attracting younger workers to replace them.

Meanwhile, an interesting trend is the increasing number of retirees re-entering the workforce. Economic factors, a desire to stay active, and the social aspects of work are compelling reasons for retirees seeking part-time employment.

This shift offers businesses an opportunity to leverage a wealth of experience and mentorship that retirees can provide, particularly in industries facing skill and talent shortages.

The Benefits of Part-Time Employment in Manufacturing

These trends provide a unique opportunity for manufacturing firms to rethink traditional employment models. Here’s how your company could benefit:

  • Filling Skill Gaps: As seasoned workers retire, part-time roles can help transfer essential skills to younger employees. This can be particularly effective in manufacturing, where hands-on knowledge is invaluable and a skills gap plagues the industry.
  • Increasing Attraction and Retention: Offering part-time roles can make your company more attractive to a broader range of job seekers, including those who value flexibility — like students, parents, or semi-retired professionals.
  • Enhancing Workforce Agility: Part-time employees can help manage fluctuating production demands without the overhead of full-time salaries and benefits, making your workforce more adaptable to market conditions.

How To Make Part-Time Work…Work

Giving workers the part-time flexibility they desire can be done in multiple ways. Consider the following strategies:

  • Job Sharing: Pair two part-time employees to cover a full-time role, mixing skills and generational insights to enhance productivity and innovation.
  • Flexible Schedules: Offer shifts that align with the availability and life demands of younger workers and retirees, such as shorter daily hours or fewer workdays per week.
  • Mentorship Programs: Encourage retirees to mentor younger employees, providing them with valuable industry insights while keeping them engaged in part-time roles.

Leveraging Temp-to-Hire for Part-Time Roles

Temp-to-hire roles can be particularly effective in bridging generational gaps.

This approach gives both employers and employees a trial period to assess fit, which can be crucial when integrating diverse age groups into the workplace.

A temp-to-hire model also reduces your hiring risks, allowing both parties to evaluate the work arrangement before committing long-term.

Generational Differences In the Workforce: Navigating The New Workforce Dynamics

Adapting to the multigenerational workforce requires thoughtful strategies that consider the varied expectations and experiences of each group.

Done right, part-time employment can be a strategic response to filling your manufacturing staffing gaps while standing out from the competition. By embracing this model, your company can tap into diverse talent pools, improve operational flexibility, and enhance overall productivity.

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We’ll provide the right temp, temp-to-hire, or direct-hire candidates that align with your company quickly and efficiently.