In the pet care industry we have peaks and valleys in our businesses. Our #1 expense when operating a facility with high quality service is labor. In order to maintain profitable margins it is very important to manage labor very closely. This can be tricky when trying to project the needs of the business as the demand fluctuates.
In our operation, we spent hours figuring out how to limit overtime or raise rates to cover additional labor expense. It wasn’t until we embraced hiring and accommodating part-time employees that we finally felt relief when it came to managing labor.
Think of the advantages:
Schedule workers only when needed, such as peak times and week-ends.
- Part-time employees can be scheduled for shorter shifts. If someone calls out the hours are easier to cover.
- Lower cost. Employees scheduled for part-time hours almost never reach overtime hours.
- No/Low benefit expense. If you offer benefits part-time employees may not qualify.
- More options. You now have created a wider pool of potential candidates to recruit from.
Be sure to recruit and hire with your business needs in mind. If weekends are busy and you need help, have a weekend shift requirement.
If you choose to hire more part-time employees in place of full-time hires there will be additional work on the administrative and management side. Be prepared for that, but realize that the payoffs with the labor management should outweigh the administrative work.
Be sure to use your part-time employees to fill the holes in your schedules. This gives you the ability to sell more or even say yes to days off for that loyal full-time employee. You now have the flexibility by using your new part-time employees to fill the voids.
Don’t let your labor expense eat away at your profits. It can be as easy as changing your mindset and seeing the value in accepting a few more part-time staff members to give you the ability to shift labor where and when it is most needed.