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How to maximise your chances of securing a part-time HR role

Posted on from Oakleaf Partnership

Simon Hunt discusses the elusive nature of part-time roles in the HR sector. If you're an HR professional looking for a part-time position, how can you maximise your chances of finding your perfect role in such a sought-after market?

Why is part-time attractive in HR?

As recruiters, we're forever being asked about the part-time market in the HR profession. Given the demographic of the HR industry, this is hardly surprising.

A vast percentage of the HR profession aged between 25 and 45 look to work in a part-time capacity. Working part-time can give HR professionals the flexibility to explore other options available to them, such as independent HR consulting, while offering a degree of financial stability as the individual develops their niche, market and network or they look to return to work from maternity leave on a part time basis, for example.

Where are all the part-time HR jobs?

Unfortunately, HR recruiters don't tend to ever have many part-time roles on their books. At Oakleaf, we all get the odd one or two but the majority of part-time HR roles tend to be found directly rather than through an HR recruitment agency.

Most employers will have, or currently know someone that they're working with who would be incredibly enthusiastic given the opportunity to take on a part-time HR role. This is the prime reason why recruitment agencies never really get the breadth of part-time opportunity.

Networking - a key skill for HR

So, what's the best way of finding a part-time role in HR? One thing that we have noticed plays a huge part in job searching is the ability to network. HR professionals need to be more aware of developing and nurturing their network as they grow in their career.

It's true to say that a lot of HR professionals spend too much time looking after their clients and other peoples' problems to realise what they are doing themselves. Therefore, they forget that building a network takes valuable time and commitment. Networking is an invaluable skill; one that we all need to do more of to progress in our careers.

The potential of LinkedIn

The onset of web technology like LinkedIn and Facebook has made networking much easier to do. For some reason, the majority of people are not comfortable actively networking and these tools have proved just how easy it is. A few hours dedicated to working your way around LinkedIn and you can quickly see how many individuals you could become exposed to. There are still a large number of people that still don’t actively do this. This is difficult to comprehend given the digital world that we are now all working in.

LinkedIn is a very effective and clever website. By simply setting up a profile you give yourself a presence on the site. Your profile is given a percentage of completion from 0-100% and you get closer to a 100% completed profile the more personal information you enter in terms of career, education, photo and recommendations. This information is then processed to allow you to find your network more simplistically. In fact, having accepted someone’s invitation to Link-In, there's a tool that finds and suggests other people that you may know and want to add to your network. It's important therefore to try to maximise your profile percentage.

Maximising your search for part-time in HR

This should help you realise your potential as far as your own network is concerned. As good as LinkedIn is, you can not solely rely on this to become gainfully employed again.

Part time roles are the most sought after opportunities so you must engage in your search more than you would for a straight forward full time opportunity. This means that you must also register with recruiters and in my honest opinion you should probably select a spread that will ensure you are covering the breadth of the market across industry because some HR firms a better on certain industries than others.

You should also set up job alerts on any of the respected HR job boards as this prevents any part time roles being posted without you knowing about them. Sometimes it's impossible to commit to searching through the boards ever yday and setting up alerts allows for missed days. 

Look to your network for opportunities

Following these principles should better your chance of securing that elusive, much sought after part-time HR role. Traditional methods of recruitment do work, and we've had many success stories of great part-time roles that we have sourced for people on the Oakleaf network.

To improve your chances of securing the elusive part-time HR position, and speed up the process, I suggest you also focus on building your own network with the people that you know or have worked with in the past. Who better to champion your cause?


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