Does your business need extra resource but you can’t quite justify another full-time worker? Recruitment and workforce planning is a delicate task that finely balances the needs of the business in terms of both efficiency and flexibility. But who says that a full-time employee is the best way forward? If you wish to boost business productivity, and ultimately your bottom line, perhaps a part-time worker could fill the gap.

Here are six sensible business reasons why you should get invested:

1. Progress Your Business Goals

If you have plans to grow your business but don’t have a need nor the budget for a full-time team member, a part-time professional may be able to help. It may be that you’ve now reached the stage where you really need in-house bookkeeping help, a social media expert to make the most of your online marketing presence, or and IT professional to update and configure your systems. The solution could be staring you in the face: Employ a professional who can bring focus and energy, say, 2 or 3 days a week to the task in hand, and you will see your growth targets becoming much more achievable.

2. Complete Languishing Projects

We all have to-do lists that never get done. Whether it’s due to lack of time, skill or passion, even important projects may be sitting on the back burner for far too long. Whether it’s an overdue office move, setting up a much needed client database or investigate new sales channels, what are you going to do about it, and when? If you want to move your business forward, that time is now. Why not recruit someone with the right skills on a fixed contract and give them a specific project brief? That way, you know the job is getting done by someone qualified and enthusiastic, while the budget is under control.

3. Delegate Non-Core Skills

Small business owners are multitaskers extraordinaire, no doubt about it. Not only are you’re the Managing Director, you’re the Financial Director, Marketing Manager, Head of HR and Office Manager all rolled into one.  This has no doubt made you completely irreplaceable as a manager – but isn’t there a limit to how many hats you can wear, how many balls you can juggle at any one time? For your business to grow, you need to be able to focus on the important issues, not spread yourself too thinly. Work out what your core competencies are and delegate the jobs you’re less good at. A part-time professional can be the perfect answer, bringing much needed skills for some of the time, while not threatening your authority.

4. Cover Staff Absences

Whether your Office Manager is due to go on maternity leave, someone is on extended sick leave or you’re between full-time employees, part-time workers can be brought in to bridge the gap beautifully for a fixed period cover. Often available at short notice, a part-timer can be of invaluable assistance to the company. And once you see what they can do and how well they fit into the team, you might even consider keeping them on as a job share, or in a different position. You have nothing to lose.

5. Fill Niche Positions

Have you been looking to fill a particular full-time vacancy in your company only to find that there are no suitable applicants out there? If you work in a niche industry, or require a very specific skill set for the position, you may have to cast your net wider. By tapping into the flexible and part-time job market, you may find what you’re looking for as long as you’re prepared to compromise on working arrangements. A reduced week, flexible shifts, occasional working from home – these may all be perfectly compatible with the role and a small price to pay.

6. Strengthen Your Team

Employing a part-time worker can give you the best of both worlds. You get an additional resource that your business is crying out for, but at a fraction of the cost of a full-timer. Even if the position is for 4 days a week, that’s still a 20% saving. What’s more, part-time employees are often the Steady Eddies of the office. Often less motivated to move up the ladder chasing promotion, their main focus tends to be to roll up their sleeves and get on with the job in hand.