Candidates with Disabilities are More Open to Part-Time or Temporary Employment Compared to Candidates without Disabilities

Market Research from GettingHired's Survey

The 2nd annual GettingHired and Aerotek Voice of the Candidate surveys were launched in December, 2014 with the primary objective of understanding the job search behaviors and experiences of candidates with disabilities as compared to the job search behaviors and experiences of candidates without disabilities.
In 2013, 42% of candidates with disabilities had a preference for part-time or temporary employment, compared to only 9% of candidates without disabilities. In 2014, the number remained fairly consistent with 41% of candidates with disabilities indicating a preference for part-time or temporary employment, compared to only 7% of candidates without disabilities.

Although the overall percentage of jobseekers with a preference for part-time or temporary employment slightly decreased in 2014, jobseekers with disabilities are overwhelmingly open to employment opportunities which are not traditionally full-time, when compared to jobseekers without disabilities.

The Numbers

Candidates With Disabilities
What type of work are you looking for? 2013 2014 Year over Year Change
Full-time 58% 60% +2
Temporary/ Contract 6% 6% 0
Part-time 36% 35% -1


Candidates Without Disabilities
What type of work are you looking for? 2013 2014 Year over Year Change
Full-time 91% 93% +2
Temporary/ Contract 7% 3% -4
Part-time 2% 4% +2


The majority of both candidates with disabilities and candidates without disabilities are looking for full-time employment, with full-time being selected as a preference for 58% of candidates with disabilities in 2013 and 60% in 2014. Full-time was selected as a preference 91% of candidates without disabilities in 2013 and 93% in 2014. However, almost 5X as many candidates with disabilities as candidates without disabilities preferred part-time or contract work to full-time work in 2013 and almost 6X as many candidates with disabilities preferred part-time employment in 2014.

Impact and Implications

These statistics are representative of an overall trend in employment in which 42 percent of employers planned to hire temporary or contract workers in 2014, although over 40 percent of companies said they planned to convert some of those positions into full time positions down the road.

Candidates with disabilities are not the only people for whom part-time or temporary employment are viable options due to schedule flexibility and the opportunity to simultaneously pursue other employment. Industry statistics indicate that millennials, those aged 18-34, hold more part-time or temporary positions than any other demographic, while on track to make up 50% of the overall workforce in the next five years.

In order to attract fast growing demographics of new jobseekers, organizations must adapt to the cultural norms and standards of those demographics, whether they are millennials who simply desire healthcare benefits and flexible schedules, or candidates with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations which may include flexible work schedules.

The federal government itself, through the Office of Personnel Management, identifies the benefits of having a diverse workforce of both full-time and part-time employees, highlighting that part-time work allows employees to balance routine and/or unexpected work and family demands; recover from an illness; pursue an education; and devote time to a volunteer activity in the community. For employers, the benefits of offering part-time positions are evident in attracting or retaining highly qualified employees or those with special skills who may not be able to or may not want to work a full-time schedule; providing work coverage during recurring workload surges; reducing employment expenditures when employees voluntarily reduce their work schedules; and supporting  agency affirmative action goals.

Recent changes within the professional landscape have already challenged and dismantled previously existing notions of what the workplace had to be. Office sharing challenged the idea of the traditional workplace, which is no longer necessary due to the prevalence of communications technology which allows employees to collaborate and engage with each other regardless of location. Despite even higher rents today, the affordability and efficiency of office sharing allows businesses the option to move back from the suburbs to the heart of the city, fueling economic growth and reviving downtown districts.

Ultimately, the decision to create more part-time or temporary positions benefits both organizations and jobseekers. Organizations can greatly enhance and diversify their workforce by hiring part-time or temporary employees to fulfill immediate staffing needs, while later transitioning some of those employees into full-time or permanent positions.