Our flight school contracts with several instructors. They set their own hours, have their own business license, and take care of their own taxes, among the many other items the IRS (and the contractors) required us to do to prove that these business relationships were contract. They, even the owner, will get a 1099 at the end of the year.
Many of our contractors own different businesses (software, real estate, and so on) and instruct with us because they enjoy flight instructing.
We offer several benefits to them and specifically sought out a health insurance plan and a health club that accepts independent contractors.
Three contractors are considered full-time. In other words, we'd like flight instructing to be our primary business. When the appropriate time comes, two will close other businesses and do just aviation-related ones.
All of us have specifically stated that we did NOT want to be employees.
Back to the original questions:
>Do you think that FBO owners/employers would prefer to hire (if they are hiring at all of course) part-time initially to get a scope of that specific intructor's abilities?
I think it is more of "does the FBO have enough work to put a flight instructor on full-time?" Full-time is about 5 students flying 2-3 times per week. Certain bottom-feeder FBOs try to keep everyone part time so they can avoid employment issues. I've always tried to stay away from bottom-feeders.
>Do CFIs willing to work part-time have the advantage over those who wish to instruct full-time?
Those saying they are part-time generally have some other job that is full-time. In my dispatch role, it means limited availability. I can't give a 5x per week, morning only, client to someone that is unavailable in the mornings.
>However, that same ownership expected the CFI's to be there all day and answer phones... but, they were only paid for flight time.
That's illegal in most states, and probably federally, too. If the FBO can't obey the employment laws, what other laws are they ignoring, say in the maintenance arena?
Good luck in your job search!