Introducing Emailing Openings

Emailing Openings

We’re introducing yet another new feature! This time we are adding the ability to email out a shift’s openings. Sometimes you may schedule an event not want to wait for employees to sign in and check available openings. In this case, we are adding the ability to email available workers and offer them the shift. Here is an example below:

scheduling_email_availabilties

This scheduling feature has a quick feedback tool to let you know the results. You could have workers without emails and openings with no available workers to fill.

email_successemail_failure

Caterer Scheduling and Schedulehead

The Scheduling Difficulties Faced by Caterers

Before companies like Schedulehead, catering company scheduling could be a very tiring and frustrating experience.

There are a number of unique challenges that catering companies can experience:

  • Problem 1: Different locations and times
  • Problem 2: Fluctuating work weeks and last-minute events with staff that is typically part-time
  • Problem 3: Special on-site instructions

All of these challenges can give just about anyone a headache figuring out and communicating all the details. The first step once the sale is done for most catering companies is to begin the search for servers. This usually involves either the owner, a manager, or a full-time scheduler making phone calls from a list of servers. This is a very tedious process and gets harder as the schedule fills with more and more events. You can have workers that are unsure, that want a call back, that don’t answer, or that one that says okay. As you get more answers you have to start balancing who will go to which parties if you have multiple in one day because certain servers can only make one party or another.

Example

For example you could have event A that is 10 minutes away with staff arriving at 2pm and event B that is 35 minutes away with staff arriving at 4pm. You begin to call your staff, starting with Becky. She is one of your most experienced servers. She is available that day after 2 pm, but does not have a car currently. You pencil here in as tentative and move on to the next server. Ron isn’t available that day. Judy is also very experienced and can make either shift.

Now you have a dilemma, you can either staff both Becky and Judy on event B and see if they can carpool or staff Judy on event A and look for someone else to carpool to Event B with Becky. The problems continue from there as you find out everyone’s schedules and issues. The main problem is that due to the part-time nature of a lot of catering jobs, you are often partially at the mercy of your servers’ schedules.

Solution 1: Locations and Times

Different locations and times for shifts poses a big problem with figuring out whose schedules will fit with which events. Schedulehead has several solutions for this specific scheduling problem. First we offset the responsibilities of managing your servers’ schedules to the servers. What this means is that you can create openings and your servers sign up for them. This makes them responsible for signing up for shifts that they can make.

Of course, your first concern in scheduling would be balancing the needs of seniority and experience. You don’t want all the decisions to be made by your employees. Schedulehead does this in a couple ways. Schedulehead’s review system plus worker seniority allow higher ranked senior workers to see shifts further out and get first opportunity on both newly added and last minute shifts. Schedulehead’s shift equalizer balances staff on a single day by only showing them the party they need to sign up for to balance seniority and experience for each day. This way if 2 experienced servers end up on your Event A, Schedulehead will show your other experienced servers Shift B.

Solution 2: Weekly Fluctuations

As mentioned before the part-time nature of the work and the fluctuating work weeks can often put you at the mercy of your servers’ schedules. Schedulehead, as previously mentioned partially relieves this by offloading the responsibility of your servers’ schedules to your servers where it belongs. The other half is accounting for last-minute events. These events could be within 24 hours or less which puts a lot of strain on you to schedule workers quickly. Schedulehead can take care of this by utilizing its Autotext feature. This feature sends text messages to your staff starting with the highest seniority and highest ranked ones. The Autotext system allows workers to sign up for these last-minute shifts through text messages. This is a quick and automated system that takes the strain off of you, so that you can focus on making sure everthing else is prepared.

Solution 3: Communication

Communication is the cornerstone of nearly any business, and Catering is no different. When scheduling your staff, you will often have special instructions in uniforms, meeting locations, driving directions, etc. This needs to be communicated to the servers directly and simply. Schedulehead fulfills this need by providing comments for both the whole event and the specific skillset group. This way if you have special instructions for everyone and special instructions for just bartenders, servers will only receive the instructions for everyone. Quick and easy communication. Schedulehead also provides the capability to email all workers and email out event updates such as arrival time and location.

New Interface

newSchedulingInterface

We are super excited to announce our new interface launching into beta. This will be the basis for our interface leading into the future. We are focusing more on the grid view like scheduling, but will be introducing capabilities to make it just as powerful for our event-based companies. A number of new features are being introduced by this interface.

Faster adding of workers

fasterWorkerAddition

You can now add workers in the same page that you schedule them. This makes everything more streamlined about getting up and running with Schedulehead. As you add the worker, you can create new roles and add the roles all at the beginning to make onboarding employees a one step process.

Drag and Drop

ShiftMove

Drag and drop has invaded Schedulehead. Shifts can be moved between workers and even days. This allows quick reassigning of shifts from the new grid view replacement. Currently only grid based shifts, or daily’s, can be drag and dropped. The final version will have drag and drop capability for everything that appears there. Stay Tuned!

View Filters

shiftFilters

View Filters are a continuation of the previous skillset filter from Shifts in a Grid View. This new Filter allows for soooo much more. Here is a list of the new Filters:

  • Worker Skillset/Role: This filters by what workers have that particular skillset/role.
  • Working Status: This includes working, not working, working more than so many hours, and working less than so many hours.
  • Shift Skillset/Role: This filters the shifts shown by what shifts have that particular skillset/role.

This allows you to quickly and effectively figure out how the weekly schedule is laid out. We have more filters on the way to improve your efficiency.

Scheduling Time Off Requests

Scheduling workers while keeping track of time off and availability can be incredibly difficult at times. Gathering all of this info can require lots of email, forms, and phone calls. All of which eats up time and money. Schedulehead’s goal is to reduce and remove as much of the headache surrounding employee scheduling as possible, and to this end we have introduced time off requests on Schedulehead.

scheduling worker time off requests

How does it work?

Time off requests are simple and flexible tool at the moment. Time off requests are essentially the opposite side of availability scheduling. They simply tell you when a worker cannot work. This works for any reason such as maintaining a difficult work schedule between jobs or having a doctor’s appointment. The worker puts in when they are not available and Schedulehead collects it and shows you in a simple and efficient manner, so that scheduling a week of shifts is easy and not an absolute headache.

Shift Requests Released!

We are proud to announce the release of a new feature: Shift Requests!

What are Shift Requests?

RequestScheduling
 Your workers can click on the blue “Request Shift” text which will allow you to approve requests before they are confirmed on the worker’s schedule.

Shift Requests are relatively straightforward. Instead of allowing workers to directly signup for shifts, they can request the shift. This is super simple and follows the same process as signing up for a shift. Once they sign up, an administrator can decide who out of the requests should be assigned. That is it, simple as apple pie.

Why is it useful?

RequestShiftScheduling

Some business like to have more control over assigning their employees, and that’s where Shift Requests comes in.

Let’s take Sue’s Bakery as an example. Let’s say that 2 of her workers John and Bill do not get along well. Both of them signup for the morning shift, and lower each other’s efficiency with small issues. This could have been avoided with Shift Requests. John and Bill both request the morning shift. John has seniority and works well with Jack who also requested the Morning shift, so Sue confirms both John and Jack instead, while placing Bill on another shift he requested. This allows businesses that can keep track of these details will like the extra control that Shift Requests gives them.

Welcome to Grid View

Gather round, gather round! Grid View is our new feature that allows for spreadsheet-style scheduling. Designed to save you time, it allows you to manually schedule your workers and get a birds-eye-view of any week. Seeing your employee’s schedule has never been easier.

Gridview online scheduling

Gridview online scheduling

This view gives a great deal of information for the day, worker, and shift. Never again will you be left in the dark wondering how many hours the worker is scheduled for that week, or how many workers/hours are on a particular day.

Gridview online scheduling

Click on any day, create a shift. It’s that easy. Complete the simple form and you’ll get who you need when and where you need them. Come try it out for yourself.

End Times

   End Times are exactly what they sound like. For the benefit of you and your workers we have now implemented a feature that allows you to specify when a skillset’s shift ends. Every company is different, and the length of shifts can vary even inside the company. For example, let’s say that you run a business from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm with workers doing 6 hour shifts. This was always possible to set up previously with Schedulehead, but now there is a way to clarify the length of a shift to workers.

Quick Example:

   To continue the example, let’s make a Repeating Template (also a new feature you should check out) that repeats every Monday.

Employee Scheduling Software

   Assuming this business is a restaurant, let’s make skillsets for the different times you want employees working.

Employee Scheduling Software End Times

   Above, you’ll see that there are two server skillsets (beginning at 10:00am and another at 4:00pm). Check the box that says “Use End Time,” set the time, and you’re good to go! It really is that easy.

Employee Scheduling Software End Times

   Now, when your workers look for available shifts they will see both the start time and end time of the shift.

Employee Scheduling Software End Times

         Some Restrictions
• End times must be at least 1 hour after the start time of a skillset
• Workers cannot be on different shifts or skillsets on the same day even if times do not conflict.
• End times cannot be later than midnight

Shift Equalizer

    Awesome news: We’re rolling out Shift Equalizer! It’s an incredibly powerful new feature that helps to schedule workers just like a human does! Check it out:

What it does:

 

     Schedulehead looks at all of the data it has on every worker, such as star ranking and length of employment. If there are multiple shifts in one day, Schedulehead can distribute workers evenly so that senior staff are spread among multiple shifts. Balancing shifts this way ensures that each shift will have a good mix of high ranked and lower ranked staff.

    Essentially, the Shift Equalizer behaves how most human schedulers would. When you schedule staff, you want a worker where they will be the biggest benefit, and the Shift Equalizer is part of how Schedulehead achieves this. To enable or disable Shift Equalizer, visit the Configuration Menu. When ON, Schedulehead will only show a worker the one shift where they are needed most. When OFF, Schedulehead will allow workers to signup for any shift on a given day. Workers will then have the freedom to choose which shifts they would rather sign up for, rather than Schedulehead making the choice.

On or not on?

 

    That is the question. The default option is set to ON.  Research shows that 91% of companies that use Shift Equalizer are able to save between 2 and 4 hours per week by letting Schedulehead do the thinking.

    But we also recognize that there are a few reasons you may not want it and so we gave you the option to disable it. It’s our job is to reduce the time you spend scheduling your staff and make it as pain free as possible. Scheduling is not an efficient use of your time, so let Schedulehead do it for you with help of the Shift Equalizer!

   For more information, checkout our help desk over at schedulehead.zendesk.com.

Scales of Balance

Repeating Events

You spoke, we listened! Repeating events have arrived. What are Repeating events? Repeating events are events with multiple days that happen at regular periods, such as daily, weekly, every 2 days, etc.

How do you create repeating events?

Recurring Employee Scheduling
Recurring Scheduling Software

You create a repeating template, which creates the rest of the repeating events on all the desired days for you. The repeating template will allow you to place workers on all the associated open repeating events, as well as change times, location, comments, etc. from a central location. So if your workers on all of your associated repeating events need to start an hour earlier, you can change just the template and the rest will reflect the change. It is just simple and intuitive

How does it work?

Recurring Employee Scheduling

There is a great deal of robustness to the system. Let’s say a worker needs a day off from their repeating schedule. This is no problem. You go to the repeating event on that date and take them off. Boom the worker will be off that event, just like normal. What about the empty spot that has just appeared? Schedulehead automatically notices that and opens up the event to qualified workers to fill the spot.

Worker Signup

Worker Online Scheduling

As an extension of our mantra, “Let Schedulehead do the Work for You”, you can also allow workers to sign up for the template itself. This means that a worker can see the event and how often it happens, then decide to sign up for the event. When you set template signup, we will preferentially show the repeating template to workers to get them signed up for the repeating template rather than the individual repeating events. What if I don’t want a worker on a repeating template or I want to remove them? This is also very easy to do. You can go to the repeating template and remove them just like removing them from any other event. When you do this, it will go to all the associated repeating events and remove that worker from them. The simpler and more powerful a tool is the better it can be used.

What if a repeating template doesn’t get filled?

If you allowed template signup, Schedulehead will watch the repeating templates to make sure they get filled. Schedulehead will watch repeating events and make sure it gets filled with qualifying workers.

What about autotext and web check-in?

Both of these are still in place and work for individual repeating events. We only increase functionality.

What can’t it do?

Sadly, make me pancakes. I am working on it, but the ingredients just sit there at the moment. It might need an upgrade before it gets there.

Start making your daily schedules easy!

Autotext keeps Employee Scheduling Simple

Employee Scheduling

Employee Scheduling Autotext

    Employee scheduling can be very tiring and nerve wracking the closer to an event you get. Let’s say Ryan’s Event Staffing does not have enough people for the event in 2 days, a troublesome situation we have all seen before. The next step for most people is to start making phone calls to fill this slot. This is time consuming to look up employee’s numbers and call them one by one. If you are lucky, half of the time the employees will answer their phone. The rest of the time you are leaving messages which wastes more of your time. The event gets staffed, but in the end, way too much time was wasted.

We have a better method, and its called Autotext.

What is Autotext?

    Simple, yet Powerful – Autotext is like a robot that is constantly watching your shifts to make sure they are filled. When it notices that an upcoming job has some shifts that aren’t filled, it will automatically start texting your workers asking them if they’re available for that shift. Your workers can respond right there via text and get signed up right away.

Employee Scheduling autotext

How does it know?

    Schedulehead learns your business and your workers: it knows who is most qualified for every shift. It knows who was late last week and who is better at various skills. When Schedulehead notices a hole in your schedule, it will automatically reach out to the most qualified workers first, then work the list down from there.

How Useful is it?

    Our research shows that 99% of employees have access to a cell phone with texting while only 72% have access to mobile email. The ability to send text messages dramatically increases response from employees and saves your business’s bottom line.