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Thursday, August 15, 2013

How a Workforce Management System can Save You Time

For 15 years I was a recruiter in the temporary staffing industry. I worked for a small boutique staffing company that focused on local staffing for administrative and general labor positions. While my company used a database system to organize our employee and client information as well as to create job posts and run payroll there were still processes that needed to be completed by individuals within our office, whether by us as recruiters or by the sales team or administrators. 

I believe the next level for any company that utilizes a contingent workforce would be a management system that can automate the process and save time. 

When I first began working as a writer for the NextCrew site I already recognized the benefits a system like this would have had for me as a recruiter. I understand both sides of the process and I believe that workforce management can help 

I thought I might take a quick look at some of the bottlenecks in the staffing process and demonstrate how workforce management tools can help. 

1.      Resume and Skills Updates. When I was working in temporary staffing I frequently needed to update employee information within the system. Our candidates would send us updated resumes which we would upload an often reformat. New skills slipped through the cracks as we rarely went back and updated the original information. This could mean that some candidates were not contacted about jobs for which they would have been qualified. With a workforce management system an employee could log in and update their own resume and skill set allowing the administrators access to the best information.
2.      Update Contact Information. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I tried to reach out to a potential candidate only to find that their phone number or email address was no longer in service. Occasionally the candidate would call months later wondering why they had not heard from me and seemed surprised when I quoted back an old phone number. If we cannot reach our candidates we cannot employ them so to allow each person an opportunity to update their contact information in the system would have given more qualified candidates the chance to go to work.
3.      Payroll and Timesheet Processing. Another nightmare in my experience was payroll. Our employees were each responsible for turning in their physical timesheet signed by their supervisor. We would then re-add, code, and enter the information into our payroll software. This process would take two full workdays each week at which time we were also still responsible for recruiting and job placements. Often we would spend so much time tracking down missing time cards that we were unable to handle everything that needed to be completed. Some employees went unpaid as a result. An automated system where each employee could enter their time and generate an approval request from the supervisor would have greatly reduced the headache.
4.      Staff Communications. Many years ago I worked for a larger staffing company that required a quota of phone calls for each assignment. I always thought this was absurd. What if I filled the position with the first person I contacted? You never know how long it will take to find the right candidate for a job. Sometimes you can contact one person, sometimes you can contact 100 or more. An automated system which alerted candidates to new opportunities could have eliminated some of the unnecessary phone calls or emails. 
5.      Assignment Snafus. Before GPS, giving directions meant providing an address and turn by turn directions which we would hope they would write down. After GPS, we still found that employees relied on technology a little too much often getting lost when it was clear that the directions were leading them to the wrong place. I’ve had employees tell me it was too hard to find a company so they gave up and went home. An automated workforce management system could provide turn by turn directions and maps to help the employee find their way to the client site.

My personal experience was as a recruiter in the temporary staffing industry but I believe that workforce management systems can help anyone who uses contingent staffing such as catering, security, hospitality, or healthcare employee providers.

To learn more about systems that can help in the placement process go to NextCrew: Workforce Management Software for the New World.

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