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10 Best Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business (2021)

This is the ultimate list of the best employee scheduling software for small business in 2021. It contains the 10 best employee scheduling software along with bonus employee scheduling apps for small businesses. I also cover a couple of FAQs related to employee scheduling software solutions. Overall, this article will help small business owners save time by quickly comparing the top employee scheduling software available and selecting the right one for their business.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a small business owner is the administrative burden of managing employee schedules. For example, if you have only one employee it might be relatively easy to remember when he or she is available for work but if you have several then keeping track of who is available and who isn’t can be incredibly difficult.

Luckily, there are several employee scheduling software programs that can help you manage your employees’ schedules with ease. Companies that take the time to implement an employee scheduling system stand out for their people-focused culture (accommodating healthcare leaves, flexible shifts, etc.) and employee productivity. This is because when you schedule operations geared towards leveraging your employee’s skills and needs, you end up with a highly motivated workforce. According to data, almost 95% American workers are happy to track their time. The reasons for this can be the systemization of workforce management leading to accurate compensations and leave accommodations to name a few.

In this article, I will share the 10 best employee scheduling software for your business.

The Best Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business List

Here’s a shortlist of the best employee scheduling software for small business:

  1. Calendly - Best free meeting scheduler for small business owners
  2. Zoho People - Best free cloud-based scheduling app for small business owners
  3. Hubstaff - Best time tracking software for remote teams
  4. Sage HR - Best employee leave management for small businesses
  5. EZClocker - Best GPS-enabled time tracking software
  6. ABC Roster - Best for employee and shift constraint management
  7. Skedulo - Best scheduling automation engine
  8. When I Work - Best employee shift scheduling software for shift trading features
  9. 7Shifts - Best employee shift scheduling software for the restaurant industry
  10. Bamboo HR - Best applicant tracking system for small businesses

Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business: Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best employee scheduling software for a small business? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Is the interface straightforward? Is it free of confusing options that can bog down a small business owner?
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master for a small business owner? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? For a small business,  scheduling should be easy to implement from the get-go.
  3. Integrations:  Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? How smoothly does the tool work with other products/add-ons in the market to fulfill small business needs? How does it  work with top payment and invoicing apps to streamline employee payments? Does it work out of the box with top team communication apps?
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible? Is it budget-friendly for a small business?  How fast can one expect to get results from it? Do they help in keeping labor costs low?

Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business: Key Features

Here are some of the key scheduling features that employee scheduling software should have:

Real-Time Data 

Does the employee shift scheduling software show real-time data to the minute? Does the shift scheduling software offer data-syncing across desktop and mobile devices? Accuracy of time data is critical when you are a small business paying hourly rates. Data syncing via desktop and mobile apps (both iOS and Android) is needed to maintain synchronization of efforts and getting information on the go.

Alerts And Notifications System

Does the employee shift scheduling app have email alerts/SMS reminders and push notifications system to keep the team up to speed, no matter where they are? This kind of messaging mechanism is important for a fully integrated small business.

Tracking Tools 

Does the tool have time tracking tools? Time tracking is an important functionality to improve productivity as it monitors the amount of time an employee takes in finishing a particular task. As a manager, you can easily detect any lags and compare it to previous timesheets, thus taking actions to optimize the output.

Shift Swapping And Shuffling

Does the employee scheduling software allow shift swapping and shift shuffling between employees? Does it recommend candidates based on open schedules and assist in shift shuffling? Does the tool automatically update all the concerned teams about the shift shuffle and swap? Shift shuffling makes for a more flexible workforce management. So if an employee no-shows or calls in sick, you can shuffle the shift and assign some other capable team member their slot. In the same way, employees can swap shifts between themselves based on their availability. This leads to higher efficiency as your workforce is utilized optimally. 

Timesheet Reporting And Analytics

Does the software have timesheet reporting including billable hours, overtime, and logged time? Does the product give you analytics that help you make informed decisions? Based on timesheet reporting, a small business owner is able to calculate payroll and send correct invoices. It also gives you precise information on the output of your team.

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses

Here’s a brief description of the employee scheduling tools on my list, showing what each does best with screenshots to showcase some of the features.

  • From $8/month

Calendly - Best free meeting scheduler for small business owners

With Calendly, you or your prospect can check your availability using a 12 or 24-hour clock.

Calendly is a free scheduling software for small businesses that helps you manage your staff schedule. The software is both mobile (iOS and Android) and browser-based, meaning you can book appointments anywhere you have access to the internet. With Calendly, you can create a calendar and share it with clients. You can customize your availability to any time-of-day or day-of-the-week (or remove available slots to show that you are a busy person!).

Overall, Calendly is simple to use and implement with no feature bloating. With the free version, you can schedule unlimited one-on-one appointments. The pro plan comes with additional features like appointment reminders. Customer support for the pro plan is available via email.

Calendly integrates with Gmail, Zoom, Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, HubSpot, Paypal, Intercom, Stripe, GoToMeeting, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Drip, ClickSend SMS, Twilio, and dozens of other apps. You can also integrate with hundreds more tools using a paid plan through Zapier.

Calendly is free to use for 1 calendar. Paid plans cost from $8/month and come with a 14-day free trial.
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $1.25/user/month

Zoho People - Best free cloud-based scheduling app for small business owners

Zoho People lists its various WFM features in a clear, easy-to-understand format where you can manage aspects like leave, attendance, and recreational activities.

Zoho People is a cloud-based scheduling solution. It includes time tracking and project management tools. It’s easy to use with customizable dashboards and drag-and-drop functionality. It automates and simplifies all the tedious and repetitive HR tasks that can bog down a small business owner. The product allows you to streamline the hiring process from a single location.

You can collect and consolidate attendance data from multiple sources and cut down mistakes due to manual entries. You have the ability to fully customize schedules, conduct leave management by leave types, and create timesheets with ease. There is also a feature for employee queries that can be used to better integrate employees with the project at hand. The product has automated mail alerts and intelligent workflow configuration built-in. The product integrates with AdobeSign, Zapier, QuickBooks, and more. Support is by email and chat. There is also an extensive knowledge base available.

Zoho People costs from $1.25/user/month and comes with a 30-day free trial.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $7 per month for their basic plan

Hubstaff - Best time tracking software for remote teams

Hubstaff’s integrated clock along with the sequence of deadline-focused tasks make for a highly productive workforce management module.

Hubstaff is a time tracker that allows you to see how many hours your employees are working. It also lets you keep a track of how much of your time is spent on various projects. All this data is analyzed through reports on Hubstaff’s dashboard. This product is best suited for small business owners with its pocket-friendly pricing.

Hubstaff also includes screenshots and activity levels. It tracks employees’ time spent on projects, tasks, and meetings, thus letting managers see where time lags are happening in real-time. Hubstaff integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, and payroll software like ADP and Gusto. Support is available via email, chat, and a quick start guide.

Pricing starts at $7 per month for their basic plan and comes with a 14-day free trial.

  • From $5.50 per employee per month

Sage HR - Best employee leave management for small businesses

Sage HR has an option to directly import public holidays, helping in faster leave management practices.

Sage HR is a cloud-based HR and payroll solution for small businesses. The product simplifies employee relationships with the use of multiple tools that care of employee touchpoints. The seamless meetings creation and conversation channel are perfect for remote employee teams.

It helps manage employee data, administer benefits, and file unemployment claims. The software allows you to hire, onboard, train, and manage your staff via applicant tracking. The UX is user-friendly and the actions are easy to implement.

The options are clearly laid out without much need for digging from the user’s end. Users can easily add employees to the workspace. Sage HR also lets you manage your employees’ time-off and shift schedules. Sage HR integrates with Slack, and G Suite. Support is available via email and chat. There is also a knowledge base available with a collection of articles to teach you about the different features. Pricing starts at $5.50 per employee per month.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $10 per user per month

EZClocker - Best GPS-enabled time tracking software

EZClocker has a time clock running while you go through your daily schedules.

EZClocker is a scheduling and employee time tracking software that allows small business owners to manage staff. The product has several features designed to simplify the day-to-day operations of a small business owner. The system features time tracking with GPS-enabled location verification.

Employees can easily clock in from their phone while business owners can verify their clock-in location with the help of the GPS location feature. The interface is simple and straightforward. EZClocker integrates with Google Calendar, Google Sheets, and Trello.

Pricing starts at $10 per user per month and comes with a 30-day free trial.

  • Free to use

ABC Roster - Best for employee and shift constraint management

Build shift constraints to dictate how many staff members and managers are required on hand.

ABC Roster is a straightforward employee scheduling software that is free to download and use. Features include drag-and-drop scheduling, employee profiles, availability tracking, staff and shift constraint rules, and file exports to Excel, PDF, or HTML. You can email schedules directly to your staff from within the platform. You can track staff availability, leave requests, and even skills.

The employee and shift constraint tool is probably one of the most noteworthy features of the app. You can toggle how many employees and managers are needed per shift to ensure minimum and maximum capacities are met. The staff constraints menu lets you tailor each employee’s profile to their unique work requirements: How many shifts they want, how many days they can work back-to-back, minimum number of hours required, and so on. You can even make note of which employees should not be scheduled together.

ABC Roster is free to use.

  • Offers customized pricing upon request

Skedulo - Best scheduling automation engine

Skedulo’s automated scheduler matches workforce to customer requirements and expectations.

Skedulo is a cloud-based software with modules for scheduling and dispatching, shift management, communication including virtual meetings, and reporting. Their smart optimization engine can automate schedule building by comparing shift requirements to employee availability, required skill sets or job qualifications, and even travel time.

Skedulo lets you add recurring or unique events in a simple calendar interface. The calendar also gives you the ability to view by project, client, or project type. You can also set up an alarm for a specific time. Skedulo integrates with Quickbooks, Xero, and other major accounting providers. It also integrates with Google Drive and DropBox. Support is available via email and chat.

Skedulo offers customized pricing upon request.

  • 14 days free trial
  • $2 per user

When I Work - Best employee shift scheduling software for shift trading features

When I Work has features like an attendance tracker, scheduler, hiring modules, and even a chat option.

When I Work is a software that helps small business owners stay on top of their schedule. It has a wide variety of features, such as a calendar to track your appointments and a task list for managing your to-dos. There is a press-to-start time clock integrated that allows you to manage your team members and track their hours. The employees can easily collaborate on shift trades, manage their availability, and also submit time-off requests. The dashboard is simple and tailor-made for quick actions. You can also customize the dashboard according to your needs.

When I Work has an option for easy bulk upload of the company directory for quick onboarding. You can send messages to employees with reminders and updates. When I Work works out of the box with Calendly, Acuity Scheduling, TSheets, and more. Support is available via email and chat. There is also an extensive knowledge base with training videos and templates to support the onboarding journey.

Paid plans start at $2 per user with an option for a 14-day free trial.

  • From $17.99 per month

7Shifts - Best employee shift scheduling software for the restaurant industry

The 7Shifts scheduler is clearly laid out with color-coded tasks.

7Shifts is a software that connects small businesses with their employees. It is free for the first 3 employees and has many features like shift bidding, work schedule management, time off requests, custom reports, and in-line approvals.

You also get to create shift templates, so you don’t have to start from zilch every single time. The product is mobile-friendly, with data that can be synced and accessed across all devices. The product integrates with Slack, Google Calendar, and Evernote.

The paid plan starts at $17.99 per month with an option for a free forever plan.

  • Available upon request with an option for a free trial

Bamboo HR - Best applicant tracking system for small businesses

Bamboo HR provides detailed reporting and analytics in terms of workforce planning, helping managers utilize employees effectively.

BambooHR has a comprehensive list of features designed to help small business owners. This includes payroll, time and attendance tracking, employee self-service, and labor compliance reporting. BambooHR lets you collect data throughout the employee life cycle and store it in a single secure database. In terms of reports, BambooHR provides reports for workforce planning, PTO usage, and employee turnover. All these reports are automatically saved in your home dashboard.

Bamboo HR integrates with Zenefits, Slack, and GitHub. Support is available via email and chat. There is also extensive training documentation available in the form of content and webinar libraries. Pricing is available upon request with an option for a free trial.

Employee Scheduling Software for Small Business Summary

Other Employee Scheduling Software for Small Business Options

  1. Monday.com – Best modular digital workspace for small businesses
  2. Wrike – Best employee scheduling software for team visualization
  3. ConnectTeam – Best all-in-one employee management app in terms of affordability
  4. Skedulo – Best employee scheduling software for field service management
  5. ShiftBoard – Best employee shift-scheduling software for mission-critical industries
  6. inJixo – Best workforce management app for call centers
  7. Workflow Max by XERO – Best job costing software for small businesses to manage quotes
  8. Schedule it – Best resource management software for remote teams
  9. Schedule Publisher – Best employee scheduling app with employee engagement features
  10. EZnet Scheduler – Best appointment scheduler app for automotive industry
  11. TrackSmart – Best online attendance software for freelancers
  12. TeamLive by Harri – Best employee scheduling software solution for labor compliance
  13. OpenSimSim – Best time tracking tool for mid-sized companies
  14. Timeworks Express – Best timecard data capturing software for small businesses
  15. TimeSimplicity – Best shift planning software for small businesses
  16. Fitli – Best employee scheduling software for the fitness industry
  17. Bizimply – Best operations management software for the healthcare industry
  18. eSchedule – Best employee scheduling software solution in terms of customer support
  19. Homebase – Best employee scheduling app with shift swapping functionalities

Employee Scheduling Software for Small Business: FAQs

Before we conclude, I wanted to address and discuss some FAQs related to employee scheduling software for small businesses.

What is the best free employee scheduling app?

There are many options you can go for while choosing the best free employee scheduling app. Some top options are Monday.com, 7Shifts, and OpenSimSim.

We’ve even come up with a list of the 10 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software In 2021 and you can check it out right here!

What Do You Think About this Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses?

These were my top picks for the best employee shift scheduling software for small businesses.

Now tell me your opinion and thoughts. What do you think of this list of these shift scheduling software solutions for small businesses? Anything that I missed that you think has great potential? Let me know about it in the comments section.

Also, if you liked the article, it would be awfully kind of you to give it a share on social media (that sounded so Victorian!). Your social network will appreciate you for sharing such valuable insights. Who knows, maybe you build your next million-dollar relationship from there?
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