Managing a team of hourly-paid employees can be a challenge. At short notice, you may need to replace team members who are sick, arrange shift swaps, manage requests for time off…and much more. All that’s on top of tracking timesheets and ensuring everyone gets paid the right money at the right time.
Whew…that’s a lot to worry about! But here’s the good news. You now have access to great tools that will keep you calm, organized, and efficient. With the help of the best employee scheduling software, staying on top of staff management can be a breeze.
So what exactly is employee scheduling software? In essence, it’s a system that makes it easy to schedule the open shifts of hourly employees. The software may also auto-assign shifts, automate notifications for new schedules, and provide clock-in and clock-out options.
But with so many great tools on the market, how can you decide what’s suited to your employee scheduling needs? Relax…I’ve got your back. In this article, I’m taking a deep dive into the subject, bringing you the skinny on the hottest SaaS products.
The Best Employee Scheduling Software List
To make the selection process easy, I’ve boiled things down to the 10 best employee scheduling solutions on the market today:
Every business has its own specific scheduling requirements. A platform that’s perfect for a 9-5 office-based business may not meet the business needs of a 24-hour pizza restaurant. So it’s no surprise there are many types of scheduling software available to suit specific purposes.
Here are some specific types of employee scheduling software you may wish to check out:
Or, keep reading for the overall best employee scheduling software.
Best Employee Scheduling Software Comparison Criteria
When looking for the best employee scheduling software, I have a shopping list of key scheduling features and benefits to evaluate. These are the criteria I consider most important:
User Interface (UI): Is the software clean, attractive, and easy to use for both managers and employees?
Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good customer support, user support, tutorials, and training?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools such as payroll software? Are there pre-built integrations to accounting, time-tracking, and payroll platforms?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
Employee Scheduling Software Key Features
In the employee scheduling software sector, the presence or absence of one feature can be make-or-break for a particular use case. Here are the top features I look for:
Auto-scheduling: Creating schedules automatically based on previous schedules and employee requests
Mobile app: Availability of a phone app employees can use to stay up to date and make requests
Payroll tracking: Computing clocked hours so employees can be paid accordingly
Absence management: Managing schedule gaps caused by no-shows and other staffing issues
Employee self-service: The ability for workers to manage their own schedules to facilitate shift trading and rescheduling
Employee profiles: Organizing employees and their information so they can be managed more easily
Time management: Tracking that ensures workers are clocking in and out correctly, etc.
Analysis and reporting: Access to detailed reporting and management information for sharing with stakeholders in the business
Overviews Of The 10 Best Employee Scheduling Software
Now it’s time to dig into the individual products. Here’s a description of each of the top employee scheduling software tools on my list. Here you’ll find info on what the software does best, plus screenshots to showcase the coolest features.
From $99 a month for the Basic paid plan which covers up to 10 employees
Paycor makes it easy to automate routine tasks such as scheduling.
If you need stress-free HR software for a small to medium sized business, then Paycor may be the right choice for you. The software is designed to help leaders recruit, manage, pay, and develop their teams.
You can save time by automating routine tasks such as payroll, recruiting, onboarding, scheduling, and reporting. Paycor also takes care of federal, state, and local regulations, so you can run payroll from anywhere.
The software provides a ‘single source of truth’ for all employee data. So you’ll never have to switch platforms, log into multiple systems, have multiple spreadsheets open, or re-key information.
Paycor costs from $99 a month for the Basic paid plan which covers up to 10 employees. There is no free trial option.
Creating time clocks is easy with OnTheClock — it only takes 3 minutes!
If you want to spend less time worrying about time tracking, accuracy, and compliance, OnTheClock should be on your shortlist. The software is designed to be super-easy to use, so it is still a powerful and benefit-rich workflow solution.
OnTheClock boasts features such as phone apps, paid time off tracking, scheduling, SMS, and push notifications. Any authorized device can be used as a time clock, so workers can clock in from their phone, a computer, or by fingerprint.
Recording of employee locations keeps everyone honest and accountable. The software also offers integrations with payroll providers such as QuickBooks, Gusto, Accounting CS, Paychex, and ADP. Thanks to the combination of power and ease of use, OnTheClock has been a big hit with companies like State Farm and Holiday Inn.
OnTheClock costs $30 per month for 10 employees, and a free 30-day trial is also available.
OpenSimSim helps you schedule faster, reduce labor costs, and stay labor compliant.
An award-winning employee scheduling and time clock solution, OpenSimSim allows you to build your work schedule in minutes. You can find replacements quickly and save countless hours each week scheduling your employees.
The time clock facilitates attendance tracking, simplifies timesheet management, and allows payroll to run faster. You also get team messaging that allows you to simplify workplace communication and send upcoming shift reminders.
Compliance and labor law issues are fully managed through meal and rest planning, restricted overtime, warnings, and certification tracking. The software also integrates with major payroll and point-of-sale systems.
OpenSimSim costs from $12.99 per location, but also offers a ‘free forever’ Basic plan with limited functionality.
Rotageek builds rotas, schedules staff, and supports your people.
Put spreadsheets behind you! Rotageek helps business owners predict and meet demand by using data-driven technology to schedule staff efficiently and fairly.
The software features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for managing shift patterns, together with best-in-class reporting. An all-in-one staff scheduling solution, it excels at leave management, shift swapping, and controlling employee availability.
Other features include one-click auto scheduling, and mobile access so employees can view schedules, pick up shifts and plan the work shifts they can do.
Tanda offers a robust platform for rostering, attendance, labour insights, and workforce success.
Thanks to Tanda, you can now ensure you have the right person in the right place at the right time.The online rostering tool helps you create detailed schedules based on locations and teams. Everything you need to build rosters is at your fingertips, wherever you are.
The Tanda dashboard tracks wages as a percentage of revenue, and provides other key metrics to inform business decisions. Vital information such as maximum hours, visa conditions, and award rules is captured automatically.
Better rostering improves attendance, cuts shift abandonment rates, and ensures staff are there when you need them. Automation tools allow managers to lead, while Tanda does the rest.
Tanda offers a free plan with a 14-day trial. Full pricing information is available on request.
QuickBooks Time offers time-tracking apps for all devices.
QuickBooks Time is optimized for time tracking on the go. The Android and iOS apps can be used to track, submit, and approve employee time from virtually anywhere.
Employees can clock in or out with just one click. Plus the system makes it easy to take a break, change job codes, or add timesheet details instantly.
See the status of all your projects at a glance and set geofence boundaries, reminding employees to clock in and out. Of course, the software also integrates easily with other QuickBooks applications and other accounting and payroll solutions.
QuickBooks Time is priced from $20 per month, with add-on users costing an extra $8. A free 30-day trial is offered with all plans.
Factorial offers a complete human resources solution.
With 60,000 customers in 25 countries, Factorial is clearly doing something right. With this system, you get everything you need to manage your scheduling process. That means you spend less time doing time-consuming HR tasks and can focus on what matters instead.
The software offers the standard time management, time tracking, and shift management features. But you also get employee performance tracking, so you can develop your best team members.
Factorial also helps you manage employee and company expenses, as well as connect with your bookkeeper and automate payroll. Legal documents can be signed online.
Factorial costs from $3 per employee per month, and you can sign up for a 14-day free trial.
Homebase offers everything you need to manage hourly workers.
Homebase allows you to create work rosters easily from schedule templates, and then make changes on the fly as required. You can build smart work schedules and forecast your labor costs.
Employees can always get their up-to-date work schedule using the free mobile apps, or they can get the information via text or email. Homebase’s scheduler automatically calculates overtime, subtracts breaks, and alerts you to schedule conflicts.
You can also integrate your sales data and forecasts, so you can build your schedule around your labor targets.
Homebase costs from $14 per month, per location. However, there is also a ‘free forever’ Basic plan which is good for one location only.
An intuitive, automated employee scheduling app for the deskless workforce.
Connecteam delivers quick scheduling from planning to distribution. In one place, you can see when a number of employees are unavailable or sick, and avoid exceeding your predefined daily or weekly limits.
From a single interface, you can keep employees informed and notified, track progress and get schedule updates promptly. Get real-time notifications when staff acknowledge or reject a shift, check-in late, swap shifts, or complete a task.
You can control operations with color-coded status badges and message notes for all ongoing service calls. And there’s also a mobile interface for supervisors to manage on the go to keep the business moving.
Pricing for the Basic plan starts at $39 per month, but a ‘free for life’ version is also available for teams of up to 50 people.
Resource Guru gives you a bird’s-eye view of your team.
Want to know who’s overloaded and who’s under-utilized? Then Resource Guru is your friend. You can find where the stresses in your team are, and simply drag and drop to rebalance workloads.
It’s easy to streamline resource scheduling as projects and requirements change. Just drag, drop, extend, contract, split, or duplicate. Filters help you find and allocate resources based on skill, department, location, or custom fields.
Resource Guru is designed for a beautiful, fast mobile experience, so you can schedule resources from anywhere. It’s a sound employee scheduling tool for gaining a top-level view of your business.
Resource Guru pricing starts from $2.50 per person, per month. There is also a free 30-day trial option.
This is a competitive market, so there are some great products that didn’t quite make it into the top 10. Here are some honorable mentions:
Buddy Punch — Great for teams in multiple locations who need good time-clock management
Sage HR — The optimal choice for users of Sage Accounting and Payroll, offering full integration with the main software suites
When I Work — Built for teams of any size that need to integrate employee scheduling, time tracking, and team communication
7shifts — Simplifies labor management for restaurants, one shift at a time
UKG — A big player with solutions in all areas of human resources, budgeting, and payroll management
Workforce — A leader in workforce management solutions, ideal for larger teams and organizations
BambooHR — Aims to set people free to do their best work, with over a million employees currently being managed with their software
Shiftboard — Ideal for ‘always-on’ organizations who need a heavy-duty scheduling solution
Humanity — A cloud-based platform that helps organizations of all sizes optimize staffing based on employee skill set, time-off management, and availability
ClockShark — A mobile time-tracking app for the construction or field service sectors that eliminates paper time sheets
Planday — Build employee schedules faster by taking into account factors such as staff vacation, availability, and payroll costs
Deputy — A platform that makes it easy to schedule in line with demand, prepare accurate payroll, and communicate clearly
Workaxle — A workforce management software solution that offers modern scheduling, time and attendance, communication, and compliance automation all in one place
ZoomShift — Scheduling software to help you build your work schedule in minutes, reduce payroll costs, and have confidence your team will show up on time
Synerion — Time and attendance software that offers advanced scheduling, absence management, labour allocation, timesheets, and coreHR
Float — A popular solution that features resource scheduling, time tracking, capacity management, forecasting, and reports
Voilà! — A workforce management platform that helps complex organizations drive engagement and profit for the long haul
ScheduleAnywhere — A flexile solution that’s available as a subscription-based or self-hosted service
How Can I Get Employee Scheduling Software For Free?
This is a question people often ask, and there are some options available to you. A simple way to manage employee scheduling online for free is to use Google Sheets with the template: Employee Shift Schedule:
This is a big improvement on old-fashioned pen and paper, but it does not offer the advanced features of a fully-fledged software solution.
Many of the management tools mentioned here offer free or low-cost trials. Your best bet is to sign up with one or two of these and find out which works best for you.
Can I Do Employee Scheduling Using An App?
Many of the best employing scheduling software tools provide mobile device apps in addition to web-based software. This offers you the best of both worlds. Supervisors can manage scheduling using larger screens on desktop or tablets, while workers can easily check in using the mobile app.
Are These The Best Employee Scheduling Software Tools?
Well that about wraps things up for this article. Do you agree with my choice for the top employee scheduling software? Whatever you think, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.
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