Seasonal staff are a common occurrence and hiring (and letting go of) employees can be complicated. When it is happening every year, it adds to the complexity of running a business; especially if you are managing multiple teams and locations.
There are few places that don’t incorporate and rely on seasonal staff in their business across a number of sectors in particular: hospitality. Not only is there the challenge of recruiting them but then the onboarding process that follows.
Students are often recruited because for the most part they are more flexible with their time, especially on the weekends. They are cheaper to hire, the work provides them with valuable experience and fills the gaps in the schedules for the company. Suitable for both the employer and student employee, however it can become difficult when daily lectures or other activities clash with optimal schedule times leaving it a challenge for the manager who has to create the schedule.
How can Bizimply help?
With Bizimply’s latest feature of ‘Unavailability’ managers can avoid the tiring back and forth communication with the student employee to see whether they are available or not. Students can block out time on their employee profiles putting themselves as unavailable for certain periods of time throughout the week. For example, every Monday and Thursday morning. This not only gives students ownership and control over their lives, but also increases their accountability to their work and to the organisation. It can lead to better engagement, fewer no-shows and more loyal relationships as they feel they can be trusted by their employers.
Another feature Bizimply prides on is our; ‘Deactivate/Reactivate’ . This makes it easier for operators to manage students’ longer-term unavailability, such as when leaving the city or town their University is located to return home for the holidays. It simply means that on their return, all the employees information is still stored in the cloud and can be easily accessed again when reactivated – eliminating any time spent on re-entering or uploading documents again.
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To better optimise your scheduling, take advantage of tools that not only take into account the full spectrum of availability, roles and limits of each student employee, but also demand-based data. What does this mean? You can apply organisational data such as the lunch rush hour or staff-to-customer ratios so you can build schedules based on demand.
It helps minimise the risk of under or overstaffing, which reduces labor costs on the business side and prevents overworking or too much downtime on the employee’s side. You should consider how you can reduce your staffing level here as you’ll find there are times you have staff working and you just don’t need them.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Overstaffing during shift changes: rather than change everyone all at once, you can roll the shift change – this means you don’t need to have large numbers of people overlap. You can also have some people end when you expect demand to decrease
- Alternatively, you can try to smooth demand with mid-afternoon promotions, or by taking advantage of the lull to catch up on prep and cleaning.
Staying Compliant with students
Finding the balance for student hours can be difficult and manually managing this can be even more complicated; especially when taking into consideration student employees timetables, other part-time jobs and social schedules. It can be easy to over schedule a student employee without realising when not using a software that manages this for you. Bizimply has a solution that highlights compliance issues as you are building your schedule. When adding a new employee, there is a field for the maximum amount of hours your employee can or is willing to work. So when they have been scheduled more than the agreed hours you will be alarmed that this is more than it should be. The WFM’s benefit to notifying you of this conflict provides you with the opportunity to change this before publishing the schedule.