A Deep Dive on Managing Today’s Shift-Based Workforce

August 25, 2021

And Six Ways the Process Differs from Traditional, Assignment-Based Workers

The process of managing an external workforce isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. Broadly speaking, contingent labor is categorized in two different ways: traditional, assignment-based workers and shift-based workers.

There are six factors that differentiate these two types of labor from each other. Today we’re sharing what those factors are and how Beeline meets the needs of both with JoinedUp as part of its extended workforce management solution.

1. Staffing volume

Staffing volume can exist in a steady-state, fluctuating slightly based on workforce turnover, company growth, or special project needs across the business. Or, staffing volume can be dynamic, rising sharply due to significant events like plant openings, seasonal demands, or when demand is easily influenced by external socioeconomic factors.

Beeline’s technology brings a structured approach to staffing in a steady-state, helping businesses establish consistent processes when it comes to requesting labor, facilitating collaboration with suppliers, and managing the worker lifecycle.

JoinedUp by Beeline was built specifically for shift-based staffing. Shift-based staffing is highly transactional and dynamic, requiring a different type of technology that prioritizes mobile experience and speed.

2. Worker type

Contingent labor is either assignment-based or shift-based. Assignment-based workers are typically considered white-collar, typically fulfilling tasks in an office while seated at a desk. Shift-based workers can be white-collar but are often considered light industrial or blue-collar, performing manual work. They can include plant workers, drivers, nurses, teaching, security, hospitality labor, and call center personnel.

While other Beeline solutions are best suited to manage assignment-based workers, the JoinedUp workforce management solution caters to the dynamic world of shift-based work with its intuitive approach to scheduling, time entry, and invoicing – all of which vary significantly from worker to worker and business to business.

3. Hiring urgency

One could argue that in today’s business climate, all workers are needed immediately, but most assignment-based, in-office roles can be filled following a standard process. A hiring manager gets a need approved, the requisition is opened up to suppliers who submit candidates, and an individual is chosen. For many shift-based roles, workers are needed within days, and the process is streamlined and happens at a quicker pace.

Beeline shines as a system of record for all non-permanent labor and all the global complexities that come along with it. The JoinedUp solution is an agile tool that enables process transparency and collaboration between workers, staffing agencies and end clients at the site level (factory, depot, hospital, convention center, etc.). With candidates pre-approved waiting to accept shifts, the process is expedited.

All parties can easily see - in real-time - when shifts are filled and proactively address any issues.

4. Candidate selection process

Businesses have different candidate requirements. Some roles require industry-specific higher education degrees, certain levels of experience, proven communication and interpersonal skills, and a sense of cultural fit. Other roles, most often in the light industrial or blue-collar space, need to be filled by a reliable individual with the right availability, but also with the correct qualifications to meet compliance and regulation.

In these industries such regulation is subject to change, invalidating existing qualifications and requiring renewal. For these reasons, the candidate selection process, in terms of its complexity validating a suitable and compliant worker, can vary greatly. Beeline uses AI-powered technology to better match candidates to positions when the individuals' fit is important.

JoinedUp allows candidates to be invited to the platform by their agency or end-hirer, submit their contact details, their availability, and proof of relevant certifications to comply with the nature of their shift-based work. Expiration or invalidation of requirements such as a driver’s license or safety certification removes them from the pool until a compliant renewal is validated.

5. Rate complexity

This is one of the key differences between the two main types of contingent labor. Most white-collar or assignment-based workers have set rates, with little variances beyond regular time and overtime pay. Shift-based workers have complex rate calculations for a number of shift differentials, including weekend rates, night allowances, late show penalties, split shifts, and more.

This requires a robust rate management engine that can accommodate these nuances. While managing rates for white-collar workers is fairly standard within Beeline, site managers need accurate time capture systems and billing mechanisms that account for the many nuances of shift differentials when it comes to shift-based workers. Staffing agencies also require performance visibility and a mechanism to capture time and shift differentials so that they can accurately bill for their services.

6. Worker scheduling

The scheduling process for white-collar, assignment-based labor is traditional and straightforward. For shift-based workers, it’s a completely different story. The turnaround time to fill shifts is much shorter, and the no-show rate is much higher in the light industrial space.

This is a huge pain point for site managers, as their objectives and desired outcomes depend heavily on getting shifts covered. Businesses use Beeline’s other solutions to establish start and end dates and integrate with timekeeping systems to ensure hours worked.

With shift-based workers, scheduling can be massively inefficient without technology, requiring multiple spreadsheets and constant back-and-forth communication with suppliers.

With JoinedUp, a real-time roster provides unprecedented, instant visibility into shift schedules, eliminating the need for multiple spreadsheets and emails. Businesses need visibility across the entirety of their extended workforce, whether it be staffing, consulting, or other delivery-based work.

Corporate program owners and stakeholders require budget/headcount visibility, compliance confidence, and invoicing accuracy. This acquisition means that businesses can now turn to Beeline's Extended Workforce Platform for ALL types of non-employee labor management.

The six factors above demonstrate how managing contingent labor can require two very different approaches.

Do you have a significant shift-based workforce program and are looking to take control of their dynamic challenges yourself? Sign up for a live demo of JoinedUp by Beeline.