Tips for calculating accurate rates for shift-based workforces.

May 23, 2022

No staffing supplier, worker or hirer wants to get involved in a billing dispute. This article provides our top tips for minimizing mistakes and increasing billing/invoicing accuracy for shift-based workers.

  • Integrate time and attendance with your billing systems, directly.
  • Take extra steps to record data accurately. Digitize and automate where possible.
  • Minimize human intervention. Manually porting data into multiple systems can be a recipe for mistakes.
  • Use the data: use this accuracy as a competitive advantage and build better relationships by cultivating this culture of trust.

As the UK and US face continuing labor shortages in construction, manufacturing and retail, retaining talent is more important than ever. In this competitive market, making sure rates are calculated accurately is vital in building lasting working relationships with skilled shift-based workers. Technology has already unlocked shareable real-time wage information for airlines and hotels. It can do the same for high-volume and shift-based hirers and workers.

Ready to unlock accurate rates for your shift-based workforce? Request your demo with JoinedUp now.

The challenges of high-volume rates

Calculating accurate rates for shift-based workforces is more difficult than for traditional, assignment-based employees. Hirers and agencies manage hundreds or thousands of workers in different roles, which all have different wages. On one site they may be working with pickers, packers, supervisors and drivers who all have different hourly rates. And these labor needs fluctuate, so the site may want very different numbers of pickers one day and drivers another. 

To make matters worse, each of these roles may have a number of different rates. This is often the result of historic negotiations with workers or unions. Weekend rates, night allowances and split shifts further complicate the calculations. Add lunch breaks or late-show penalties to this, and calculating accurate rates becomes more difficult and time-consuming. 

Capturing data

Calculation inaccuracies start when time and attendance (T&A) information is first captured. Many businesses have robust systems for capturing data for their permanent staff, but still rely on manual methods, like paper timesheets, for contingent workers. So, how can start and stop times be captured more accurately?

Swipe cards, QR codes or facial recognition technology are effective ways to automate the data-capture process and reduce the potential for mistakes. The best method of capturing T&A information depends on the environment, the site, the work being done and the number of workers. 

With JoinedUp by Beeline there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. A new procedure can be created from scratch, or new data-capture technology can augment an existing process to simplify the method and reduce human error. For example, if a company has invested in a high-spec time-capture system already, JoinedUp can draw an API feed of time stamps. Alternatively, workers can enter their shifts into an easy-to-use app, or the system can generate individual QR codes, which are captured via a mobile device. And for smaller businesses with fewer workers? JoinedUp can set-up attendance screens where shifts can be started and stopped like a stopwatch for complete accuracy.

Recording data

Established methods of recording shift data involve lengthy spreadsheets and siloed data. Large numbers of admin staff are needed to manually calculate hundreds of wages using timesheets and rate lists, or data needs to be moved from one incompatible system to another. This may result in hirers, agencies and workers sending numerous emails to amend and confirm hours. No one has a complete overview and information is difficult to share. Errors are hard to fix as no one is looking at the same information. It’s confusing and inefficient. 

One way to improve accuracy would be to hire more staff or spend more time checking calculations are correct. But there’s a more efficient way to make sure shift rates are calculated accurately.

Automating these calculations means only a rate list is needed. Then, all the mathematics is done automatically, simply using start and stop times. No more custom spreadsheets or frustrating reconciliations. Electronic timesheets are generated instantly for complete visibility. And the system can handle all kinds of overtime or rate configurations, no matter how complex.

Using one platform means one version of the truth. And making sure it’s all done in real-time means everyone stays completely up-to-date. That’s the benefit of using technology like JoinedUp. For workers it means instant access to accurate rates, shift plans, hours worked and money owed. And hirers can configure dashboards and customize reports for total visibility of spend and performance. JoinedUp integrates with existing payroll systems for error-free finance in seconds. 

Accurate rates start with automation

The complexity of high-volume shift rates means inaccuracies can occur when: 

  • shift data is captured, 
  • when it’s transferred between systems and 
  • when hours are manually matched up with shift rates. 

Automating all of these processes is the most effective step any business can take towards eliminating mistakes. In today’s competitive job market, this is vital in building lasting relationships with workers and retaining top talent.

Ready to unlock accurate rates for your shift-based workforce? Request your demo with JoinedUp now.

Photo by Eran Menashri on Unsplash