Why labor participation isn't purely a wage issue

April 27, 2022

Building an engaged pool of workers is essential to any organization with fluctuating hiring needs. But it’s not just compensation that keeps workers engaged, attending and retained.

There are factors outside of compensation that help increase labor participation: from the overall candidate experience, the ability to work flexibly, to better onboarding and training.

Inaccuracies in pay, billing disputes, and lengthy administrative processes can also negatively impact the candidate experience.

Demand for labor is rising, but barriers are stopping some from working

As economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for shift-based workers is on the rise. Although the number of vacancies is increasing, various obstacles may be keeping shift-based workers from joining the workforce.

Raising wages is a recognized way to boost labor participation, as it increases the incentive to work. Job postings look more attractive, so more candidates apply for roles and more vacancies are filled. This is straightforward for traditional, assignment-based jobs where annual salaries or set day rates can be clearly advertised.

But, advertising and managing shift-based wages is more complicated. Weekend pay, night shift differentials and split shifts mean rates fluctuate from hour-to-hour, worker-to-worker, and assignment-to-assignment. And additional considerations, like overtime or bonuses, make wage calculations even more complex.

Beyond a wage issue

These complicated rates can erode employee trust. While workers see a total on their wage slip, it’s often difficult to access a full breakdown of this pay, or to find a full history of the hours they’ve worked. This leads to a high cost of managing pay queries as workers are left questioning why they’ve been paid what they have.

This lack of trust disincentivises shift workers, making them less likely to re-engage, reducing overall labor participation.

Businesses with high-volume temporary workforces must keep on top of complex wages for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people. And shift-based staffing needs change quickly and regularly.

A call center or manufacturer may need very different numbers of staff depending on the season, week, day, or even time of day. Making sure records of attendance are completely accurate creates hours of admin for personnel teams, hirers or staffing agencies. And small mistakes can have large consequences for employed individuals on tight budgets. It could mean they’re forced to pay overdraft charges or late repayment in their personal lives: real-life problems that can turn them away from employment.

An inflexible or complicated system for tracking shifts makes it hard for workers to plan ahead. It could make it difficult for them to organize work around commitments like childcare, education or caring responsibilities, or day-to-day considerations like transportation or medical appointments. Relying on custom spreadsheets or emails takes up valuable time. Keeping up with last-minute changes becomes a chore for everyone involved. Workers may find it frustrating, or simply impossible, to find shifts that work for them, so they may not remain in work at all.

Efficiency, flexibility and trust

Beyond wage increases, working efficiently and flexibly, and boosting trust with candidates are key to increasing shift-based labor participation. When workers feel they’re respected, and their time appreciated, they’re less likely to cancel shifts. And when they turn up to site and they’re made to feel valued, they’re more likely to come back.

Onboarding new candidates is easy; the process reduces admin time from registration to first assignment by 90%.

Onboarding new candidates is easy; the process reduces admin time from registration to first assignment by 90%.

With JoinedUp by Beeline, hirers can get people into roles quickly and efficiently, without the off-putting paperwork. Onboarding new candidates is easy; the process reduces admin time from registration to first assignment by 90%. Workers use an app to enter their ideal shift patterns, so they can find jobs that work around their lives. Shift workers like nurses, drivers or plant workers can sign-up for shifts they can commit to.

 JoinedUp’s solutions also make it easier for hirers to flex recruitment as they need it. This could involve filling one full time equivalent (FTE) with two part-time shifts, even where they have hundreds of roles to fill – something that would be impossible with custom spreadsheets. This means more roles are filled and fewer shifts are cancelled at the last-minute. When both workers and employers can work flexibly, it’s easier to uphold commitments and forge strong, collaborative working relationships.

 JoinedUp by Beeline’s workforce solutions also ensure candidates are only put forward for roles where they’re needed and have the right skills or qualifications. They feel their time is valued. It’s a system workers trust. Clear, easy-to-understand timesheets that break down multiple rate rules and shift differentials is effortless. With less paperwork, and SMS or in-app messaging to keep them up-to-date, it’s fast and simple to manage every aspect of shift work. It’s all done in real-time for complete agility and transparency. That’s a win for businesses and a win for workers.

Are you ready to remove the stress and take control of your shift-based workforce programe? Sign up for a live demo or schedule a call with a consultant today. 

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash