What is employee scheduling software?
Employee scheduling software allows users to easily create work attendance schedules for employees. Gone are the days of hand-written paper schedules and complicated, outdated software options. Today’s modern schedule builders offer many robust features developed for flexibility and usability with an anywhere-you-are approach.
Employee scheduling software can help reduce employee turnover since it allows them to understand their designated shift start and end times. You can also expect a much easier time tracking correct payroll payments since each and every hour worked is accounted for, assuming employees clock in and out. However, in the event that a punch time is missing, the software allows for easy time adjustments and correction. You also gain the insight to schedule the best employees during peak business traffic to ensure that business operations continue smoothly and efficiently.
What to look for when choosing employee scheduling software
Software is an important piece of modern business, and job scheduling software is no different. In fact, some would suggest it’s the most important part since human capital is the most valuable asset most businesses have. Ensuring that employees show up on time at the right place is absolutely critical to continued business growth. In thinking about the essential features needed for employee scheduling software, consider the following non-exhaustive list as a great starting point.
1. Ease of access
Minimally, employees should have access to your business’s scheduling software in a centralized business location and, ideally, everywhere there’s an internet connection.
2. Ease of use
Can your employees process time card punches when not at the office or headquarters of your business? If not, consider remote clock-ins a must-have feature, especially for service-based businesses like plumbers, roofers, HVAC technicians, inspectors and traveling sales reps. Mobile clock-ins should allow employees to quickly and easily confirm the start of their workday directly from their smartphones. If the scheduling software offers location-based confirmation as well, consider this a bonus. Also, consider how easily you can create a schedule. A great employee scheduling software should save you time as a business owner or manager, not cost you more of it.
Having the ability to input your total payroll hours directly into payroll software is another powerful feature that not only ensures accurate and timely payments to your workers but also helps ease the burden of manually calculating time worked versus money earned. Another integration to consider is a POS system that can help define peak operation hours so you can deploy the needed staff during these busier times.
Employee scheduling software
- TimeClock Plus
- When I Work
Price: Pricing ranges from free to $69.99 per month per location if opting for the annual plan. On the low-end, restauranteurs looking for basic time clock functionality and staff scheduling for one location up to 10 employees can take advantage of the free plan. From there, the paid plans support more employees and offer sales integration with popular restaurant POS software like toast and Square.
- Free mobile apps on iOS and Android for paid tiers
- POS integration (sales)
- Staff engagement dashboard
- SMS notifications
- Customized employee health check
7shifts is an amazing employee scheduling software for restaurants of all sizes. It integrates with many payroll software systems like ADP, Paylocity and Intuit Quickbooks. An API is available for custom development. For an additional fee, you can add ancillary features like task management and operations overview, turning 7shifts into a powerful productivity app on top of an already robust scheduling application.
Price: Costs range from $3-$8 per user with an additional base fee of $15-$45 depending on the plan tier.
- Drag-and-drop scheduling
- Payroll integration
- Geolocation time clock with geofencing capabilities
- Clock-out questions
- Kiosk time clock with facial recognition
ClockShark is a great employee scheduling software for a number of different types of business, especially service-based businesses like real estate agents or mobile service technicians. One of CoolShark’s coolest features is clock-out questions, which can be customized to remind employees of critical closing procedures. ClockShark also has mobile time-clock features for in-field employees, with the ability to set a geofence that automatically clocks them in when they arrive at a job site. If you’re using one of the major payroll providers like ADP or Gusto, there’s an available integration. ClockShark also integrates with popular business accounting software like Intuit Quickbooks and Xero.
Price: The company offers just three plans: free, $35 a month for businesses and $26.25 a month for volunteers. The only difference between the business plan and the volunteer plan is payroll calculation, meaning that you’re not missing features trapped behind higher-tiered paywalls or additional costs.
- Drag-and-drop scheduling
- SMS and email notifications
- Shift reminders
- Unlimited locations
Findmyshift allows you to input unlimited employees at unlimited locations. It has drag-and-drop scheduling for quick and easy schedule creation. You can send shift reminders by both email and text message, although there is an additional charge for SMS notifications. Multiple integrations are available to connect the software with other apps your business may currently be using, such as Xero, Monday and Vend.
Price: Float charges $5 per month per user for Resource Planning and $10 per month for Resource Planning + Time Tracking.
- Designed for medium to large businesses
- Many productivity app integrations
- High-level view of deep and complex project management structures
- Schedule based on your team’s workload
- Set project budgets based on time or fees
Float is an employee scheduling software that’s a bit different than other software systems on this list. While most other scheduling applications take on retail, restaurants and health care, Float is especially useful for software development companies and other industries where project management is a huge factor. Integrations are available for team-based productivity tools like Slack, Asana and Trello.
With workload scheduling, if an employee is behind on their projected schedule, you can simply reassign the next project to another employee. When resource management is critical to your business’s success, Float allows you to quickly and effortlessly assign work based on your company’s resource needs. Employee scheduling apps are available on both Android and iOS, which is especially useful if you have many remote workers.
Price: Homebase has a free version as well as paid tiers ranging up to $70 per month per location if opting for the annual plan.
- Free mobile messaging application for employees
- POS system and accounting software integration
- Hiring and onboarding
- Employee health and screening
- Clock in and out from any device
Homebase’s free option offers features like a time clock, employee scheduling and availability, and employee mobile apps. However, if your business demands more features, some of the paid tiers include budgeting and labor cost controls, performance management and document storage. Homebase also has many application integrations from various POS and accounting software vendors, and there’s even assistance with job postings and onboarding when you need to find new talent. This employee scheduling software works great if you’re in retail, health and beauty, restaurants and services.
Price: Pricing information requires contacting the software company for a quote. There are two available tiers: Standard and Enterprise.
- Digital food safety
- Temperature probe sync and Bluetooth cold sensor support
- Employee announcements
- Tasks and checklists
- Unlimited users, unlimited devices and unlimited data
Jolt is used by some of the biggest restaurant brands in the world, including Buffalo Wild Wings, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Sonic. This “digital assistant manager” has a robust number of productivity features on top of its powerful employee scheduling. It includes digital food safety features like temperature notifications and food-life labeling to decrease spoilage and waste. Those outside the restaurant industry might find some of the other features, such as safety checks, employee performance and mobile apps for in-field workers, useful.
Price: The price for this software seems to be on a permanent promotion of $1.99 per month per user.
- Add an employee to the schedule with a single click
- Management notifications for issue addressing
- Quickly drop and pick up shifts
- SMS notifications
- Mobile application
MySchedule is a simple but functional employee scheduling software. Featuring a clean, reliable interface, the software allows you to quickly edit and update schedules, issue them to employees via a mobile application and add or remove any employee from the schedule in a single click. There’s something satisfying about using a tool that’s purpose-built for the job you want to accomplish. Inside of the MySchedule software, managers and owners can provide announcements directly to every employee, as well as other direct lines of communication.
Price: Costs range from $25-$50 per month and $2 per employee for 26-50 employees. Enterprise pricing is available via custom quote.
- Powerful medical industry scheduling features
- No contract
- Free email and phone support
- Mobile app available to scheduling managers
- Schedule by skill, certification and training
ScheduleAnywhere touts itself as one of the leading employee scheduling software systems, and it’s trusted by the United States Air Force, Orange Theory Fitness and many leading hospitals and health care systems across the United States. ScheduleAnywhere is available as a cloud-hosted or on-site option. Although the employee scheduling app is primarily for scheduling managers, not employees, employees can view their schedule any time from any device with an internet connection.
Price: Pricing for Shiftboard is only available through direct company contact. It’s notable that it offers several pricing tiers, the biggest difference between them being multisite support.
- Schedules viewable from any internet-connected device
- Automated backfill and shift pickup (Schedule Flex)
- Complex rule-based scheduling (Schedule Pro)
- Credential verification and shift blocking (Schedule Flex)
- Fatigue risk management (Schedule Pro)
Shiftboard offers two solutions for employee scheduling. Schedule Flex is best suited for companies that face frequently changing schedules, such as the health care industry, staffing agencies and call centers. It has a ton of great features customers in these industries will appreciate, like labor demand forecasting and team-based scheduling. The other product from Shiftboard is Schedule Pro. This is for highly scrutinized and regulation-heavy industries such as oil and gas, corrections and manufacturing. Features like worker shuffling and fatigue management ensure that multisite workers maintain peak performance, health and safety.
Price: Pricing for SwipeClock is only available via custom quote.
- Advanced scheduling
- Applicant tracking
- Intelligent clocks to track breaks, enforce schedules and eliminate buddy punches
- Clock in or out via web software or hardware clocks
- Integration with industry-leading payroll solutions
SwipeClock is a multifaceted employee scheduling software that has many components. The scheduling software lets you quickly create schedules for employees, swap and change shifts and gain more insight into how you can increase profit through better employee schedule adherence. There are also several HR features, including employee onboarding, recognition walls and the ability to create employee reward programs. SwipeClock’s software lets you monitor employee benefits, track potentials for overtime and eliminate buddy punches.
Price: Prices range from $2.50-$5 per month per employee.
- Payroll export
- Time and attendance
- Basic scheduling
- Mobile apps for employees (additional cost)
- PTO and leave management
TimeClock Plus is a robust employee scheduling software that delivers on many fronts. There’s a powerful reporting module that gives you real-time updates on your business affairs and employee well-being. Compliance issues are remedied through the built-in parameters to manage everything from the Affordable Care Act to the Family Medical Leave Act. It’s also heavily integrated with hardware, offering really interesting solutions for companies that need things like thermal sensor time clocks, biometric time clocks and touchless badge passes. TimeClock Plus has mobile apps, but unlike most companies, this feature requires an additional fee.
Price: The cost of this software ranges from $0-$2 per month per user.
- Biometric photo capture
- GPS-based tracking of employees
- Web-based punch console
- Payroll integration
- Instant messaging
Voilà! is a technology-heavy employee scheduling software. One feature not found on many other employee scheduling software systems is constant GPS tracking. This allows owners and managers to know when employees leave the business premises. The scheduling system is well-designed and incredibly easy to use. Voilà! saves you time by integrating with many popular third-party software solutions, and it contains a powerful instant messaging platform that includes group chats, 1:1 chats, read receipts and document uploads.
When I Work
Price: The basic system ranges in price from free to $2.50 per user with enterprise pricing, available as a custom quote. Timeclock & Attendance and Applicant Tracking & Sourcing are available at an additional cost.
- Secure messaging platform for 1:1 or group chats
- Tasks and checklists available and assignable during scheduling
- Timesheet integration with major payroll software systems
- One-click job postings on the most popular job boards
- Intuitive and beautifully designed scheduling
When I Work is an extremely popular employee scheduling software. You get beautiful schedules that are super easy to create and adjust as you need based on your business’s current trends. There’s also a time clock module that you can add to your existing plan if that’s a function you require. You can easily import your timesheets into payroll applications to ensure prompt employee payment distributions. For employee scheduling, When I Work offers apps to users on both iOS and Android. There’s even an add-on for employee hiring and onboarding.
Price: ZoomShift costs from $2-$4 per month per active team member. Enterprise pricing is available via a custom quote.
- GPS time clocks
- Schedule vs. timesheets
- Calendar app sync
- Timesheets and time clock
- User permissions for manager and assistant manager scheduling help
ZoomShift is a refreshing take on employee scheduling software because it’s focused on the basics and strives to make them the best they can be. When you need to ensure that your business is covered by the appropriate staff, ZoomShift lets your employees swap shifts. You can also turn on alerts and notifications to remind employees of upcoming shifts and make sure employees are always informed of their current scheduled obligations via free apps for Android and iOS. While we weren’t able to determine with 100% certainty if payroll integrations are coming in a future update, ZoomShift does have the ability to create timesheets to manually enter the correct data into your payroll system of choice.
Employee scheduling software FAQs
How much does employee scheduling software cost?
The price of employee scheduling software is typically very affordable, with most systems offering a stripped-down free tier and a nominal per-user per-month fee. Many software systems also come with an employee time clock built-in or have one available for an additional cost. For larger companies with many employees, pricing is usually available via custom quotes.
How do I measure the success of employee scheduling software?
You can see if your employee scheduling software of choice is successful by tracking employee engagement and measuring completed shifts versus missed shifts. If your software also includes a task management system or checklist system, you can check that the tasks are completed in the software with real-world verification. More effectively, you can survey employees to gauge their satisfaction levels.
Should I use a free or paid version of employee scheduling software?
Consider signing up for free software options if available to see which workflow is going to be best for you. Most employee scheduling software offers a free plan or at least a demo to tinker with before committing to a paid tier. If you’re a small operation such as a one-person landscaping company or a food truck startup, a free employee schedule software could be helpful if all you require is basic schedule creation and manipulation.