Top 8 Things to look for in your workforce management solution

What to look for in a Workforce Management Solution

Timothy Lozier Blog, Security, Security / Government Contractors Leave a Comment

With all of the challenges facing Security Guard Firms today, it can be a challenge in of itself to sift through all the options in the market to find a workforce management solution that meets your needs.  Let’s take the top 8 things to look for in time and labor management, payroll management and hr management to help you discern the best workforce management solution for your business.

  1. It has to be interconnected: When we say interconnected, this means that a workforce management solution needs to center around the employee and connect the employee to the various elements.  So, when an employee is entered into the system in an HR capacity, the qualifications, licenses, and wage rates are connected to Time and Labor Management as well as Payroll Management.  So, when you go to schedule, you are able to automatically see the employees that are fit to staff a post, a location, or a client.  Similarly, every time you post an employee, the system should be able to tie that post to their payroll, the billing, and the wage rates.  This way, there is no manual re-entry of data from one system to the next; one process feeds into the next
  2. Security-Focused Scheduling for Time and Labor Management: Security firms are unique in that shifts and schedules are not limited to just one area.  You have multiple clients.  Each client has multiple locations they need you to work.  Each location may have different posts.  Each post may require specific qualifications.  So, the schedule is multi-faceted, and when you have hundreds of posts to fill, all with different requirements and locations, you need to have intelligence behind your system to help you be efficient.  You want to look for a time and labor management solution that has an employee scheduling process that takes into account the intricacies of the guarding industry.
  3. Visibility into Costs and Billable Time: When you have a margin of profitability that can waiver depending on multiple factors, you want to have visibility on how to maximize revenue while minimizing expenses.  The most classic example of this is non-billable overtime.  When there is a lack of visibility into available staff, companies may post resources that have already worked their allotted hours, which means they incur overtime.  This overtime is typically not billable to the client, so it becomes an expense you cannot recover.  Having the ability for the workforce management solution to exclude staff that are over hours will help to control the costs of non-billable overtime.  In fact, most companies see a 40-50% reduction in non-billable overtime through the use of a workforce management solution.
  4. Applicant Tracking: With upwards of 120% turnover, the reality is that companies in the security space need a way to continually attract talent and retain them. This means having an integrated applicant tracking component to their workforce management solution, one that lets you create job postings, provides an easy way for applicants to find you and apply for jobs.  Furthermore, you want to have real-time alerts on when new jobs are applied for and be able to quickly onboard employees.  This helps to take the manual efforts of attracting and onboarding talent.
  5. Integration Capabilities: When you have a multi-functional operation, you will most likely have multiple business systems.  Outside of workforce management Solutions, you may need to have these systems integrate, such as billing and invoicing.  It’s important that the system you select have the ability to integrate with other business systems and pass important information from your workforce to continue operations.  This way, not only is the workforce management solution interconnected within itself, it’s also integrated with your other systems.
  6. Dashboards and Reports: Part of the idea of a workforce management solution isn’t just to provide you with control over operations, but also give you visibility into data to make decisions.  Look for a solution that has a single portal or dashboard to find everything you need; this gives you a single source of the truth when you are logging in and reviewing your workforce.  Additionally, you want to ensure you have the correct reporting metrics that will give you visibility into your margins, your workforce, and profitability.  Look for a solution that understands the best practice reports you need, and has the ability to provide you with that information.
  7. Compliance Tracking: The guarding industry is constantly under the umbrella of regulatory compliance. In fact, security guard firms are one of the top 8 industries that get cited by the Department of Labor for violations.  Meeting minimum wage requirements, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, employee certifications, and training are just some of the areas that companies often face fines for.  Having a workforce management solution that not only tracks this information but also provides a method for assessing risks and mitigating them through compliance management is a critical component for the security industry.
  8. Expertise in Implementation: Perhaps the MOST important aspect to look for often has nothing to do with the technology itself, but the people behind the software. A software solution is only as good as the people implementing it, and that is a critical thing to look for.  You want a workforce management solution provider that not only knows your industry but also has the expertise and pedigree to advise you on the best practices.  Many times, you have not implemented a solution like this before, and you want to take advantage of a provider that has a wealth of proven experience with like-minded companies.  Look for a workforce management solution provider that has a team that has come from your industry, has been implementing across various other similar companies, and has the acumen and experience to consult and guide you through the process.  This is perhaps the biggest flaw in any software selection; the inability for a provider to truly understand your needs.  Finding the right team behind the solution is equally, if not more important than the solution itself.

Knowing your workforce management solution

 

The security industry is unlike others when it comes to workforce management.  A combination of the right people, cost to revenue efficiency, mitigating compliance risks and connecting the processes together become the key reasons why security firms need a workforce management solution.  Unlike other industries, the complexities of scheduling time and labor across multiple clients, locations, posts and shifts make security a very dynamic operation to manage.

 

It’s important to find a solution that not only meets your unique needs, but provides the functionality to support those needs.  Most importantly, software solutions need to be backed up by industry understanding, experience and a pedigree for your business.  This combination of people, processes and technology makes for a perfect Workforce Management solution.


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