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15 Best Employee Scheduling Software of 2020: Comparison of Leading Solutions

Category: B2B News

We have updated this article with the 2020 comparison of best employee scheduling software solutions for streamlining your employee management and scheduling process.

What is the best employee scheduling software?
The best employee scheduling software is When I Work, an easy-to-use employee scheduling software that offers powerful employee scheduling, time tracking, and applicant tracking tools. Primarily, the solution empowers businesses to hire, schedule, and communicate better with their employees by providing robust labor management tools.

Managing the complex shift patterns, employee availability, day-offs, and competencies can be arduous. Luckily, with robust employee scheduling software, managers and HR personnel don’t have to contend with these challenges. Employee scheduling tools ward off the complexities associated with work schedules. These streamline the flow of work, allowing you to get the best out of the available HR resources. That said, picking the best solution isn’t a walk in the park – the process can be long and toilsome.

To save you the hassle, we’ve assembled a list of 15 best scheduling software you can use in 2020. We’ve dissected each solution to reveal its strengths and weaknesses if any. This way, we intend to help you find software that can balance workflow supply and demand, boost staff productivity, and reduce turnovers.

leading employee scheduling software

1. When I Work

When I Work dashboard
When I Work is a top choice when it comes to the best apps on the market today. For starters, it’s free. Businesses with 75 employees or less can use it with no fees attached. This makes it a bargain for small events or projects. While we expect a free app to be limited, When I Work has quite a robust feature set. It provides a schedule builder, availability/time-off management, shift trading, group messaging and chat and Android/iOS apps. Barring the cap on users, this app gives paid apps tough competition.

With its tools, addressing staff availability is easy via quick access to employee time-off and shift change requests. You can approve or decline requests immediately based on your upcoming events or projects. Conversely, employees have a clear view of their reporting dates, leaving no room for miscommunication. Scheduling is faster with its simple user interface and employees get notified instantly via push alerts whenever a new schedule is available.

You can easily try the app’s premium features at no cost when you sign up for When I Work free trial.

When I Work

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Try out When I Work with their free trial

When I Work also has a mobile check-in function that allows employees to log in for work through their mobile devices. This tool is ideal for businesses with field employees like in the catering and service industries. By integrating with third-party apps, When I Work allows for timesheets to be easily exported and payroll prepared without the need to shuffling through different systems.

The app isn’t limited to small projects, though. You can upgrade to its paid plans and enjoy unlimited users, unlimited locations and other more advanced tools including time and attendance tracking. It’s a cost-effective way to free your time without compromising employee schedules, even as you focus on sales and marketing.

Detailed When I Work Review

2. CakeHR


CakeHR is a cloud-based solution that aids teams in various HR processes, such as recruitment, expense tracking, and shift scheduling. The software comes with six modules: Recruitment Management, Timesheets Management, Shift Scheduling Management, Leave Management, Expenses Management, and Performance Management. Each module comes with specific tools to automate these processes and improve their efficiency.

The platform makes it easy for managers to schedule shifts more efficiently. You can quickly create and edit shifts and notify employees of shift changes when needed. The interface lets you add, move, and copy shifts using drag-and-drop functions, too. For added convenience, you can use one CakeHR account to manage shift scheduling for multiple locations. The software lets you split your organization into various schedule groups and areas under different shift managers.



Try out CakeHR with their free trial

Moreover, CakeHR provides self-service options for employees. Employees can log into the software to add their preferred work schedule and specify their availability. This way, you can avoid experiencing staffing problems and getting short-staffed. The software can also generate daily, weekly, and monthly reports on staffing so you can spot issues and make adjustments when needed.

CakeHR is available at a flexible pricing scheme. You can choose the specific module you want to use and the number of active employees in your organization and pay a monthly fee based on these factors. The Shift Scheduling Module, for instance, costs $75 per month for 30 active employees, billed annually.

Detailed CakeHR Review

3. Deputy

Deputy Dashboard

Deputy is one of the most popular solutions this year, used in small events and large operations alike to manage the workforce. It has a comprehensive toolset for employee scheduling, including attendance record-keeping, performance tracker and workplace communication.

Deputy allows for one-click notification for sudden shift changes. If you have simultaneous or multiple events, this feature ensures that staffing is adaptive on on-the-ground developments, so no even is overstaffed or undermanned.



Try out Deputy with their free trial

One of the features we like about Deputy is that you can integrate its timesheets with invoicing and accounting apps. You free yourself up from time-consuming payroll or billing processes. Likewise, it’s one of the few employee scheduling software solutions that features dynamic reporting for schedule budgets, sales transactions and employee performance using metrics that impact staffing.

Deputy has Android and iOS apps and is accessible from any device via a browser. 

Detailed Deputy Review

4. Homebase

homebase dashboard

Homebase ensures all your schedules are covered and all your employees are accurately paid. Aside from employee scheduling it also features time tracking, making it ideal for restaurants and bars and retail. Furthermore, it integrates with a payroll system that makes it efficient to compute wages by worked hours including overtime or under-time. This eliminates the need to log in/out on separate systems.

Homebase also has mobile apps for Android and iOS, enabling employees to access the system from their phone and get notified in case of urgent shift changes. Conversely, managers can easily create schedules on the go and in real-time and quickly notify their staff for changes or the latest information. Notable features include custom schedule templates, shift management, labor/sales/weather forecast, and pin-based entry. 



Try out Homebase with their free trial

5. 7Shifts

7Shifts dashboards

7Shifts is a well-known solution for hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants. The platform is ideal for managers that want to invest larger portions of their time in improving customer service rather than taking care of scheduling processes. That’s because it’s designed to easily and effectively distribute workload among the workers available at hand. Labor costs, in turn, get a significant decrease and employee attendance is improved.

The system provides a variety of benefits to employees as well, including easy access to their schedules through their mobile devices. They can also submit requests for time offs and trade shifts easily. This way, they no longer have to send them in written format. Moreover, notifications are sent instantly after approval or rejection.

Aside from those, 7Shifts has a built-in communication tool in the form of chat. Private one-on-one messages and group chat are both available. Furthermore, management has access to budget forecasts and analysis. This is useful for operating efficiently while staying on a budget because the platform provides insight into the business’ projected expenses and budget analysis.



Try out 7Shifts with their free trial

6. YArooms

YArooms dashboard

Next on our list is YArooms, a widely-used web-based scheduling software, and booking system. This smart platform makes room and resource management easy, and it can be done anytime, from anywhere.

This scheduling tool is a favorite solution among organizations like shared offices, hospitals, and schools. It enables users to achieve zero booking conflict. It automatically verifies the availability of people, rooms, and other resources during the booking process to prevent any scheduling issue.



Try out YArooms with their free trial

Unlike other apps in this category, YArooms offers an innovative Door app that event hosts can integrate into the doors of their rooms and facilities. This enables users to monitor the status of rooms, bookings, and current occupancy. It also provides guests with the convenience of using their mobile devices to check-in and out of their rooms.

YArooms provides granular user control to ensure account admins have total control of user privileges. This offers the needed security while at the same time the needed convenience for all users. It also supports a wide range of integration with popular third-party tools as well as robust reporting and analytics capabilities.

Detailed YArooms Review

7. Jobber

Jobber dashboard
Speed, ease, and expanded customization tools make employee scheduling software Jobber one of the top choices when it comes to the best tools currently available in the market. Its robust set of intuitive tools guides users every step of the way and ensures improved productivity through features that promote transparency.

Its drag and drop calendar makes scheduling conflict-free. This supports the smooth automation of schedules may it be weekly, monthly, yearly; recurring jobs included. With customization tools that allow for a personalized calendar, tasks can be filtered and organized. This makes assigning of schedules, tasks, and shifts easy. Users have access to labeling tools that streamlines assignment of shifts with status tags —- upcoming, unscheduled, completed or overdue. Through it, users always have a view of the bigger picture when it comes to scheduling. Shifts, tasks, and schedules that require more manpower are easily seen and attended to.

Jobber has a native app that allows its users to complete the entire scheduling process and update all team members in just minutes. The mobile app also allows for convenient clock-ins through mobile devices. It also has tools for tracking and monitoring employees. With its robust mobile tools that promote transparency, users can track the progress and status of tasks, jobs, and shifts in just a click.

An extra nifty feature is its time clock integration with timesheets. Through it, payroll can be done in just a click as all clock-ins instantly register in individual timesheets.

Detailed Jobber Review

8. Planday

Planday dashboard

Another reliable scheduling software, Planday helps you manage employee schedules faster and with greater visibility by consolidating all related tasks to staff availability. In this crowded software category, Planday stands out for its rich feature set laid out in a simple, intuitive interface for teams of any size. After testing the best employee scheduling software solutions on our list, we concluded that Planday has the most flexibility to scale. This is important for businesses that work around various project sizes requiring staffing to be fluid. Whether you’re managing 30 or 300 staff, Planday helps you see the big picture of your operation and ensure communication is smooth between the office and the field team.

Organizing staff schedule is simple; just drag and drop shifts across the calendar. Similarly, you already have schedule templates ready that fit most operations. You can tweak them to match your unique needs per project.

You can also plot your employees’ vacations and the system makes it easy to check approved, pending or declined leaves. Staff availability is synced with vacations, so you can anticipate your manpower months ahead.

Furthermore, Planday features Android and iOS apps, giving you more on-the-ground flexibility to stay on top of staff communication, schedule, and management. What’s more, Planday is arguably one of the few vendors in this category to offer unlimited customer support. While you’re expected to have a smooth experience with the software, having tech backup is practical and critical even to avoid disruptions during your events.

Detailed Planday Review

9. HotSchedules

HotSchedules dashboard

HotSchedules targets retail, restaurant and hospitality industries with an extensive suite that goes beyond employee scheduling. It also provides features for training, recruitment, business intelligence, labor and inventory management to service the unique needs of its market niche. It has served the demands of managers in charge of line cooks, bartenders, and servers. As a comprehensive solution, HotSchedules is used by franchise networks but is simple enough for mom-and-pop shops.

Likewise, its integration with POS enables you to view employee clock in/out in real-time and with greater working time accuracy. On the other hand, a separate module called Train enables managers to train staff with a streamlined structure and track-based progress. We thought the inclusion of training in employee scheduling is practical for operations that demand specialized skills like bartending and cooking. If constant training is a business prerequisite, this app should be one of your top choices.

Detailed HotSchedules Review

10. Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling dashboard

Acuity Scheduling eliminates schedule mix-ups with a synchronized calendar system that alerts users of booked appointments. The software integrates with popular calendar apps like iCalendar, Google Calendar, Outlook and Office 365. Small businesses with limited budgets but want an efficient cloud scheduling app will find Acuity Scheduling most useful.

Among others, the software allows for custom or branded reminders, follow-ups and confirmations. With permission rules, you can also compartmentalize calendars to control who has access to which schedule. This helps you focus on each team’s schedule when you’re faced with multiple events or projects.

Likewise, the calendar can be shared on your social network via this app or embedded on your website. It has an open API for further customizing processes, an activity tracking that shows you the overall picture and email/SMS reminders for quick notifications on urgent changes.

Detailed Acuity Scheduling Review

11. Shiftboard

Shiftboard dashboard

Shiftboard is an ideal app for small and mid-sized businesses to help them organize and distribute work schedules in minutes. Employees take the initiative to indicate their availability and the manager can quickly approve or decline time off requests based on workload requirements. The app is flexible to adapt to various processes, for example, part-time or contractual vs. full-time, or by-the-hour vs. fixed pay rate. A small team can easily expand its manpower using outsourced help, without complicating processes from employee scheduling to payroll.

Like HotSchedules, Shiftboard also offers features for tracking employee skills and performance rating and certification for specialized positions like cooking and bartending. Even when managing dozens of employees, the app helps you to easily monitor the individual skills set and enables you to match tasks with the right staff. Other key features to note are the online job application portal, employee account profiles, and centralized reporting and analytics.

Detailed Shiftboard Review

12. Findmyshift

Findmyshift dashboard

Findmyshift allows for creating staff rosters and managing shift request in one platform, ensuring employee schedules are coordinated and in sync. This eliminates instances of schedule conflicts or miscommunication between admin and staff. The use of the drag-and-drop tool makes organizing schedules visually appealing. Likewise, sorting data is easy with filtering that matches your specific metric, for example, by employee, event or schedule.

The app features a built-in time clock integrated with automated reporting that shows actual worked hours. A payroll calculator automates wage processing utilizing data on timesheets, schedules, pay scale and overtime policy.

Moreover, payroll can be configured in different ways, such as, by the day, week or monthly disbursement. Key features include real-time reporting, templates and employee noticeboard.

Detailed Findmyshift Review

13. Aladtec

Aladtec dashboard

Aladtec facilitates both simple and complex workforce management tasks by automating or streamlining processes. It is primarily designed for EMS dynamics in a field like fire and rescue, law enforcement and health care, but can fit any business’ employee scheduling tasks. The software handles 24/7 shift rotations, multiple staff schedules and allows for quick and smooth communication with employees.

It fits the requirements of organizations with daily and complex employee time management needs that involve moving shifts or re-assignments to respond to urgent situations. Likewise, it can automate recurring shifts and tasks, while providing managers or supervisors with an overall visibility to track potential schedule conflicts or issues.

The software’s major features are its scheduling tool, rotational shift feature, absence management and an add-on time clock for EMS. It also integrates payroll reporting, making it an end-to-end suite for workforce management.

Detailed Aladtec Review

14. Quinyx

Quinyx dashboard

Quinyx features an extensive management feature set, highlighted by its capability to organize schedules based on budget forecasts. It also features task assignments, time management, and communication tools. The app targets a diverse market such as restaurants, logistics, healthcare, call centers, retail, and fitness.

Moreover, it helps you maximize your manpower by assigning your highly skilled staff on the most important tasks while enabling you to shift their schedules on the fly when sudden developments occur. The result is less operational loss and better returns per event, project or operation.

Quinyx also provides Android and iOS apps, so on-location employees can access the system and their schedules in real-time, while you as the manager is kept in the loop of field development. This eliminates miscommunication and ensures team members are in synced and attuned to their task schedule.

Detailed Quinyx Review

15. TrackSmart

Tracksmart dashboard

TrackSmart is an appealing solution if you have recurring schedules but still need to juggle staff for various reasons, among which, if you have a high employee turnaround or require continuous skills development training. It fits businesses of any size but is particularly targeted and scalable to the needs of small and mid-sized companies. It features two major components — Attendance and Scheduling.

The attendance management features a dashboard that provides you the big picture with information on staff attendance, tasks, employee time-off, and availability and important dates. Meanwhile, the scheduling tool allows employees to submit their time-off requests in a centralized location, making it easy for managers to approve or decline requests based on upcoming manpower needs and schedule conflicts.

Likewise, the app provides managers access to reporting tools to highlight or track employee performance, attendance and other related insights that can be used for business decisions. You can also preset the software with labor regulations so your policies and schedules are in tune with local laws, especially as pertains to overtime work and paid leaves.

Detailed TrackSmart Review

What is the Best Employee Scheduling Software for Your Business?

Which one should you consider? In most cases, opting for the top software is the easiest and best choice. For unique processes though, you need to test the app if it does meet your workflows. Other than the unique features, generally, an employee scheduling software should allow for the following functions:

  • Automate the creation of schedules
  • Track staff availability and time-offs
  • Allows employees to submit time-off requests subject to approval
  • Mobile access, allowing employees to use their phones to access the system
  • Time clock integrated with timesheet that is integrated with payroll
  • Identify idle time or staff productivity loss
  • Budget, sales or weather forecasting

With this in mind, it shouldn’t be difficult to pick your ideal solution from the list. However, if the decision proves a hard nut to crack, worry not. Our experts put all the software through rigorous tests and When I Work claimed the top accolade. When I Work is our top software by merit. The platform will help you track time, communicate better with employees, streamline your hiring process, and manage employee competencies and appraisals without a struggle. You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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