Table of Contents Technology ShowcaseBuilding an Engaging Online Student UnionTechnology Showcase: Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT)Technology Showcase: The Natural Limitations of Technology: 4K TVsTechnology Showcase: Students Organize HackathonsTechnology Showcase: LEDs EvolveTechnology Showcase: Beyond Facebook: Social Media 2.0Technology Showcase: The Potential of Virtual Reality GamesTechnology Showcase: What Event Planners Need to Know About WiFiTechnology Showcase: 10 Pro Tips for Using Microsoft WordTechnology Showcase: It's Just a Video in PowerPoint–What Could Go Wrong?Technology Showcase: Competitive Presenting with PowerPoint RouletteTechnology Showcase: Adjusting Procedures to Provide Better A/V SupportTechnology Showcase: Tracking A/V Inventory in DEA EMSTechnology Showcase: Applying Innovative, Inexpensive Technology in a Theatre SpaceTechnology Showcase: Raspberry Jammin'Technology Showcase: Road Test: Apps for NotetakingTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Student Employee Scheduling ProgramsTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Project Management Software10 of the Top Commons Posts of 20152015 Education and Research Fund DonorsNeeds Assessment Identifies Strengths, Room for GrowthCAS Provides Better Tools for Relevant Functional AreasNew Team Provides Educational Tools, Discussion Opportunities Related to Campus ViolenceVolunteerism In the AssociationFrom the President: Who was Your First?From the Chief Executive Officer: Promoting Dialogue About Campus ShootingsMarch/April 2016 KioskOn the JobUnion Spotlight: Linda E. McMahon Commons at Sacred Heart UniversityUnion Spotlight: Andorfer Commons at the Indiana Institute of Technology
Volume 84 | Issue 2
March/April 2016

Technology Showcase: Road Test: Student Employee Scheduling Programs

Student employee supervisors seek to mentor and educate their staffs, imparting skills that will benefit them now and after graduation. Yet taking time away from this important work are the logistics of setting up shifts around students’ academic commitments, making sure they’re paid for the hours they work, and organizing a workforce to cover the tasks that need to get done. As unions seek better ways to manage student employee scheduling, numerous options are available. What follows are a few that may work well in a union setting.

If you’re looking for a scheduling system that enables management of multiple departments, SubItUp is one of the strongest programs geared toward the student staff audience. With a user-friendly design, SubItUp not only allows you to set schedules but it also has features for human resources paperwork, time clock and payroll integration, along with mobile access and text and email alerts through its personalized application. Through the desktop-based administrative portal, users can view historical data and input availability as well as request that someone cover a shift. However, the app is less robust than might be expected. For instance, students aren’t able to see who is working before or after them, unless they create a general manager account. Students also don’t have administrative access to other team schedules, nor is it easy to set that up for individuals.

Although not geared specifically to student employees, WhenToWork is a popular program used among union professionals and has strong functionality when it comes to the transparency of schedules across different teams and departments. For example, you can create different teams so people can only see their own subteam and administrators can view all of the teams through their own accounts. WhenToWork also has a bulletin board for employees to communicate with one another. The interface design isn’t as sleek as some of its other competitors, but the mobile webpage is easy to navigate, the system integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook, and a mobile application allows people to easily see who is working at any time. While the program doesn’t have a time clock feature or integration into payroll systems, you can add pay rates to see how much you are spending. Other features include a drag/drop interface, functionality to track changes, and text and email alerts.

ShiftPlanning allows you to stay up to date no matter where you go through a mobile app compatible with most devices. The ability to sync the program with Google, Outlook, and iCal calendars and send reminders are attractive for those who are looking to have an all-in-one compatibility. ShiftPlanning has a neat feature that integrates a webcam to take a photo of your employee when they clock-in through a computer system as well as Facebook integration. ShiftPlanning also provides 24/7 online support, which is an added bonus. Like WhenToWork, it has drag/drop functionality and can handle trades. However, its real-time updates and budgeting through time clock and payroll integration set it apart. Its downsides are a time-consuming initial setup because of the in-depth employee profiles, difficulty when schedules aren’t reoccurring on a weekly basis, and because it was designed for online use, its app is limited, and it is not easy to print out schedules.

Google Calendar
If you’re looking for a free option that can have multiple purposes and allows for publishing capabilities, then you may want to consider using Google Calendar. This opens the door to integrating all of the Google applications that are all cross-platform and cloud-based for easy access no matter where you are. Google Calendar has an intuitive interface, and because of its prevalence can be quickly and easily implemented. Its greatest shortcoming is simply that it wasn’t designed to manage employee schedules. Therefore, it has no special functionality for human resources, time clocks, payroll, etc., which requires reliance on other systems and strict adherence to guidelines about who can access/edit which calendars. This can make for a weak audit trail as well as the potential for a work calendar to be confused with other calendars.

Primarily used in the restaurant industry for small businesses, ScheduleFly allows for full staff management capabilities similar to other competitive scheduling programs out there. With a modern interface design, it offers a multi-unit dashboard to view multiple schedules and teams at one time. It also includes time clock integration, payroll functionality, reminders, and a job post tool. One unique feature is ScheduleFly’s message wall for communication, which is similar to Facebook. This program also allows for assigning tasks and uploading documents to share as needed. Among its shortcomings, since ScheduleFly is not designed for large staffs or students, there is no mobile application.