Tools for Managing an Hourly Workforce

This piece originally began as a piece on food startups, what tools they used and why. We did some digging and found some great tool trends. And then it occurred to us that there was a very interesting and helpful story here, not just for startups in the food industry, but for any startups - in the food industry, other brick and mortar retail, delivery services or other like sectors - that employed hourly or part-time workers.
 
So we thought to ourselves, “Stacklist.” “Yes, Stacklist.” “Why don’t we do a post on hourly workers and how best to manage them.” “That’s a great idea, Stacklist!” “Thank you, Stacklist. Also, your hair looks great today.” “OMG, thank you, I know right. I’ve been growing it out.” “It looks really good” - I digress.

PAYMENTS

Paycom: manage payroll without overpaying (or underpaying)

Paycom is a multifaceted, multipurpose tool that will help your startup eliminate payroll errors and automate you to success.

Payroll can be tricky when it comes to hourly workers, with overlapping departments and overtime. Juggling multiple employees and overtime pay, payroll can easily become a mess with hourly employees. Our founders have pointed out that the balancing of multiple departments, vacation, overtime, and last minute shifts, make payroll for hourly employees in the food industry especially difficult. Cue Paycom to come in and save the day.

“We no longer have to manually input hours, and the fact that they auto-calculate the spread of hours and overtime between departments has been huge for us.”
-Thomas Kelly, Co-founder of Mexicue

With Paycom software, employees can easily update direct deposit information, and employers approve time sheets and reimbursements, ensuring your employees are happy and compensated. Additionally, with Paycom’s time and labor management focus, managers can better control labor costs, reduce time theft, and eliminating errors in payroll. Paycom is also a whizz at automation and calculation, making sure that overtime, W2s, and taxes are compiled and assessed accurately, keeping you out of hot water from the IRS.

Pricing: contact for pricing information.

Venmo: payroll for millennials

Venmo is a great tool to pay millennials and is the preferred payment method of generation Y.

“Almost all of our drivers are college students, and they all use Venmo, so it’s the easiest way to pay them. We used to send checks, but we ran into issues like people saying they didn’t receive their checks, or people cashing their checks and saying they didn’t receive them. Venmo has cut down on payroll issues.”
-Aaron Hoffman, Founder and Owner of Campus Delivery

Ok, I’m guilty. I’m a millennial. I borrowed a stranger’s HuluPlus account information for 3 years, I have a favorite Instagram filter (it’s Crema), and I know all the shortcuts in Super Mario Kart. Oh, and I #love Venmo. A lot of startups have millennials working for them, making Venmo a necessary fact of life.


Venmo is a digital wallet that lets you make and share payments, so you can pay people as need be, which is great for hourly or irregular employees. Venmo is probably the easiest way to pay people with a click of your phone (sorry Snapchat pay). With Venmo, you can pay your bills, share the payments in your feed, and have an electronic record of it all. This will drastically cut down on false claims and document your entire transaction history for your payroll records. It will also send you an email every time you use Venmo, so you know whenever you’ve sent or received money.

Venmo is an effective payroll tool. Because you can link the app to your bank accounts and cards, you can pay and “cash out” with ease. Despite the waiting period to take your money out of the app, the overall experience is quick and painless.

Pricing: free for debit cards and bank accounts, 3% fee on credit card transactions.

SCHEDULING

Scheduling can prove quite challenging when juggling time-off requests, shift changes, and sick leaves. These tools digitize the scheduling process, so you can make changes in real time and update your employees, without having to rebuild the entire schedule.

When I Work: Shift Management

When I Work lets you handle shift changes with ease. By presenting the weekly schedule, with open shifts and shift change requests available for all to see, employees can easily pick up and change shifts, without throwing off the whole schedule. When I Work further claims to reduce the amount of time you’ll spend on scheduling by 8 hours a week, leaving you that extra time to grow your business. Additionally, When I Work is available on mobile, so your employees will be notified whenever there is a schedule change, so you don’t have to call them.


Pricing: $29/month for up to 20 employees.

TimeStation: Time Tracking

If you’re having trouble with attendance and people checking in, TimeStation may be the tool for you. TimeStation, which can be up and running in 5 minutes, prints out employee ID cards for you, which can be read by any mobile or tablet device. This allows employees to check in and out and for managers to quickly run an attendance report. This should enable your managers to know right away who is working and who isn’t.

Pricing: free for 10 employees, $19.95/month for 20.

COMMUNICATIONS

GroupMe: easy communication with a smile

Many businesses that are depending on hourly or part time workers are also working with complex operations often involving drivers, rapidly changing shifts and other intricate operations, With people constantly on the move and time not on your side (no one wants a cold burger, a late laundry delivery ...), efficiency and smooth communication are essential to making sure all the cogs are working together. If you’ve been having some trouble with internal communications with your employees, GroupMe could be for you.

“We operate at three campuses that are hours apart, so I need a way to keep in touch with everyone. GroupMe has been working really well so far.”
-Aaron Hoffman, Founder & Owner of Campus Delivery

GroupMe is an internal messaging tool, with custom emojis. GroupMe is a great way to keep in contact with everyone in your group. It’s incredibly easy to use, with free group messaging, availability across every device from iPhones to laptops, and even the ability to send you messages of SMS. This ensures that not only can you be in contact with everyone you need to be, but your whole group can be up to date on everyone’s location and which delivery they’re on. Need to reroute a driver, see who’s available on GroupMe. Something wrong with an order? Send a picture. GroupMe’s usability is great for keeping in quick contact with people, like hourly employees who are always on the go getting your product out. GroupMe can also make sure that your team’s communication is working well for you and your business.

Pricing: free.

Craigslist: find your next hourly employee, easy

Craigslist is a great tool if you’re looking for hourly or temporary labor, which is relevant to food, laundry and even general retail businesses.
 
When you run a startup, you have a lot of people working for you, but many – if not most – are hourly. When you’re pinching pennies or hiring for labor-intensive jobs, you don’t necessarily have the funds, needs, or bandwidth to have a plethora of full time employees. But how do you find these employees? AngelList is too high tech and LinkedIn is for a professional network. For hourly employees, we’ve found Craigslist to be the answer.

We recruit for management positions through our networks, but we use Craigslist for hourly employees. We’ve tried newer platforms, but they haven’t yielded the same positive results.”
-Thomas Kelly, Co-founder of Mexicue



Craigslist might be one of the best-known recruiting tools by the general public, making it great if you are casting a wide net. You can post jobs based on contract type, city, and even neighborhood. Craigslist directly connects you with potential employees in your area that have sought you out. These are employees that might not be using other recruiting tools and use Craigslist as their main forum.

Pricing: free.

Final thoughts

Hourly employees can help you cut costs, but they can be difficult to manage. With hourly employees, you need to meet accounting, payroll, and communicative needs just like dealing with any other type of employee. While many software programs mess up the hourly system and is built for full time employees, the tools we’ve identified above are great for managing hourly employees