Shift Bidding: How to Handle Last Minute Schedule Changes

Author: Geoffrey McLennan

Schedule Xpress has many tools that make planning ahead with your schedule easy, but what happens when an employee is no longer able to work a shift and suddenly there is an open shift at the last minute? We’ve noticed that a common problem that our users are having is that they find it difficult to find somebody who is both qualified for the shift, and able to work with last minute notice.

Currently, most schedulers would use the Find Replacement tool to fill the shift. This is very effective at solving the first half of the problem as it will give the scheduler a list of employees that are qualified to take the open shift. This is fine when the shift is still at least a few days away, but if the scheduling action is last minute, the employee may no longer be able to work the shift due to a personal conflict. Unfortunately, the scheduler has no option but to manually contact each potential employee that the Find Replacement tool has found to see if anyone is still available to take the shift.

To make this process easier, we are going to introduce a Shift Bidding feature that specifically targets cases where shifts become open at the last minute. When a scheduler is handling such a shift, they will be able to select from a list of employees that are qualified to work it, much like the Find Replacement tool, and set the shift to be open for bidding for those employees. Those employees will then receive a notification through our Team Xpress app, email, or a text message that they are able to bid on a shift. The employees can then log in to Team Xpress and view the shift, and they can send a response to indicate whether or not they are available.

At any time once the shift has been opened to bidding, the scheduler can view their responses so far and see if there are any employees that are available to work the shift. Once they have some positive responses, they can select any available employee and assign them to the shift. This will close the shift to further bidding, and notify all bidders whether or not they received the shift.

This feature is intended to extend the capabilities of the Find Replacement tool to allow schedulers to handle last minute schedule changes. For most cases when the scheduler is first creating schedules Find Replacement will be the right tool for the job, but when the shift is in the near future and still needs to be filled, Shift Bidding will be the way to go.

If you would like to learn more about the Celayix solution, please contact us!