Behold the Missing Link of HR Tools: Online Scheduling Software

A recent article posted on discusses how new human resource regulations are causing a heightened interest in online scheduling software.

The article, “New Overtime Rules Boost Interest in Scheduling Software,” reports that a number of municipalities have moved to a $15/hour minimum wage. It also notes that 4.2 million more workers are now eligible for overtime pay.

These changes, coupled with other worker-friendly rules, have put the need for better scheduling practices front and center.

The regulations impact organizations ranging in size from a couple of people to the biggest companies in the world. So, both mom-and-pops and members of the Fortune 500 are now arm-in-arm, seeking ways to add more efficiency to their HR scheduling processes.

Human capital management, time tracking, and time and attendance systems all provide varying types of scheduling and tracking capabilities. But, there’s a missing link in the HR software universe: online appointment scheduling software.

Whether it’s interview scheduling software, job candidate screening call software, or benefits appointment software, thousands of companies are starting to leverage online schedulers to fill this technology gap.

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Unlike typical human resource management systems, online scheduling systems are surprisingly easy to implement. In many cases, they can be up and running within a couple of days. While integration may be necessary in some situations, schedulers can often operate completely on their own.

For example, instead of picking up the phone, HR staff in many organizations are now just emailing a link to promising job candidates to schedule a screening call. This one simple process change saves hours and hours of time trying to coordinate schedules. The candidates love the convenience, and the HR employees love the time savings.

HR-scheduling-software-computerBut not all online appointment scheduling software systems have the features required to effectively meet the needs of HR departments.

For example, many online schedulers look at scheduling in the traditional one-appointment-per-time-slot fashion. While this may work fine for a massage therapist or a manicurist, it doesn’t always meet the needs of HR professionals. Although an interview can be one-on-one, it oftentimes includes multiple staff. To accommodate this scenario, a scheduler has to allow for multiple appointments in a single time slot. It may sound simple and obvious, but many scheduling systems are not designed for this.

While interview scheduling can be tricky and not all schedulers can properly handle the use case, most appointment scheduling software systems have some core features that work well for just about any scenario. Email and text message reminders are an example. Systems can be configured to send reminders one day before, two days before, or even a week before an appointment.

Another feature that is common among scheduling systems is the ability for each staff member to specify their own schedule. For example, employees can have a regular, 8-to-5 type of schedule, or they can list more complex schedules. Whether it’s a schedule that changes every week or one that needs to be manipulated on-the-fly, online schedulers can generally accommodate this.

So while scheduling is definitely part of many common HR tools, online appointment scheduling has up until now been a missing link. However, as more and more companies experience the time-saving benefits of web-based appointment software, these types of systems will soon become part of the standard HR software toolset.