November 6, 2018

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Why Briefing Your Dynamic Workers Matters and How To Do It Right

What are Briefings?

If you’re managing dynamic workers, you regularly speak with them throughout the day. Not only must you put the right workers to the right place at the right time, but often you also have to brief them on their work. Chances are, you’re also responsible for their health and safety, even if there’s a site manager.

A big part of pulling the right roster together is keeping track of skills, certifications, and leveraging tools like Sirenum to ensure they are up-to-date and relevant for the work being scheduled.

But sometimes you also need to share information in real-time, and be confident (read: have an audit trail!) that your employees have reviewed that information. For example, you may need your workers to accept terms and conditions or get a health and safety warning. If you’re in this situation, you probably spend way too much time calling, emailing, and meeting with your workers. Can you relate? Why has this been so hard? Keep reading.

  • Pop Quiz

Want to make sure your employees are on-the-ball? Maybe you want to ask them a couple questions about their tasks for the day before they get started. Of course, desk workers usually have access to e-learning modules via their intranet portals, but with dynamic workers, it gets more complicated.

  • Refresher

How about ensuring skills are relevant and ready to be used? Regardless of the type of job your workers are performing, they need to know what their exact requirements are: what their responsibilities are, to whom they report, etc. And you need an audit trail.

  • Stay Safe

As instructed by the UK Health and Safety Executive, “The employment agency and the employment business must take reasonable steps to identify any known risks concerning health and safety and satisfy itself that the end user has taken steps to prevent or control the known risks. This must be done before the work starts and must include obtaining… information from the end user….” So yeah, you’re ultimately responsible for your workers’ health and safety, and have to cooperate with your client to brief them on anything relevant to health and safety before they get started.

  • Onboarding

Dynamic workers are usually asked to do a wide variety of tasks, which may vary from shift to shift. This gives them (and you!) flexibility to get more work. Sometimes you need to train your workers to perform new processes, or onboard them at new sites or clients. This is as simple as reading some documentation and making sure they understand the workflow or what the job entails.

How to Do It

Briefing your workers is an important process. It can help them get up to speed quicker and even ensure their safety and security. From an agency perspective, briefing your staff makes you compliant with regulations and increase your employee engagement. It also increases client satisfaction.

Put together, all of these actions translate into higher revenues, lower compliance issues, and better lower compliance violations, and better employee engagement. However, it takes a great deal of time and effort, if like most employers, you rely on pen and paper. So, if you want to streamline this process with technology, you need to remember three key things:

  • Briefing results need to be available in context with employee data
  • Placing workers in your schedule should reflect briefing compliance, just as it does your other compliance rules
  • All briefings should be fully audited

It goes without saying that being in the cloud and mobile-friendly are key to adoption and data availability.

For more information, please visit our Briefings page.

 

November 5, 2018

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Sirenum Launches Briefings to Simplify Dynamic Worker Training and Notifications

Contextual Training for Hourly Workers Drastically Improves Performance and Compliance

London, UK–Sirenum, the leading UK-based provider of technology solutions for innovative temporary staffing agencies, is proud to announce the launch of Sirenum Briefings, a new tool for building, distributing, and managing training and notifications for dynamic workers. Sirenum Briefings

Temp agencies and other employers of dynamic workers often struggle to distribute notifications or training to their workers, who usually lack traditional technology means for accessing them. Because most elearning tools are built with desk workers in mind, they fail to take these challenges into account.

That’s why Sirenum built Briefings. An additional module in the Sirenum product, Briefings allows internal management teams to easily build everything from simple one-line notifications to more sophisticated employee training and then distribute these briefings to the relevant workers. The briefings can be designed and their distribution filtered by job type, job site, client, or a number of other variables. This ensures that the right briefing is going to the right person. Then, management can easily track responses and Sirenum will automatically leverage that information to refine schedules. Finally, because like the rest of the Sirenum platform, it’s built on Salesforce Lightning, every step in the process is fully audited.

“Sirenum has always been about getting the right people to the right place at the right time and paying them the right amount,” said founder and CEO Benjamin Rubin. “In my years managing a temp agency, one of the hardest parts of that equation was getting the right information to those workers as well. With Sirenum Briefings, we’ve made it so simple to get the word out, and confirm when a worker has acknowledged it–the confidence it brings in knowing you’ve got the right people on the job is priceless.”

Sirenum Briefings has already been in beta use with multiple Sirenum clients this year. It is now generally available to all Sirenum clients and prospects as an add-on module.

“Dynamic workers have been overlooked for years from a technology perspective,” added Joshua Pines, co-founder and director of corporate development and marketing. “The Sirenum platform has aimed to change that from the beginning and Sirenum Briefings continues with that mission.”

October 30, 2018

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Curt Hopkins

Sirenum Adds Curt Hopkins to Board of Directors

Seasoned C-level tech executive joins board of London-headquartered workforce management platform to support corporate development, fund raising, and global expansion

Sirenum, the leading provider of cloud-based workforce management to the temporary staffing industry, is proud to announce the addition of Curt Hopkins to its Board of Directors. With more than 25 years of executive experience in the technology industry, Curt will play a key adviser role as Sirenum expands globally.

“Curt’s background as a CEO, country GM, and non-executive director will go a long way in helping us as we expand our business,” said Sirenum founder and CEO, Benjamin Rubin. “He understands the challenges of the gig economy and his experience as Chairman at Keia is very well aligned with our efforts to address the dynamic workforce.”

Hopkins has been a C-level executive at some of the world’s fastest growing technology firms including Telenomics, Redeem PLC, and Central Telecom. Currently, Hopkins serves as CEO of Koin Rewards, a blockchain-based loyalty marketing platform. He is an advisor or board member for a number of companies including Novastone, Keia, Corbett Keeling, and Arvato Bertelsmann.

“As soon as I met Benjamin and the team at Sirenum, I was captivated by the mission to revolutionise the dynamic workforce and their passion for people,” said Hopkins. “Though it’s an early-stage business, the technology is mature and we already have big names like Randstad, Manpower, and Impellam on board so I’m very excited about what we can do here.”

Hopkins, a Chicagoan who has been in the UK for two decades, has a Masters of Science from Georgia Tech and lives in Windsor with his family.

About Sirenum
Sirenum powers the dynamic workforce. As the leading global provider of cloud-based workforce management technology to temporary staffing agencies, Sirenum provides transformational technology to innovative employers, streamlining the management of tens of thousands of workers across the UK, Europe, and the USA, including organisations in the government, transport and logistics, care, and security and events verticals. To learn more about Sirenum technology for dynamic workforce management, please visit www.sirenum.com/solutions.
Contact: Joshua Pines, Director of Marketing and Corporate Development, josh.pines+PR@sirenum.com

October 15, 2018

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Introducing Sirenum University

Introducing Sirenum University

Sirenum University is a new, free way to learn Sirenum basics.

Sirenum University allows you to learn how to use the Sirenum workforce management platform, step by step. Get to know the different modules and capabilities of the system at your own pace. Easy to navigate and easy to understand. Sirenum University brings you the content that you are looking for to learn how to use Sirenum. Navigate the page to find relevant content, watch video tutorials and read articles to get the most out of your Sirenum experience.
Sirenum University multi-device animation

As many times as you need, wherever you are.

Did you ever wonder how to create new Skills in Sirenum or how to access your own User Settings? Now you can find quick answers wherever you are, regardless of your device. The content is easily accessible on the Sirenum University portal, in the form of short videos and articles that get straight to the point.

Woman using Sirenum University on a mobile device

Can’t you find what you’re looking for? Make suggestions!

The content you find at Sirenum University grows every month with new training solutions for you and your team. If you wish to learn any specific actions or features, contact us to submit your suggestions. Our customers are crucial as we determine the content you see on our site, so you can be sure the information on Sirenum University stays relevant and up to date.

 

October 8, 2018

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My First Job(s): Getting Inspired to Fight for a Better Future

Welcome back to the My First Job blog series, where we ask Sirenumites, partners, customers, and friends to reminisce about their first paying job. For more information, see our introduction to the series here.

When I was young, my family lived in a small village outside of Zaragoza, Spain. After the Spanish Civil War, my family made our living working in the agricultural sector. In the early 1960’s, my sisters and I decided to move to the city to forge a different future.

Following my willingness to study, I enrolled in a Catholic secondary school for my baccalaureate (roughly equivalent to A-levels in the UK), and didn’t hesitate to look for a job to earn some money in my spare time.

Very quickly I found a job in a big, cold warehouse, where I was part of an assembly line. At that time, all Spanish companies were expected to offer their workers a complimentary box with Christmas food and drinks for the Christmas holidays. My company’s was responsible for putting together goodie boxes and delivering them to other businesses that would buy them from us.

After only a few days I realised that higher responsibility positions were filled by only men, while young women would do all the physical work. It was only men who had a real contract, while we would be paid cash in hand.

women worehouse working

After the Christmas season, I had to find another job, but I couldn’t forget the inequalities I had perceived in the warehouse. Unfortunately, what I found was no better. My next job was situated in a dark, damp basement, where young women would glue soles on shoes. With no ventilation, the glue smell would get to our heads making us feel dizzy. On top of that, our boss treated us unfairly and violently–this was no place for any human being!

I tried to convince my co-workers to stand up for our rights, but everyone was too afraid to lose their jobs. I did my best to improve our conditions, but after not seeing any improvements, I decided to quit.

After these experiences, I finished my baccalaureate and joined a company where I worked for 45 years until I recently retired. One of the most valuable things I learned from my first jobs was to stand up for my rights and the rights of those who can’t speak for themselves. I became a braver, stronger woman; I joined unions and fought for women’s rights. And more importantly, as I gained responsibility in my roles, I never forgot to treat everyone with respect, regardless of how much they were earning or how simple or complex their work was.

 

–A story by our friend María José

September 7, 2018

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Announcing Sirenum’s Autumn Events Schedule

London-based workforce management vendor to appear in the US and Great Britain during the upcoming Autumn trade show season

London, UK–Sirenum, the leading UK provider of cloud-based workforce management software to the temporary staffing industry, is proud to announce its autumn 2018 trade show schedule, with presence at multiple Staffing Industry Analysts events, the world’s largest technology conference, and more.

Sirenum kicks off the event season attending Dreamforce on 25-28 September in San Francisco. Dreamforce is the largest technology conference in the world, and Sirenum is a Salesforce ISV. King Cheung, Director of Sales, will attend the show representing Sirenum.  Please contact King today to grab an open slot on his increasingly busy calendar!

 

Sirenum will be at booth F25 at the Recruitment Agency Expo, which is in Birmingham, 3-4 October. The show, the largest of its kind in the UK, is expected to be attended by recruitment agencies and industry representatives from the Midlands. Sirenum, which has sponsored three previous expos, is thrilled to return to the event. Free tickets are still available on the RAE website. You can book a live demo with one of our product experts here.

At virtually the same time, 4-5 October, Sirenum CEO and Founder Benjamin Rubin will be part of a panel entitled, “How Staffing Firms Can Benefit From Online Platform Technology,” at Staffing Industry Analysts’ Collaboration in the Gig Economy event in Dallas, Texas. After proudly taking both audience and dragons’ prizes at the “Dragon’s Den” event at the London show in April, Sirenum is excited to cross the pond for this one.

Finally, Sirenum will be a sponsor and exhibitor at SIA’s Executive Forum Europe 27-28 November for the first time. The event is an exclusive gathering of CEOs, owners, and senior staffing executives from staffing organisations across industry sectors and sizes.

For more information about Sirenum solutions for dynamic workforce management, please visit sirenum.com/solutions. For more information on Sirenum marketing and events, please contact Joshua Pines, co-founder and director of marketing and corporate development.

August 29, 2018

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Does my Agency Need an App for Workers?

Who isn’t glued to their mobile phone all the time? We are attached to our smartphones and they have become the primary tool we use to entertain ourselves, to book appointments, meet friends and more and more, to organise our work. Recent studies show that the Britons spends almost 2.5 hours a day on their smartphones. And the proliferation of productivity apps is transforming the way the white collar workforce gets things done. So it makes sense that your dynamic workers can also benefit from their smartphone to significantly improve productivity and engagement with your company. Do you know how an app for your dynamic workers can actually make your business more profitable?

Managing availability

It’s time you offer your temp workers some quality of life. Managing their availability within a mobile app offers your dynamic workers the ability to better organise their own lives. This way, they can let you know when they want to work, or whether they need to take days off. What’s in for you? This valuable information will save you from reaching out to candidates that are not ready, willing, or able to work, and will clue you in on eager workers.

Seeing upcoming shifts

“What’s my schedule look like?” It’s a typical question among dynamic workers. No wonder why, working at different times or locations every week or even every day can be confusing, and no one should have to remember that information by heart. Having such information at their fingertips and using handy push up notifications or reminders–just like we all do with our personal day-to-day schedule!–can help your dynamic workers put their minds to better use, like excelling at their jobs. This will also significantly reduce the number of calls and texts your teams will have to field, so that your consultants can focus on operations.

Dynamic worker using smartphone

Reducing time to fill

Time to fill is the amount of time spent by an agency from the moment they receive a staffing request from a client until they allocate those positions to candidates in their pool. Obviously, the shorter this time the better, as time spent on the phone by consultants could be put to better use. The latest generation of mobile apps for dynamic workers can help you fulfil your requirements in as little as eight (8!) seconds, with no phone calls involved. Only suitable candidates receive a notification about a shift opening, and the fastest ones can accept the shift with just one tap.

Enabling mobile time and attendance

Time and attendance can be easy with dynamic worker apps. Enabled with GPS technology, these apps allow the worker to clock in and out of their work location, instantly and with just a simple tap. A perfect alternative to the expensive time and attendance devices that require upkeep and cooperation among venues, agencies, and end client employers.

Woman clocking in and out

Engaging your workers with your business

As the brilliant communication tools they are, dynamic worker apps also provide useful information to your workers like their timesheet data and their previous shifts. All in all, these tools allow your dynamic workers to gain control over their work life, making them feel more engaged with your agency. And of course, a happy employee is a more profitable and efficient employee.

But wait… Do I need to develop my own app?

Why would you do that? Some of the biggest staffing agencies in the world trust the experts to do this. No need to reinvent the wheel! Leveraging tools like MySirenum offers your company the advantages of years of experience and support, plus a broad understanding of the entire employment market, which has allowed us to build an app that can handle just about every employment scenario.

July 27, 2018

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Using Philosophy to Resolve the Lack of Candidates

King Cheung

King Cheung, Director of Sales

In my role here at Sirenum, I speak to temporary staffing agencies across the UK and Continental Europe every day. I ask them about their operational issues, and almost without exception, they trot out the issue of it being a candidate’s market. They say that particularly in the hourly temping market, there is a real dearth of candidates willing to sign up, turn up, and put in a shift. This lack, they say, is reflected in their declining order fulfilment rates. And, of course, the biggest shame is agencies being offered business and being unable to engage candidates in order to fulfil it. Money left on the (empty) table.

no workers

And the more people say it, the truer it becomes.

But it’s a strange thing. Because I also regularly talk to the people who are candidates–who sign up, show up, and put in shifts for agencies. And although for some, it is indeed a lifestyle choice, and they are happy to get work here and there, the vast majority say they would like more work than they get from the agency.  Many of them even sign up to multiple agencies in order to get more work. Even many people who work full-time want extra hours from agencies. There is evidently no lack of purpose or drive in the temping population to get out there and put the hours in, wherever they can.

The real truth is that for agencies, it is almost impossible to identify availability and then provide enough work for everyone in their worker pool, in a timely manner, with the tools available to them (telephone, rolodex, e-mail, text message, etc.). And for workers, they are just not visible enough to the agencies to get shifts quickly without tools that offer direct engagement and a window into their own availability.

So clearly, we are talking about two opposing truths–or perceptions–here, and each one is equally valid. So, using the Hegelian principle of dialectical synthesis, the philosophical acceptance of these two opposing truths enables us to bring them together, to reach a greater truth. Which is that if both agencies and workers had better tools to interact and communicate more effectively, there would be a higher fulfilment rate of jobs to workers. This would deliver a wide variety of benefits to all parties: more hours a week for the worker by being more visible; a higher fulfilment rate for agencies through better mining of their existing resources better; and better delivery of service for clients, by increasing coverage rates.

Agencies have an active pool of workers, but they also have a passive pool of people whom they may not have used recently or who, for some reason, have fallen out of favour. But, the passive pool notwithstanding, even the active pool is underutilised – the average worker does only 18-22 hours a week for many agencies. And if you believe when they say they would love more hours, that leaves a vast amount of capacity sitting in the agency’s active pool of workers.  If an agency could somehow unlock the capacity just of their active pool, the whole problem of the lack of candidates goes away.

This is where a dynamic workforce management platform like Sirenum comes in. Sirenum offers a number of powerful features that unlock the latent capacity of a pool of workers in a rapid and easy-to-use way. Let me offer you a case study in how this works in a real-life scenario. One of our customers is a staffing agency, providing ancillary staff to the rail industry. A few weeks ago, one of their customers, a Train Operating Company, announced that there would be strike action from their drivers, and that they needed the agency to provide 58 (!) support staff for the following morning (!!).

Staffing trainThe agency used a feature in Sirenum called Open Shift, to broadcast this shift offer to a mass of workers simultaneously – over a hundred, in fact – and, within 10 minutes, the agency had fulfilled 29 of the 58 shifts. Ten. Whole. Minutes. To fill 29 shifts. And, before long, all the shifts were filled. This operation has moved on from believing–like everyone else–that there is a dearth of candidates, to instead optimising the capacity of its pool of workers – and it’s a situation where everyone wins.

I didn’t think learning Hegel at University was going to help me much in my career–unless I was intending to enter left-wing politics, which I had no intention of doing–but how wrong I was. The answer to the issue of a lack of workers is dialectical synthesis.

 

July 18, 2018

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Sirenum halfway 2018

2018: What a (Half-Year) It’s Been

Usually, first half reviews are published in the first week of July so forgive us for getting this post up a bit later than originally hoped, but frankly, we’ve been swamped!

Many software entrepreneurs are into mountaineering and it’s no wonder, building a software business is a lot like climbing a mountain: it’s difficult, requires teamwork, the summit is not always where it appears to be, and you’re always looking for the next summit.

We started the year here at Sirenum with some big mountains in mind, and looking back to our annual kickoff in January, we can already say: What a year 2018 is!

In only six months, we have added six new Sirenumites to the team, expanding the services, development and commercial teams, in a continued commitment to improving the services and products that we offer to our clients. As we had hoped and planned, Sirenum is quickly becoming the workforce management solution of choice for the largest agencies in the world, chosen by the biggest and most complex employers for our product’s flexibility and industrial strength.

Sirenum halfway 2018

Our product market leadership continues as we released a major product update with a new user interface and we have also delivered numerous new versions in the past six months. Sirenum also launched Sirenum Clock, driving innovation in the world of BYOD time and attendance capture. Also on the product front, even we have been surprised by the astonishing success of tools like F3 by Sirenum, driving down the time-to-fill to an almost unimaginable eight seconds.

In the spring, Sirenum stepped up to the big leagues by joining Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) as a corporate member. That was followed by our sponsorship of their “Collaboration in the Gig Economy” event, where we proudly earned the audience and dragons’ vote to win the Dragons’ Den competition.

Onto the corporate development front, in May we completed our first year as a member of the Mayor’s International Business Programme, alongside dozens of other leading London-based scale ups. We’ve also established and deepened partnerships with key players like Twilio, TextLocal, and 1218.

Finally, Sirenum just recently gained G-Cloud 10 certification, further demonstrating our commitment to the public sector and those business that service it.

All in all, we want to thank our team, clients, and partners for our continued growth and the amazing progress towards the next summit. We look forward to an even more exciting second half of the year! Keep climbing!

July 2, 2018

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Sirenum Gains G-Cloud 10 Certification

London-based dynamic workforce management software provider announces availability of its platform on the latest iteration of UK government framework for purchasing cloud-based solutions

g-cloud 8Continuing its commitment to the public sector and those agencies and vendors that serve it, Sirenum, the UK’s leading provider of cloud-based dynamic workforce management software, is proud to announce the availability of its platform on the latest iteration of the G-Cloud Framework, G-Cloud 10, via GOV.UK Digital Marketplace.

Sirenum’s cloud-based scheduling, monitoring, and financial software is used by some of the world’s leading employers such as Manpower, Randstad, and FirstGroup. The company has been a regular fixture on the Digital Marketplace since debuting with G-Cloud 8 in 2016.

G-Cloud 10 is run as a collaboration between the Government Digital Service and the Crown Commercial Service and is operated through the Digital Marketplace. It is the 10th iteration of the G-Cloud framework, which launched in 2012. So far, nearly £3 billion has been spent through the G-Cloud framework, with 48% of that spend going to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“We’ve long been focused on supporting the public sector and streamlining the procurement process,” said Sirenum founder and CEO Benjamin Rubin. “Updating to G-Cloud 10 demonstrates that commitment and reassures our clients and prospects in the government and those who serve them that we will provide the best the cloud has to offer in terms of dynamic workforce management.”

About Sirenum
Sirenum powers the dynamic workforce. As the leading global provider of cloud-based workforce management technology to temporary staffing agencies, Sirenum provides transformational technology to innovative employers, streamlining the management of tens of thousands of workers across the UK, Europe, and the USA, including organisations in the government, transport and logistics, care, and security and events verticals. To learn more about Sirenum technology for dynamic workforce management, please visit www.sirenum.com/solutions.
Contact: Joshua Pines, Director of Marketing and Corporate Development, josh.pines+PR@sirenum.com