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.”

February 22, 2018

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The Four Worst WFM Mistakes to Avoid We Hear From the Industry

Virtually every employer we meet is in need of business transformation. While changing established processes in an organisation isn’t easy, adopting a modern workforce management (WFM) solution like Sirenum drives an increase in productivity and profitability after just a few months. But what’s really remarkable is how tightly these employers hold onto existing processes that frankly, make little to no sense. So we wanted to share some of the worst ideas we’ve come across. Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Whiteboards


Some of the people that we talk to are currently using whiteboards to manage their dynamic workforce. While that may make sense for teams of 20-30 people, what can we say about it when it’s for teams of 4,000+?! Sure, anyone can see what’s written on it, plus it’s easy to use and easy to understand. But let’s not forget about the major drawback: it gets erased with a simple wipe! Having your roster sorted is not just useful for day to day operations, but it’s also crucial for analysing different parameters. Which ones? The buying behaviour of each of your clients, the historical records of the hours worked by your team, the usual amount of hours spent in a specific shift, and more. This information is crucial, but don’t forget other things that will be missing from your messy whiteboard: risk management, health and safety requirements for a job, your workers’ historical preferences and requests…the list goes on and on.

2. Corkboards

corkboard

Some managers want to innovate and decide to make information clear and available to everyone in the team by printing a table and hanging it on a corkboard. Expecting your dynamic workers to be aware of this information is simply madness, since they don’t work during office hours only, and they may live far away from the offices. That’s why the solution seems clear to some managers: phone calls, all the time, all day. So many office positions in young temporary job agencies are filled with people in charge of making phone calls to communicate shifts to their workers. When oranisations leverage this “strategy,” we generally see frustrated teams, high turnover and low quality operations, resulting in client unhappiness. Leveraging modern communication tools unified with scheduling software can quickly simplify things for management, as well as improving effectiveness and profitability. Having the information available at all times in their phone also empowers and engages your workers.

3. Spreadsheets


Some small temporary recruitment agencies start their journey by using a spreadsheet to assign openings to workers. And since some spreadsheet systems nowadays allow users to work together online on the same spreadsheet in real time, some may think this is a great idea. But there are so many things that can and will go wrong. For example, when using something like Google Sheets, your information is isolated from other systems. So you still need to manually enter all the information again in other programs to perform other important tasks like payroll. Useful tools like geofencing or live time and attendance tools are detached from roster information if you’re simply using spreadsheets. Making sure your workers are compliant or have the right-to-work is also impossible to verify if you’re using this method. And don’t even get us started on what spreadsheets do for GDPR! Last but not least, a spreadsheet doesn’t allow you scale your business, since it is simply not sustainable for large workforces. Once you reach 150 or so workers, they just can’t handle the complexity. Yes, it’s true: spreadsheets are keeping your business from growing!

4. WhatsApp

WhastApp, Facebook, Instagram… you name it. Important communications for your team shouldn’t rely only on social tools that most workers use for fun, or don’t use at all! We’ve been amazed by how many businesses we meet are managing their teams with these tools.  They’re used mainly to know their team’s availability, making it really hard for managers to make sense of what’s really going on with their staff. Even for the smartest person out there, it is not possible to read a bunch of messages and then remember everyone’s availability, doctor’s appointments, holiday requests, and more. Using this uncertain or even wrong information into the roster is a headache! And of course, this leads to uncovered shifts, lower productivity, higher turnover, and less satisfied clients. But leveraging communication tools integrated within the scheduler allows you to accurately keep track of all relevant pieces of information in real time.

Sirenum is an end to end workforce management solution, able to manage all of this and much more on a single platform. If you want to learn more about how Sirenum is already helping some of the biggest employers in the world, request a demo of Sirenum today!

January 31, 2018

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Sirenum Releases Major Update to its Dynamic Workforce Management Platform

Massive Performance Improvements Highlight January Release

London, UK–Sirenum, the leading UK-based provider of technology to manage a dynamic workforce, is pleased to announce general availability of the latest version of its software platform. Version 184 represents a major performance improvement for users, particularly in the scheduling user interface. Beta customers have reported page load times up to five times faster than the previous version of Sirenum.

“We’re delighted to see what a positive impact the new version has on users and their ability to execute. With our fast-paced client base, schedules are often decided with seconds to spare so every one counts,” said Hagai Shatz, Sirenum’s Director of R&D. “Our new implementation of worker pools allows our users to work more contextually, so we haven’t just improved technically, we’ve also made big strides in terms of process.”

“I’m so proud of how our engineering team has continued to improve the product even after so many releases,” remarked Founder and CEO Benjamin Rubin. “The kinds of improvements they’ve pushed through here really get to the heart of what makes dynamic workforce management such an exciting space to be in.”

For more information about Sirenum solutions for dynamic workforce management, please visit sirenum.com/solutions.

December 21, 2017

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Sirenum Transforms Care Operations at Global Agency

The care industry is one of the most complex environments when it comes to managing and supplying staff. Being compliant with government regulations and getting the right professional to the right place with all the right credentials can be a nightmare to many operations teams at staffing agencies.

Effectively managing staff in the care industry can be challenging. But we believe it can be easier when adopting the right technology, plus it can help management and financial departments optimise results. One of our clients, a global temp agency here in the UK, just finished an analysis of their team’s usage of Sirenum after three months with our platform being live in their care division. The results are eye-opening.

At the top of the list is probably the fact that they’ve recorded an increase of gross profit of £2,000 per consultant per month. We had to ask for them to repeat that stat, because even we couldn’t believe our ears. We’re so excited for this client to see these improvements. We’ve put together this infographic to help you understand the benefits they’re realising with Sirenum.

Sirenum Care Client ROI infographic

October 24, 2017

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World's best boss

How To Grow Your Temp Staffing Business

The Challenge

When you work in the temporary staffing industry, you know how challenging it can be keeping your clients and workers engaged and satisfied. Many times a month your clients call demanding a certain amount of people for an event. And more often than not, the event starts tomorrow or even tonight! Of course, promptness is an asset you want your temp staffing business to be known for. So even though it’s a ridiculous request, you jump at the opportunity.

It can seem easy to manage 20, 30 or even 50 workers. Your managers know their teams and you think they can rely on their memory to know their availability, experience, certificates and payment terms. You ultimately rely on the candidates to have their legal documents up to date. You seem to connect with your managers and your staff. Your clients send you compliments. You seem to be ready to expand your business.

temp staffing business boss

You Start Hiring

When you want to grow your temp staffing business, you expect more opportunities to come from existing and new clients. You want to have a bigger workforce to be able to provide a larger amount of people to that client’s big gig. You want to sell and fill more hours. You want to satisfy your clients so that they will recommend you to others, and slowly but surely you want to keep bringing more and more people to your business and become an industry leader. Everything looks clear in your mind because you’ve been doing so well so far. What could go wrong?

Eve-ry-thing Goes Wrong

You’ve put a lot of effort into bringing your business to the next level. You’ve reinvested, hired more managers, you’ve interviewed more candidates and you have, perhaps, moved to bigger and fancier premises. Your good intentions are undeniable and everyone should see it. But one day, one of your clients calls complaining about the lateness of some of your workers, or tells you that they didn’t even show up! That hard knock repeats week after week and eventually some of your clients stop calling you at all. Many of your managers can’t put up with such long hours and busy work and decide to quit. Some of your candidates quit as well, as they don’t feel engaged at all. You don’t understand why is this happening. Why are the same well proven methods and processes you had as a smaller business no longer sufficient?

temp staffing business challenge

Suddenly You Understand

You do some research, receive good mentoring, you talk to people. Finally you figure out that a larger and more complex workforce require a higher amount of technology to keep track of important things. Their availability, skills, permits, legal documentation, payment terms and more, everything should be unified. You understand that your managers are just human and can only retain a certain amount of information in their memories. They can’t have everyones’ data in their minds AND keep your operations smooth. You understand that your managed teams should be interchangeable between your managers if some of them is sick or need to go on holiday. Quick, immediate, without hours of training. You acknowledge that your clients are looking for the best service. If you don’t provide it, they can go to any of your competitors, which are not just a few in such a crowded industry.

Rebounding

As you know, every cloud has a silver lining. One day you decide to not only grow, but grow stronger by leveraging technology to empower your staff. You start using a cloud-based workforce management solution that allows your managers to work from any device or location, allowing them to work from home when convenient. You keep all the important data up-to-date and available to everyone. You have staff requests at your fingertips and directly implemented into the roster. You leverage GPS technology to know when someone can’t make it in time before they even know, so you can solve the problem. Your roster software suggests the best candidates for a specific job so you don’t need to think who’s the best fit. The system knows who are the best depending on the gig.

Everyone in your company benefits from a mobile app that allows your workers to communicate with your managers to request time off. They can view their incoming shifts and payments. They even receive notificatons with enough time to leave their house for work in time, getting directions to the venue. They use the app to swap shifts with relevant team members, and their managers can approve. Workers would only need their phone to clock in and out and get the client signature–no paper required! These and many other modern functionalities engage them with your business.

Finally, That Day Comes

Cautiously, your instinct and your easily accessible reports tell you how your operations are starting to run so much more smoothly. You start to see how your managers are happier, and they actually like to work for you. They have more free time during the day, so they have started to focus on higher value tasks they were unable to tackle before. One day your temp staffing business receives a call from a big client. They want 50 extra people for tonight’s event. And after what happens next, you don’t suffer anymore: one of your managers inputs the request in the system, all the relevant candidates receive an immediate invitation via app to work tonight, and the 50 fastest fingers click and get the job. Your stare wide-eyed at how your client is still on the line when you can give confirmation. And that night you go to bed knowing that everything will be just fine.

temp staffing business software

As you can see, growing your temp staffing business can be easier when you decide to leverage technology to engage your staff and make your operations smooth. There are a number of KPIs and processes a modern agency should be tracking before making a decision. Check out our Staffing Software ROI calculator today and don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more.

October 18, 2017

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Why Collecting Workforce Availability is Crucial–And How Best To Do It

There’s little doubt that scheduling your dynamic workers causes your teams distress. A big reason for that is getting availability from your workforce. No matter the industry or size of your business, someone needs to put together a schedule, and without accurate availability, that pain is definitely bigger.

puzzled manager

Do You Know Your Team’s Availability?

How often do you review your schedule? And how often do you get your team’s availability? I bet those two are not aligned. When they’re not aligned, you can build rosters that are completely out of whack. And that leads to uncovered shifts, lower productivity, higher turnover, and less satisfied clients.

Takeaway: Minimising availability concerns will significantly improve your bottom line.

Lumbergh TPS Report

How to Collect Workforce Availability–Hint: Not by Paper!

There are two kinds of availability businesses primarily need to be concerned about–general and ad hoc. Traditionally, general availability was collected at the interview–usually on paper–and updated at best every six months, often via phone. Obviously, both of these scenarios are suboptimal, as your data is only available to whoever wrote it down and out-of-date quite quickly as well. Plus, demanding a paper reply to something can be pretty annoying–workers don’t want to be chased by Bill Lumbergh to complete their TPS reports!

On the other hand, ad hoc availability has historically been transmitted via word-of-mouth–“I have to go to the doctor tomorrow.” The cons of such a process are readily apparent–what happens if it’s a different site manager the next day, for example?! Of course, sometimes these updates are handled by paper as well and there’s no shortage of problems with that. If nothing else, the time required to update your scheduling and HR software based on the paper input is time that could be spent on higher value activities

Takeaway: Be wary of any technology that requires you to leverage paper for either of these! No more TPS reports!

A Better Way

But in today’s world, with applicant tracking systems standard at nearly all staffing agencies and many other markets, capturing general availability is relatively easy. But leaving it in your ATS does little for your efficiency. It’s key to have an ATS that integrates with your scheduling and workforce management software.

sending availability via app

But that still leaves ad hoc availability challenges. You’re not going to open up an ATS for every doctor’s visit and basketball game! Since there are now smartphones in the hands (or pockets) of virtually every one of your new workers, why not leverage that as a tool in your arsenal against availability conflicts? Soliciting availability via mobile app–or even SMS if your workers lack smartphones–can dramatically improve your operations. Your workers will be more engaged, you’ll see much lower turnover and higher customer satisfaction.

Takeaway: Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Meet your workers where they are.

To learn how much you can save by leveraging a mobile app for your dynamic workers and ATS integration for your workforce management and scheduling, please visit sirenum.com/ROI.

October 3, 2017

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Being a Superhero Just Got Easier

Today, we at Sirenum are launching a new marketing campaign: Become a Staffing Superhero. That’s not usually fodder for a blog post and press release, but we are so excited about what we’re doing and how it will impact our clients and partners that we couldn’t help ourselves. We also had a lot of fun with it and think you will too!

We have designed a team of superheroes who represent each of the five key processes and values that we believe will define the next generation of temp agencies. Here’s a little bit of background on the five characters and why they matter. To learn more, go to staffingsuperhero.com

Wonder Worker

Wonder Worker staffing supeheroMeet Wonder Worker. We believe staff engagement and compliance are crucial to 21st century staffing. Wonder Workers are safer, more engaged, and less likely to leave.

Financial FlashFinancial Flash staffing supehero

Meet Financial Flash. Payroll is the source of more headaches at our clients than any other process. A Financial Flash gets to payroll in a quarter of the time with drastically fewer mistakes. A Financial Flash also doesn’t sacrifice on compliance, virtually eliminating costly and timely regulatory violations.

Super Scheduler

Super Scheduler staffing supeheroMeet Super Scheduler. At the end of the day, your clients measure you on whether you got the the right person to the right place at the right time. Super Schedulers build and manage schedules faster than a speeding bullet–at least 50% faster, reducing time-to-fill by up to 80%.

 

App GirlApp Girl staffing supehero

Meet App Girl. Mobility matters more to millennials than just about anything. App Girl knows it. Her superior training and knowledge is one reason why. MySirenum is another.

Orange Lantern

Orange Lantern staffing supeheroMeet Orange Lantern. Customer satisfaction is a moving target, so your workers need to be where they’re supposed to be. Whether it’s geofencing or support for lone worker and patrol, Orange Lanterns have the tools to protect your staff while delighting your clients.

October 3, 2017

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Sirenum Defines Five Key Values for Today’s Temp Agencies

London-based workforce management vendor announces new campaign to educate market on the benefits of improved worker engagement, streamlined scheduling, increased mobility, faster payroll processing, and expanded staff monitoring.

Birmingham, UK–Sirenum, the leading UK provider of cloud-based workforce management to the temp agency market, announced its latest educational campaign, “How to Become a Staffing Superhero.” The campaign, which launched today to coincide with the launch of the Recruitment Agency Expo in Birmingham, will highlight how innovative staffing agencies in the temp market will need to behave in the era of the gig economy.

The Staffing Superhero campaign focuses on a team of superheroes and their strengths to communicate the importance of five key areas: improved worker engagement, streamlined scheduling, increased mobility, faster payroll processing, and expanded staff monitoring.

“We talk to agencies every day. No matter the industry or size of agency, our conversations always seem to come back to these five areas,” said Benjamin Rubin, CEO and Founder of Sirenum. “So we set out to determine what we could learn from these businesses and how technology can help, and we’ve synthesised that into something they could all benefit from.”

Staffing agencies looking to learn more can visit staffingsuperhero.com and keep their eyes open for a series of white papers, webinars, and other materials to help them get the most out of their efforts to become staffing superheroes.

Contact: Joshua Pines

August 1, 2017

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Get On The Bus, Gus! Sirenum Expands Into the Bus Industry With FirstBus

FirstBus Selects Sirenum To Improve Scheduling, Minimise Fatigue, and Improve Compliance

London, UK–Sirenum, the leading provider of workforce management solutions in the cloud for the rail industry, has expanded its transportation industry footprint to include the bus sector. Sirenum will now enable First Bus, one of Britain’s largest bus operators, to manage their depot staff in the cloud. This agreement deepens Sirenum’s relationship with FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America. For almost three years, Sirenum has been the workforce management platform of choice for FirstGroup’s GWR, one of the most popular train operating companies (TOCs) in the UK.

First Bus chose Sirenum for its industry-leading integration of fatigue and health and safety management capabilities with its powerful scheduling and roster management engine. GWR has leveraged these capabilities plus Sirenum’s monitoring tools since 2014, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds across its UK depot network while maintaining the highest levels of health and safety compliance. To that end, the GWR solution has also garnered multiple awards and nominations including best practice by the GWR health and safety external auditor and a finalist for a London Transport Award.

With our heritage in staffing and the rail, solving workforce management challenges for First Bus is a natural extension of the work we’ve already done at GWR for FirstGroup,” said Sirenum CEO and founder Benjamin Rubin. “In our short history, Sirenum has time and again addressed the most complex work environments so we’re thrilled to take what we’ve learned to help FirstBus.”

Sirenum’s scheduling module is already in action with FirstBus, but the hope is to implement the rest of the Sirenum platform just as GWR has successfully done. Early feedback from First Bus executives has highlighted Sirenum’s ease of use and administration

Managing your workforce in the transportation industry is particularly challenging, especially in the UK, which has some of the strictest health and safety regulations in the world.” said Rubin, who had spent nearly a decade in the rail industry prior to founding Sirenum. “So it’s important for us to develop and deliver innovative technology that is easy for our transport customers to digest and can grow with their needs.”

To learn more about Sirenum’s solutions for the transport industry, visit sirenum.com/transport.

 

 

July 26, 2017

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Dynamic Worker Schedule

Why do dynamic workers need to be scheduled?

When you work at a software startup, your friends and family often have a hard time understanding what you do. You get a lot of, “something with computers?” But when I joined forces with Benjamin Rubin as a co-founder of Sirenum, I figured one cool thing about working at Sirenum was that recruitment–as an industry–was not so esoteric as to confuse my friends when I described it–my family is another story! After all, anyone who has ever had a job or been a manager has likely been recruited or done some recruiting in their lives. And many would have worked with an outside agency to help with hiring.

we are hiring

So basically, I would tell my friends about Sirenum…and the blank stares about the need to schedule dynamic workers were impossible to ignore. Most seemed to just assume that people showed up when and where they were expected to show up and that was that. But if you’ve ever worked for or at a temp agency, or at a construction site, a hospital, or any of millions of other work sites where people don’t sit behind a desk, you know that it’s actually a lot harder than you think to get all the right people there on time. The stares get even blanker when I explain that most of these kinds of businesses don’t leverage modern technology to help with this challenge.

blank stare

In fact, we at Sirenum even get blank stares from people who currently work at recruitment agencies. Of all places! But in a way it’s understandable because there’s a pretty clear delineation between the temp and perm parts of recruitment agencies, and most employees on the perm side, as well as anyone in sales on either side, are rarely concerned with the operations of their temp business. The silos in the industry are heavy duty.

schedule industry silos

 

And so, whether those salespeople admit it or not, there are millions of temp workers, in every corner of the globe, who need to be scheduled. In the US alone there are over 11,000 temporary staffing agencies, according to the American Staffing Association. And right now, the vast majority are using whiteboards, spreadsheets, and notepads to figure out who goes where and when. It doesn’t take much thinking to realise that these are not the most efficient tools.

It’s interesting to see how people outside the industry don’t even realise that scheduling is necessary at first. But then they quickly come around to see that software should be there. However, agencies have their own built-in biases. So when we say scheduling to agencies–and corporations that manage dynamic workers–we are talking about leveraging advanced technology to schedule (and manage the schedules of) their workforce. It’s crucial to the success of any business reliant upon dynamic workers. And it’s why our mission hasn’t changed since Benjamin first leveraged modern workforce management technology in his own agency before founding Sirenum–to streamline the management of dynamic workers, putting the right person in the right place at the right time, even in the most complex situations.