I’m a fan of comic books and superheroes. While I must admit my tastes do lean toward the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are some DC Comics that I enjoy. (Side note: I can’t wait for Shazam! to hit theaters next year.)
But I digress. One of the most well-known comic book superheroes is Batman. When Gotham City was in trouble, the Commissioner would put out the ‘bat signal’ and Batman would respond. On one hand, we wanted the city to get desperate, so Batman would show up and save the day. It’s a comic and that how the storyline works.
Today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos reminds me that in real life, we don’t want to get desperate with recruiting. We don’t want to send out the ‘bat signal’. Especially when it comes to staffing and scheduling.
Monitor staffing levels regularly. When I worked in the hospitality industry, we had a handful of positions that had “open requisitions”, meaning if we found someone who was good, we hired them. The turnover for the position was such that we didn’t wait for an opening to occur to begin recruiting. If headcount was over one month, it all balanced out eventually.
Consider cross-training. Organizations should consider cross-training for positions with similar transferrable skills. The company wins because they can fill open shifts with a person from a different department. Employees win because they can pick up an extra shift if they want to.
Use technology to facilitate scheduling. I remember the days when shift trades happened manually. An employee would find someone to swap shifts with. Then both employees would have to visit the manager and explain the situation. Then the manager would approve the shift trade and update the schedule. It took days to coordinate. Today, all of that can be completed in minutes with technology.
Yes, there are times when emergencies happen, and we have to send up the distress signal to cover a shift or fill a position. But those should be the exceptions and not the rule with recruiting. With the right processes in place, the organization can keep sending out the ‘bat signal’ to a minimum. Not only does it help the organization run smoother, but it’s less of a strain on resources.13