SMS staffing solution fills last-minute vacancies fast for aged care facility

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4 min read | July 7, 2021

Humanforce, previously known as TimeTarget, is an Australian-owned company that provides clients with a leading workforce management, time and attendance, and scheduling solution. Clients range from small businesses employing a small number of people at a single location to large multinational corporations employing thousands of people across multiple locations.

Estia Health Aged Care (Estia) is one of the largest residential aged care providers in Australia and uses multiple components of the TimeTarget solution.

Systems Manager, Jeremy Cassidy, said that text messaging has made a significant impact on the business where alternative communication methods had been less effective.

SMS helps Estia deliver a better service for everyone

Estia Health was experiencing challenges in communicating vacant shift availability to their staff.

As a communication tool, SMS is immediate, non-intrusive and interactive. Another benefit of SMS is that 90% of messages are opened within 90 seconds.

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For many businesses, such as health services, this high open rate can be critical to filling last-minute roster vacancies, coupled with the fact that most adults own a mobile phone and never leave home without their mobile phone in hand.

A great application for SMS is to fill unplanned leave in rosters. Before SMS we would have put up posters advertising available shift times or had staff members making phone calls. However, posters are really hit and miss and phone calls are costly and time consuming.

Jeremy Cassidy, Systems Manager, Estia Aged Care

Humanforce has been a MessageMedia partner since 2013 and has integrated MessageMedia’s SMS API into its solution. This means clients can send and receive SMS messages from within the TimeTarget software via a seamless and easy process.

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For Cassidy, their key application of SMS has been to fill unplanned leave in rosters via Humanforce’s system. Roster and shift management functions in Humanforce provide significant advantages for an organization’s scheduling activities, including supporting centralised scheduling and work shift bidding based on ‘best fit’ candidates, using SMS for requests and responses.

Because of its success, Estia also uses SMS for staff communication and notification alerts.

RELATED: Learn how SMS can help businesses of all kinds manage their workforce.

When we need to let our people know about staff meeting times or upcoming flu vaccination information, SMS makes sense. The message is delivered straightaway and we can include information such as dates, times and venues, which makes it easy for everyone.

Jeremy Cassidy, Systems Manager, Estia Aged Care

Text integration provides cost and time savings with increased efficiencies

Cassidy said that Estia has recorded a number of benefits from the introduction of SMS:

Specifically, we have been able to reduce our agency costs and fill shifts more efficiently. I would estimate our agency costs have fallen by as much as 20% for the Estia facilities utilising the service.

Jeremy Cassidy, Systems Manager, Estia Aged Care

Estia has also noticed some unexpected benefits that are having a positive effect on the company. Staff members are much happier to receive texts notifying them of vacant shifts over other communications. Estia’s administrators are also satisfied because they can also ensure continuity of care, which is very important in aged care for vulnerable residents.

Cassidy has also seen a ream of other results including staff spending less time calling other employees to fill shifts. While he could not provide an exact metric for time saved, he believes it would be very “high.” For Cassidy, this is one of the greatest benefits of using SMS, as staff need to be focused on supporting residents rather than doing unnecessary administration.

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