Workforce Management Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Workforce Management Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Workforce Management Software

In Gig economies, efficient workforce management impacts not only the bottom line but also the 'people.' Identifying workforce capacities and recognizing talent gaps are essential for the long term success of the organizations. The current economic conditions and global business scenarios have compelled workforce managers to increase the agility and resilience of their workforce. Organizations are leveraging innovations in technology to deploy hybrid workforce models that enable the workforce to work from any location or site without stalling the work productivity. 

However, balancing the organizational goals and the workforce’s needs can frazzle even the most seasoned workforce managers. Therefore, using technology such as workforce management software to accelerate, manage, and streamline overall workforce processes can turbocharge workforce managers to create talent pools that lead the market. 

What is Workforce Management?

Workforce management can be defined as an organized and fully integrated process that mandates proactive planning to avoid a surplus or shortage of talent supply, retain the existing employees, and utilize the workforce in an optimal way. Workforce management is a set of strategic actions, and initiatives companies take to manage their human resources.        

A workforce management program includes the below components: 

Workforce Planning

Businesses need to ensure that the optimum number of workers are available to implement strategic workforce management. Workforce planning is based on the premise that if an organization can forecast its requirements, it can be staffed more efficiently. This can help them avoid instant layoffs or panic hiring. The rate at which change takes place in the talent market is highly volatile. The right number of employees with the required skills is crucial for an organization's growth. Hence, it's best if an organization manages its talent pipeline and current employee base more efficiently. 

Updating HR Practices

More often than not, HR professionals fail to understand the dynamics of the businesses. They tend to customize their approach towards their work and make the mistake of operating independently without considering the organization's status quo. This makes them inefficient when there are periods of budget cuts or rapid growth. It indicates a lack of strategy and long term vision on their part. The workforce management program makes sure that HR practices are updated according to the changes in the business cycle.

Workforce Development 

Workforce development means reskilling and polishing your employees by training, skill-development, employee development programs, etc.  

Workforce Monitoring and metrics 

Increasing the productivity of the workforce requires tracking of productive hours, clock-ins and clock out time, monitoring of progress, especially of the remote workforce. Employees may be evaluated on metrics such as effectiveness, work compliance, efficiency, initiatives, etc. Workforce monitoring is an integral part of the workforce management process. 

Workforce Analytics

Understanding the current workforce trends, mapping the skill sets of the current workforce, analyzing the workforce turnover in each department, and building a roadmap for future workforce falls in the workforce analytics component of workforce management strategy. 

Why do businesses need an effective workforce management strategy?

In most organizations, workforce management doesn't move beyond the talking stage.  In order to tackle this issue, it's crucial to decode why it is important for HR departments to implement the strategies required for effective workforce management. There are various reasons why they need to be proactive in their planning, creation, and updation of the workforce strategy. Let us have a look at a few of them:

1. For eliminating the ambiguity 

Working proactively avoids ambiguity. Organizations can avoid situations that can catch them off guard by preparing well in advance and developing the ability to rapidly figure out how to manage the talent inventory in the foreseeable future.

2. For smooth Business cycle  

There are several significant impacts that good workforce planning can have on a business. Organizations can smooth out business cycles by developing strategies that make use of the talent inventory in an optimum way. This can be done by hiring timely, hiring people with the right set of skills, and investing in employee development.

3. For Identifying problems at an early stage

Having a proper workforce management system in place alerts managers of potential problems and thereby ensures problems are taken care of before they develop into catastrophes. 

4. Taking advantage of opportunities at hand 

When businesses get sufficient lead-time, they can gather the talent and resources needed to take advantage of available opportunities. Efficient management can help them to avail of the time required for spotting and getting talented people onboard.

5.  Building a brand image

By being well prepared for any eventuality, businesses build their image, brand, and credibility, so other organizations and clients will be more likely to invest in them.

6.  Channelizing talent in the right direction

Channelizing the talent pipeline in the right direction and managing the current talent inventory in a better way can mitigate any impact of economic boom-and-bust on the business.

What are the challenges faced by businesses in Workforce Management?

Work optimization 

Assigning the right person with the required skills is essential. Without a proper strategy, planning, and deployment of the appropriate workforce, companies will have to face the issue of increased costs and decreased productivity. Optimizing work by assigning work orders to the appropriate workers is a significant challenge for businesses, especially for many field service managers. 

Lack of Productivity

Ensuring employee productivity levels are healthy is a crucial challenge for managers. Working both inside and outside the office can be full of distractions that affect an employee's overall efficiency. Both in the office environment and remote environment, evaluating the employee's productivity level is a difficult task.

Frequent Errors in data: 

Errors in calculating productive time, overtime, absent days, leave count, payroll, etc. are common issues faced by workforce managers. See the below research by Cognanta:

challenges of work force management

Scheduling challenges

Many companies have several shift patterns. The schedules of the employees are in different parts of the day.  Maintaining multiple work allotment slots on paper is inefficient in the modern workplace.

Deciding Accountability

The overall performance of the business can be affected by the lack of accountability. Especially In the remote working environment, if there is no monitoring and a proper evaluation system, it can be challenging to hold employees responsible.

Lack of visibility

The main challenge of managing a remote team is trust in this remote work environment. In the office area, employers can easily monitor the employee’s functioning, can physically see their check-in and check-out time, but, in a remote work environment, it is difficult to trust when there is no visibility. 

Lack of Accurate Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluation is essential because, without it, one cannot precisely know-how and in what terms employees are contributing to the business. Thus a proper assessment and monitoring are necessary to identify employee's work accurately. It is difficult and challenging to evaluate performance, especially when employees are working remotely. 

Rising operational costs

In an environment where operating costs are continuously increasing, saving costs has become the biggest challenge for managers. Proper planning of the expense factors like salaries, overtime payment, travel expenses, etc. can save and reduce the costs. It is challenging for managers to use the workforce most profitably. 

Some other Challenges are:

  • It is also difficult and challenging to :
  • Manage absences
  • Identify the skills and hire the right people.
  • Identify and reward top performers and high-potential employees.
  • Set individual goals that drive organizational goals and tracking progress
  • Know and decide on the company’s growth or hiring plan over the next few years
  • Prepare employees for future roles and align their roles company's strategy. 

What is Workforce Management Software? 

A workforce management software is a set of applications that assists human resource managers in optimizing, streamlining, and managing their workforce-related operations. It increases overall satisfaction and efficiency of the workforce by taking care of vital business elements such as employee time management, payroll, scheduling, compensation, training, benefits, etc. According to research by Statista,  in 2019, 56% of organizations agreed that workforce management technology met their business needs most of the time.

Workforce management software provides valuable insights and visibility into the workforce metrics and progression in real-time.  It helps to retain a high-performing workforce, reskill low-performing workforce, and increase productivity. Workforce software solves critical workforce management issues suggesting a data-driven action plan. Its predictive capabilities make organizations able to make smarter and faster workforce-related decisions.  

How does workforce management software help organizations in better forecasting of talent requirements?

Talent forecasting is the process of foreseeing upcoming changes in the demand and supply of talent. Workforce management software can successfully forecast the four main aspects of this process:

  1. Estimating an increase or decrease in company growth, output, and revenue.
  2. Estimating the congruous change in talent requirement that comes along with the growth.
  3. Anticipating future vacancies.
  4. Estimating the internal and external availability of the talent required to meet the anticipation.

These predictions can give a heads-up to the HRs and the managers as to what they should expect with regard to talent. They also enable them to develop specific action plans that can provide the company with an edge over its competitors.

workforce management quote

The purpose of designing an action plan is to attract, retain, redeploy, and develop the talent an organization needs in order to meet the predicted quantity and quality of employees in the future. 

The action plan delegates responsibilities and outlines the specific steps that should be taken in order to hire talent from the talent pipeline and make optimum usage of the talent inventory at the levels required for the firm’s estimated growth rate. 

With the features of workforce management software, HR managers can build Action plans for:

  1. Sourcing and hiring an adequate supply of leaders and essential talent.
  2. Internal development and supply of qualified leaders and essential talent.
  3. Predicting the difference between talent needs and availability

By implementing action plans designed using workforce software, HR managers are able to meet anticipated talent needs. 

What are the benefits of Workforce Management Software?

Reduces overall cost

With the help of the Workforce Management tool, the employee time and payment calculations can be done digitally. Thus it saves time as well as eliminates errors. It also helps organizations schedule the work more effectively and adjust staffing levels according to the conditions. These improvements will ultimately reduce the average labor cost.

Increases operational efficiency

WMS helps the organization to boost its workforce productivity. With an automated approach, it processes more data and context in the hands of managers, helping to make better decisions. It helps to assign the right work, to the right people, with the right skills, and at the right time.

Decreases financial and non-compliance risks

The workforce management software can maintain records with statistical proof. It can provide data at any time and reduces financial and non-compliance risks. It allows you to maintain full compliance with all national and local requirements. It can do it automatically and, in most cases, instantly.

Improves customer satisfaction

Managers can use assessable criteria to ensure that the employees are interacting with the clients according to the set standards. The system allows the organization to combine customer service performance as part of your workforce's overall performance review.

Accurate Payroll Calculations

The manual methods of calculations can be tedious, erroneous, ineffective, and time-consuming. The automated system ensures the accuracy and authenticity of results. WMS can maintain the record of the employee’s attendance and then use that data to calculate payroll more accurately. It calculates instantly, thus saves a lot of time. 

Keeps track of employee work progress

The workforce management software keeps extensive reports of the work progress of each employee. It allows employees to track their progress and helps them in the timely completion of projects.

Avoids paper usage

Organizations don't need to store documents of each employee physically, and the huge database of workforce management software can keep all data safe.  This saves heavy usage of paper, making organizations green-friendly and responsible.   

Manage attendance for on-field employees 

The workforce system helps corporate businesses to manage attendance for on-field workers. 

Boosts employee morale

An automated workforce management system increases transparency and manager-employee communication. It not only improves engagement but also boosts employee morale.

Some other benefits are:

  • Saves time
  • Boosts security
  • Improves Analytical Functions
  • Enhances work engagement and performance management
  • Provides access to reports and analysis for future planning
  • Optimizes workforce by strict timelines and budgets
  • Identifies resources for training or disengagement

How to do workforce planning using Workforce management software?

The main reason for undertaking workforce planning is the financial consideration. If done effectively, workforce planning will increase productivity, cut labor costs, and significantly reduce time-to-market. However, there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to workforce planning. While there are some standard components that all plans should include, there are some additional components that can and will work better for some companies as compared to other companies.

The following is a list of the standard components of a workforce plan that organizations can build using workforce management software:

  • Succession planning
  • Leadership and management
  • Employee Retention
  • Gig Workforce Management 
  • Employee replacement and backup plans
  • Employee’s career growth plan

Industry-wise use of Workforce management software:

Industry wise use of workforce management software

Features of Workforce Management System

Performance Management

Performance management functionality allows managers to set proper schedules for employees to work efficiently. Managers can track the achievements of individual employees and the organization as a whole. The analysis provides insights into the procedure of the organization and predicts trends.

Integrations

Businesses can integrate workforce management solutions with other systems such as payroll services, reporting services, quality control services, etc. Connecting the system with other platforms will keep the human resource functionality of businesses linked and provide a complete functionality suite.

Forecasting

The trend analysis functionality in the system will enable managers to examine patterns in employee time and attention while creating schedules or any new policies. Business managers can use forecasting functionality to schedule employees for a specific project according to the performance from past years.

Security

The security features included in workforce management software ensures information is available only to essential stakeholders. Also, the audit trail enables managers to track adjustments within the platform so that they have a record of each activity.

Time Tracking

The feature of time tracking in this system provides businesses with attendance tools like clock-in, clock-out, and monitoring. It provides biometrics and compliance measures as well that ensure added security to these standard systems.

Ability to Use on Mobile

WFM software is available on mobile devices along with computers. The employees can access the system when they are off-site or at home. Whether it is documents or a schedule, one can access or provide information instantly.

Automated Reporting

The software is beneficial for creating reports based on business data. It makes things even more effortless by automating part of this process in the right work management solutions. For example, there is such software that will automatically send reports within the organization to the various departments.

Some other essential features are:

  • Scheduling
  • Multi-Platform Support
  • Employee Database Management
  • Employee Self-Service
  • Time off Management
  • Payroll Integration
  • Document Management                                     

Why choose open source Workforce management software?

The benefit of an open source workforce management software is:

An open source workforce management software will free your organization from future vendor dependence. Once you have deployed the software, you can make necessary changes in settings and customize the version to suit your needs. 

You don't have to worry about monthly or yearly subscription bills. 

In case of any technical glitch, you don't have to depend on the vendor to come and fix it. Your own IT personnel can handle it. 

If you are using the services of a free and open source software, you can save a lot of money. 

Apart from the free and open source workforce management software, organizations that have a large workforce can go for cloud-based workforce management software. 

The list of 7 best Free and Open Source Workforce Management Software

  1. Bitrix24
  2. TimeTrex
  3. Sentrifugo
  4. Staffjoy
  5. OrangeHRM
  6. MintHCM
  7. OpenHRMS

Comparison of 7 best free and open source Workforce Management software:

comparison chart workforce software

  1. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is free and open source workforce management software that comes with a portal to manage the workforce efficiently. The software comes with an intranet, company directory, absence calendar. Leave requests, self-service portals, and many more functionalities that enable companies and their HR department to manage their workforce smoothly. Over 7 million organizations use software solutions by Bitrix24. 

Bitrix 24

(Source-Bitrix24)

    Key Features:

  • Unlimited free users
  • Social intranet, HRIS, and HRMS included
  • Absence management
  • Employee Directory and Employee profiles
  • Make a company organizational chart including all Departments and divisions.
  • Role-based access permissions
  • An enterprise-wide social network for work-related chat
  • Conduct Employee polls
  • Time management, clock in, clock out, and reports for the minimum workday duration.
  • Attendance report, Leave requests, Absence calendar.
  • Employee self-service portal, Customizable employee profiles, employee service requests
  • Internal helpdesk, HR workflow automation
  • Meeting room booking
  • Employee collaboration tools: File sharing, Workgroups Tasks, & Project management
  1. TimeTrex

TimeTrex is an enterprise-grade free and open workforce management software solution that helps human resource managers boost efficiency, provide valuable real-time information, and maintain data integrity. With 365/24/7 access to TimeTrex and a mobile app, managers can track and streamline their workforce from anywhere in the world. 

Timetrex workforce software

(Source-TimeTrex)

    Key Features:

  • Track and monitor employee attendance
  • Modern tablet-based facial recognition time clocks and apps
  • Accurately allocate time with Job costing & expenses.
  • Scheduling & Leave Management
  • Automates schedules and lets your employees access their schedules from any web browser or mobile device.
  • Handles both scheduling and attendance
  • Can process payroll based on employee information
  • Automated recruitment process
  • Track and manage employee qualifications
  • Generates performance reviews for employees
  • Tracks accident/injury reports and disciplinary measures
  • Personal Information Management (PIM)
  • Employees may submit schedule requests directly within TimeTrex.
  • Requests pass through multiple levels of hierarchical authorization for approval.
  • Managers can modify employee schedules from anywhere, anytime.
  1. Sentrifugo

Sentrifugo is a free and open source workforce management software that can be customized to meet organizational goals. With Comprehensive analytics on user activity, attrition rates, department-wise employees, training modules, performance feedback, and many more, Sentrifugo is a one-stop solution for workforce management. 

Sentrifugo workforce software

(Source-Sentrifugo)

    Key Features:

  • Track and manage employee's available time-off
  • Track vacation dates
  • Define the prerequisites for listing an employee
  • Performance appraisal module, self-appraisal ratings, and comments for employees
  • Provide employee performance feedback
  • Managers can define training needs for the future.
  • Employee self-service portal
  • Track time-off details of employees
  • Checks availability of team members for scheduling meetings
  • Managers can view and modify team details.
  • View and export reports to Excel or PDF
  • Perform detailed candidate background checks
  • See leaves, vacation, time offs summary of all employees.
  • Employees can submit service requests or report incidents and see the status of the request.
  • Managers can define request categories and types.
  • Scheduling interviews, shortlisting, keeping track of interview rounds, and selection
  • Create and submit expenses for approval
  • Takes requests to replace or repair assets by employees
  • Maintain comprehensive asset information
  1. OrangeHRM

OrangeHRM is a feature-rich and intuitive free and open source workforce software that offers a secure workforce management environment. It also has a mobile app. With over 4 million active users in over 100 countries, OrangeHRM is used to build a customized HR experience. While its open source version is free to use, for more functions and a comprehensive platform, users can upgrade to its professional and enterprise version that are cloud-hosted platforms. 

orange HRM

(Source-OrangeHRM)

    Key Features:

  • OrangeHRM lets users measure and assign requests
  • Reports in a graphical module with an immersive visual interface
  • Track and manage employee accreditations through an online learning module
  • Access and track employee data in Personnel Information Management (PIM) module
  • Leave/Time-Off Management
  • Track utilized time, overtime, efficiency, etc. through Time & Attendance Management module 
  • Track employees performance with advanced metrics 
  • Manage the recruitment cycle with the recruitment and onboarding module
  • System Administration & User Roles
  • Define Work-flows, employee’s level of access to data with system administration 
  • Travel & Expense Tracker to allocate funds and keep track of expenses 
  • Employee Discipline Management 
  • Training module to create and manage training courses 
  • Succession and Development module 
  • Employment Compliance module with documents vault
  • Track employee’s health and insurance benefits
  1. MintHCM

Organize, ease, and speed up the recruitment, training, scheduling, and other workforce-related tasks and processes with MintHCM's free and open source workforce management software. It is intuitive software with open source code, which gives organizations the ability to configure it as per their specific requirements. The system administration functionality gives admins the possibility to customize the system's outlook. 

minthcm

(Source-MintHCM)

    Key Features:

  • Add Job description with clear explanations of everyone's responsibilities.
  • Access data regarding supervisions, benefits, roles, and career paths
  • Coordinate broad promotional campaigns
  • The simplified staff induction process
  • Comprehensive predefined drafts, checklists, and templates
  • Employee profile to securely keep personal data about the employees 
  • The Competencies and skills section holds the list of talents and skills about employees with an annotation about their progress. 
  • Easy to attach text files, spreadsheets, portable formats, pictures, and more in a secure archive of all the employment documentation
  • Conduct seasonal evaluations and exit interviews
  • Time management, calendar, scheduling, and clock in/clock out mechanism
  • Arrange travels and plan the expenses 
  • Create a list of devices and other material distributed among the staff members
  • Leave management, onboarding procedures, and reporting mechanisms.
  1. OpenHRMS

Automate the routine and time-consuming workforce tasks free and open source workforce management software and focus on organizational goals. Customize all major workforce-related processes to align with HR workflow. Managers can use OpenHRMS to store, secure, and access workforce information in a more efficient manner.

openhrms workforce software

(Source-OpenHRMS)

    Key Features:

  • Recruitment: applicant tracking system and recruiting software.
  • Centralized employee database 
  • Administration features to manage daily work routines.
  • Efficient Payroll processing with OpenHRMS
  • Transparent appraisal strategies 
  • Attendance & Leaves management 
  • Workforce Reporting system, Timesheet,
  • The branch transfer process for employee redeployment
  • Employee self-service portal, Gamification, and Feedback systems  
  1. Staffjoy

Staffjoy is a free and open source workforce scheduling software that comes with automated algorithm-based workforce scheduling to manage hundreds of workers and decrease labor costs. Since closing its operations in 2017, Staffjoy has open-sourced its code under MIT licenses.

Staffjoy

(Source-Staffjoy)

    Key Features:

  • Create and share schedules online and notify your team using text messages
  • Staffjoy aims to automate the process of scheduling shifts to help workforce managers. 
  • Organize shifts effectively with the planner
  • Employees can enter their availability into the planner each week.
  • The app segregates employees into part-time, full-time, contractual to specify appropriate hours for scheduling.
  • Staffjoy's algorithm sorts all of the employee availability based on entered data and creates the most optimal schedule that leads to higher utilization of workers.

You can utilize the services of the above list of 7 free and open source workforce management software. If you need more comprehensive features and high-end workforce management functionalities, you can add Zoho People to your list. Zoho People is one of the most popular, versatile, and industry-grade workforce software available in the market.  Let us see its features in detail:

Zoho People

Zoho People is a cloud-based workforce management software that takes the hassle of managing the workforce by automating all processes and letting the managers focus on the people. It provides workforce managers with useful insights to stay at the top of all tasks. With Zoho People, managers can access workforce data across multiple locations and departments with a centralized and secure database. 

zoho people

(Source-Zoho People)

    Key Features:

  • Accurately capture employee time & attendance
  • Generate reports, conduct hiring, and attrition trend analysis 
  • Attendance tracking with mobile and web check-ins
  • IP and location-based restrictions to manage mobile workforce better
  • Manage employee attendance, shifts, and break time from a single place
  • Pre-configured leave types and policies
  • Manage leaves, vacations, holidays, absences, comp offs from the dashboard 
  • Approve leave requests 
  • Leave system is integrated with the payroll
  • Built-in learning management system to improve employee skills
  • Performance and feedback system  
  • Structured onboarding process, and  customizable workflows, 
  • Employee Self-service portal
  • Share all your HR documents securely.

Conclusion:

To round it off, the usage of workforce management software has become inevitable in prevailing times.  Businesses can choose from any of the workforce management software discussed in this article. Apart from the discussed free workforce management software, Vultus Connect, Sage HR, Workday, and  Kronos Workforce are some other workforce management systems that you may choose for your business.

We welcome your views about the article. Please comment in the section below. If you have previously utilized any of the free workforce management software mentioned above, share your feedback with us. 

If you wish to analyze the features of any other free workforce software or software categories other than the workforce management software, then visit GoodFirms' software directory page.

James Mordy
James Mordy

James Mordy is a content writer for Goodfirms. A voracious reader, an avid researcher, a logophile, and a tech geek he loves to read about the latest technologies that are shaping the world. He often articulates the very nuances of the tech world in his blogs. In his free time, he loves to watch movies and analyze stock markets around the world.

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