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Exploring Innovative Scheduling: How Does Shift Bidding Work in Today’s Workforce

Monday January 29, 2024

In the ever-evolving workforce management landscape, shift bidding emerges as a beacon of flexibility and empowerment for employees and employers. This innovative approach to scheduling is reshaping how shifts are allocated in various industries, offering many benefits. In this blog, we’ll dive into the process of shift bidding, explore its advantages, and understand why it’s becoming a preferred choice in today’s dynamic work environment.

What is the Shift Bidding Process


The shift bidding process starts with the organization’s scheduling team, who create available shifts with qualifications. Once the shifts are set up, an automated shift callout is sent to qualified employees, notifying them of open shifts. This system allows employees to have some influence over their work schedules.

After receiving the notification, they can review the available shifts and express their interest by placing a “bid” for their preferred shifts. This process is different from self-scheduling as it is not based on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, schedulers or an automated system evaluate the bids based on organization rules like seniority before making their final scheduling decision. 

How Shift Bidding Works:


Share Shift Offers: Employers create available shifts on a workforce management system. These could be regular shifts or those that arise due to unforeseen circumstances like employee absences. Then, they communicate all open shifts to eligible employees through their preferred communication channel. 

Employee Bidding: Employees review these shifts and bid on the ones they prefer. Bidding can be based on seniority, performance metrics, or a first-come, first-served basis.

Shift Allocation: Once the bidding period closes, the system allocates shifts based on the set criteria. Employees are then notified of the status of their bids.

Benefits of Shift Bidding


For Employees:


Work-Life Balance: Shift bidding allows employees to choose shifts that best fit their personal lives, leading to better work-life balance.

Empowerment and Satisfaction: Having a say in their schedules makes employees feel valued and respected, boosting job satisfaction.

Reduced Burnout: By choosing preferred shifts, employees can avoid overworking and burnout, leading to a healthier work environment.

For Employers:


Improved Productivity: When employees work preferred shifts, they are likely to be more engaged and productive.

Reduced Absenteeism: Shift bidding reduces instances of last-minute call-offs and absenteeism, as employees commit to shifts that suit them best.

Enhanced Employee Retention: Offering scheduling flexibility can be a significant factor in retaining employees, especially in industries with high turnover rates.

Streamlined Scheduling Process: Shift bidding solutions like Vocantas’s automated shift filling streamline the scheduling process, saving time and reducing administrative burdens.

Looking to learn more? Check out Five Best Features to Improve Employee Shift Scheduling

Industries That Benefit From Shift Bidding 

Shift bidding, an innovative approach to workforce scheduling, offers considerable benefits across various industries. Its impact is most pronounced in sectors where flexible, round-the-clock, or peak-period staffing is essential. 

Key industries that benefit from shift bidding include:


Healthcare: Hospitals and clinics, which require 24/7 staffing, use shift bidding to manage the varied schedules of medical professionals efficiently, ensuring patient care is not compromised.

Retail: Especially useful during peak seasons like holidays, shift bidding in retail helps manage increased customer traffic by aligning staff availability with demand.

Hospitality: Hotels, resorts, and restaurants use shift bidding to optimize staffing for various shifts, ensuring high-quality guest services even during fluctuating occupancy rates.

Manufacturing: For plants operating around the clock, shift bidding helps to distribute shifts evenly among workers, maintaining productivity and employee morale.

Customer Service and Call Centers: To cover different time zones and manage fluctuating call volumes, these centers benefit from shift bidding by aligning employee availability with customer demand.

Transportation and Logistics: Airlines, shipping companies, and logistics providers use shift bidding to manage staff for irregular schedules and peak operational times.

Emergency Services: Police, fire departments, and emergency medical services use shift bidding to ensure round-the-clock availability while considering the demanding nature of their work.

In each of these industries, shift bidding enhances scheduling flexibility, improves employee satisfaction, and ensures operational efficiency. It empowers employees with a say in their work schedules while allowing employers to meet their staffing needs effectively.



Shift bidding is more than just a scheduling method; it’s a step towards a more empowered and satisfied workforce. Shift bidding creates a win-win scenario by providing employees with a say in their schedules and reducing the administrative load on managers. As organizations continue to seek innovative solutions for workforce management, shift bidding stands out as an effective strategy to enhance productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall operational efficiency.

Vocantas’s solutions significantly improve the shift bidding process, making it seamless and efficient for both employees and employers. Contact our team to learn more about how your organization can automate the filling process.

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