optimize staffing

Understaffing is one of the largest costs in the hospitality industry. Open or unfilled shifts cause dissatisfaction for customers, employees, and managers.

Understaffing is one of the biggest costs cutting into your profit margins.

Why is understaffing a concern, and what can you do to fill more shifts and minimize turnover?

What are the concerns of understaffing?

Understaffing means there aren’t enough hands on deck to serve the customers in the way they need. In order to meet these needs, managers are forced to overschedule and available employees have to overwork. Your staff becomes overloaded, so they can’t provide quality service to your customers.

You want to delight the customer, but you don’t have enough people to do so.

This falls on the managers and employees who are present.

Managers have to spend a majority of their time looking for ways to fill shifts and bring on staff. This leaves no time to focus on customer service, employee engagement, or even getting to the root of the understaffing problem.

Often, managers become so stressed that they require employees to pick up extra shifts or work later hours. Employees don’t want to lose their job, so they get overworked—but they start losing control of their work-life balance in tandem.

This lack of work-life balance creates a high level of dissatisfaction and disengagement with your current staff. This is more likely to lead to lower productivity and higher turnover rates—which in turn causes even more understaffing.

This creates a cycle of unfilled shifts and unhappy employees. This spills over into a negative customer experience, which costs you money, client loyalty, and brand reputation.


So what’s the solution?

The quick response is: hire more people.

But that’s not enough.

There are four underlying causes of understaffing:

  1. Poor recruiting processes that don’t hire the right staff
  2. Too few employees on hand
  3. High turnover rate due to disengaged employees
  4. Improper scheduling practices that don’t offer flexible hours to employees

If you want to get at the root of your understaffing problem, you need to address all four areas.

Thankfully, Forge offers a way to address all four on one system.

1. Recruit the right people.

Fixing your understaffing problems starts with having enough employees on hand. Talent is out there—it’s just a means of tapping into it.

“Traditional” recruiting practices, like job boards and advertisements, are a low-yield, high-cost hiring method. The cost is high, and you don’t even tap into key markets for your hiring pool.

employee recruitmentForge’s Share Talent feature allows businesses to instantly access a wide pool of local talent. After two businesses have agreed to “share talent,” they open up one another’s employee roster and schedules. This means you can have access to hundreds of new employees—with just the click of a button.

This drastically reduces recruiting costs, while also creating a wide recruitment pool.

Best yet, you’re not just focused on the quantity of applicants. With traditional recruiting, you could have 1,000 candidates—but only 10 applicants are viable and relevant options. With Share Talent, you know you’re pulling applicants from nearby businesses with the same jobs.

You are getting access to trained, skilled workers who are already working in the role you’re hiring for. This allows you to hire for fit, which minimizes training costs and reduces short-term turnover.

2. Have a strong roster of employees.

employee rosterIsn’t two always better than one?

Isn’t ten always better than two?

The more employees you have on your staff, the greater the opportunity to fill your shifts.

Share Talent doesn’t just allow you to broaden your recruitment. It allows you to host a wide talent pool moving forward. You’re not hiring one person for a job. You could hire five, ten, or twenty people for the same role.

This allows you to always have a cushion of people ready to pick up shifts. It also gives you a buffer in case of turnover or emergency schedule changes.

The more people you have on staff, the more opportunities you have to fill your hours.

3. Engage your current employees.

employee engagement
Even with a large talent pool, you could have high turnover rates if you don’t fully engage your employees. You want your employees to enjoy coming to work and filling shifts. You want them to care about your company, because then they’ll work harder and more often.

Forge’s Star Ratings allows you to engage employees on an ongoing basis. After each shift, managers rate the employee’s performance and the employee rates their experience at work. This allows the worker to track their performance while also giving them a voice in their work environment.

4. Offer schedule flexibility.

Another way to engage your employees is by offering them flexible work options.

Firstly, offering flexible schedules helps build an available talent pool. Flexible scheduling allows individuals to work the hours that best fit in their schedule. Maybe they can’t work the full 9-5 shift, but they can cover 9-12. Another person can then come in to cover 12-5.

If you have a set schedule, you limit your potential talent pool. Hours become the first barrier to entry.

You might have great candidates, but they can’t work your full shifts. You lose that top-notch applicant simply due to hours.

flexible schedulingBut if you offer flexibility, you can host more quality candidates who want that flexible working schedule.

Having more employees with greater flexibility helps maximize the number of filled hours. The more flexible you are, the more people you have available to fill those hours.

Secondly, schedule flexibility allows you to use workers in times when they work best. They can schedule their work around their life. This puts control of their work-life balance in the hands of the employees, which improves motivation and productivity.

If your employees have a strong work-life balance, they’re less likely to quit. They’re also more willing to work harder, pick up extra shifts, and be a top-level employee for your company.

Forge’s scheduling platform exists on flexible hours. Employees make their own schedules by choosing their shifts right on the Forge application. This gives them power over their own work-life balance, allowing them to pick up shifts when and where they want. This leads to a highly motivated workforce that’s excited to come into work everyday.


Understaffing is costing you thousands of dollars every year.

It’s time to do something about it.

Forge’s Share Talent helps you host a strong talent pool of the right candidates. Forge’s flexible scheduling ensures there are always enough employees on hand to fill shifts. And Forge’s flexibility and performance ratings help improve engagement and motivation to lower turnover rate at its foundation.

Are you ready to minimize understaffing with your business/

Then it’s time to talk to Forge. We can help you fill your shifts in an easy, streamlined, and cost-effective way.

Don’t wait to engage your employees. Don’t wait to serve your customers. Don’t wait to grow your profits.

Sign up with Forge now to get started.