- Very popular workforce management system, used by over 90,000 businesses globally
- Provides flexibility in managing schedules, timesheets, and communications through its mobile app
- Stress Management capabilities enable you to identify employees who are at risk of burnout
- Can come with a bit of a learning curve, for both admins and employees
- Task management capabilities are somewhat limited and have the potential to be improved
Table of Contents
- Deputy Full Review
- Key Features
- Deputy vs. the Competition
- Is Deputy Right for You?
- Pricing starts at $2/month per employee for either Scheduling or Attendance and Timesheets
- $3/month per employee for the complete package
- Free 7-day trial
Deputy Full Review
Deputy is a sophisticated shift scheduling and attendance tracking software with a comprehensive range of features. The software helps simplify employee management and staff communication through dedicated desktop and mobile applications. Officially launched in 2008, over 70,000 businesses currently use the company across the globe including Nike, McDonald's, and Amazon.
Deputy comes with a minimal learning curve and a simplistic, yet powerful interface. Administrators can use Deputy’s intuitive calendar to build online schedules across multiple locations. You can allocate staff to existing shifts, or offer Open Shifts for employees to claim on a first come, first served basis. The software automatically detects any scheduling conflicts and provides useful insights into expected sales and estimated costs, allowing you to make informed staffing decisions. You can also streamline your workflow by using the Advanced Scheduling feature to automatically build an ideal roster based on accumulated metrics and employee needs (e.g., leave, unavailable days, and pay rates).
Deputy includes powerful attendance tracking, with timesheets automatically created for each allocated shift. Employees can clock in and out using the dedicated Kiosk app (only available on iPad), or through the company’s mobile app using a smartphone. Communicating with staff is also easy thanks to a built-in news feed, messaging system, and automatic push notifications. This helps to keep everyone connected, engaged and up-to-date with the most current schedule.
Pricing begins at $2/month per user and goes up to $3/month, depending on what functionality you need. If you have a large team, this can quickly add up, but is still fairly affordable. For small businesses that need a simple shift management solution, it may be worth considering When I Work, which offers free scheduling for up to 75 employees. However, if you’re after robust software that can meet and exceed all your scheduling and attendance tracking needs, Deputy is an excellent choice.
Let's dive into the key features of Deputy and discuss how they can benefit your business.
Deputy allows you to securely store staff information within comprehensive employee profiles. You have the option to add team members manually, or you can also import data automatically from a spreadsheet. You can add pay rates for each employee (weekly, weekends or public holidays), in addition to setting desired availability. Information is readily available using a filter system and access levels can be added to restrict system changes by role (e.g. employee, supervisor, manager, or admin).
You can also set up and add employees to different locations. For each location, you can arrange “scheduling areas” to separate your staff into categories. As an example, you may want to organize by department (sales, admin, accounts) or region (reception, main floor, balcony, kitchen). Shifts can then be applied to different scheduling areas.
Using filters, you can quickly locate and select multiple staff to perform bulk actions, such as setting pay rates or sending a group message. If you have a large workforce, the filtering system can make day-to-day management a whole lot easier.
One great aspect of Deputy is the stress management profile. Ensuring employees aren’t overworked or fatigued is essential to their wellbeing and the overall productivity of your team. Deputy includes a Stress Profile section which automatically issues a warning when specific parameters are met. For example, you can keep an eye on employees that are approaching the maximum number of hours worked per day/week, or regulate time between shifts. This can be a helpful tool to improve your employee retention rate.
Once employee and location information has been added, you can start creating schedules. Deputy offers a user-friendly calendar to manage and allocate shifts across multiple locations. The calendar is displayed in a weekly format with a list of employees running down the left-hand side, making the information easy to digest. You can also apply various filters to ensure you are viewing relevant information.
When adding a shift, you can either directly allocate it to specific employees, or you can set it up as Open/Empty shifts, which allow employees to claim times that they might want to work. Email, SMS and push notifications can be configured to notify staff of upcoming shifts. Employees can either accept or decline a shift (within 24-hours), and the calendar will automatically update to reflect any changes.
Deputy also comes equipped with advanced auto-scheduling feature which utilizes AI learning technology and a range of metrics to build and fill schedules. You will need to add various demand metrics such as sales, number of orders, bookings, etc, in addition to supporting data to help Deputy ascertain the right number of people you need working at any one time. The system will then automatically build a shift structure, or fill shifts using pre-determined metrics. Though this can add a layer of convenience, if you prefer to have more fine-grained control over your staff's schedules, you'll want to manually create schedules yourself, or make some tweaks to the automatically generated schedule.
A handy feature on the main dashboard is a graph which compares the total cost of staff wages with expected sales. Using this information you can quickly analyze whether you’re overstaffed or need more employees rostered on at certain times. It will take a bit of effort to get this set up correctly, as you will need to enter your sales and budgets. You can do this manually via a spreadsheet, or you can integrate Deputy with your POS (Point of Sale) system.
Deputy keeps track of all shifts worked using timesheets. Timesheets are created automatically when an employee clocks in and out, or through a manual submission. The software automatically calculates penalty rates, overtime and any other additional costs , such as those required by local laws.
Staff can clock in and out using any device that has the Deputy app installed. For example, employees might use a self-service Kiosk iPad that you can set up in your workplace, or they can clock in using their own smartphone. Deputy includes both geolocation and photo functionality, which means you can prevent unauthorized timesheets by asking staff members to submit a photo when logging hours and ensure they are actually at your workplace.
Deputy also has a useful task management feature. Managers can create and assign tasks to individual staff members, who can check them off when the tasks are completed. For example, you might allocate a Closing Checklist that includes wiping down benches, setting the alarm, and locking up. Tasks can also be applied to different days, for instance, you might have a procedure only necessary on weekends. This can be useful in standardizing procedures in your workplace, and ensuring that they get done.
While the task management section is useful, the software doesn’t have any functionality to track the time for each task. This means you can’t really ascertain how long each task will take to complete. A useful addition would be an "Estimated Time" feature, so that staff can gauge and plan their shift accordingly. For example, some tasks may only take a few minutes to complete, while others may take much longer. This would be helpful for new employees that don’t fully know your procedures.
Deputy integrates with a range of third-party payroll programs including Xero, MYOB, and many others. Depending on your payroll software, this may work in different ways. For example, using MYOB, timesheets can be managed within Deputy and data will then automatically sync with your invoicing software providing a streamlined payment-processing solution. Other invoicing programs require you to download timesheets and import into the software.
The Deputy app (iOS and Android) ensures your business can operate consistently across desktop, mobile, and tablet. Managers can update and share schedules through SMS, email or push notifications, assign tasks and manage timesheets. The entire app suite has received excellent reviews, with users commenting on its intuitive interface and in-depth reporting across all devices. A simplistic layout and real-time updates make it easy for large teams to coordinate and communicate across multiple locations.
Employees can also utilize the app to accept shifts, view their schedule, and see tasks that have been assigned. The app also allows employees to clock in and out using their smartphone, or swap shifts with other employees based on availability.
Deputy’s reporting section offers an array of useful insights into key areas of your business. The main dashboard is laid out well, with different sections covering employee details, journal usage, time off and a comparison report between employee cost and sales. Managers can view information at a glance with straight-forward visuals, or click into each report to apply filters for a more detailed analysis. Managers also have the option to build custom reports using any piece of data in the system. Deputy’s built-in templates can be tailored to meet your needs by adding or removing fields such as timesheets, leave, training, sales data and more.
One area where Deputy’s reporting excels is performance management. Administrators can quickly generate reports to identify top performers and provide encouragement by attaching feedback to timesheets. Managers can also review questions and concerns raised in Employee Journals to swiftly resolve problems or identify staff who may need some extra support or training.
Deputy vs. the Competition
We'll analyze how Deputy stacks up against its competitors.
Deputy vs. TimeCamp
TimeCamp is a popular task tracking system for individuals and teams. The core functionality is to help businesses accurately estimate project costs, track the completion time for each task, and accurately invoice clients. In comparison, Deputy is designed to manage employee shifts and includes features such as scheduling, attendance tracking, timesheet management, and payroll.
While TimeCamp doesn’t have any scheduling functionality, the software's functionality overlaps with Deputy's in certain areas, as it allows businesses to track attendance and manage leave/vacation days. You can set up projects, assign a budget, and track how long each task takes. However, the software isn’t designed like Deputy, and you can’t build a roster or schedule and manage employee shifts.
Deputy starts at $2/month per user for access to either scheduling or time attendance and $3/month per user for both. TimeCamp starts at $5.25/month per user and goes up to $7.50/month per user. There's also a free version of TimeCamp which allows time tracking for one user.
TimeCamp is a more suitable option for businesses that need to bill for their time (hourly or project-based) and track tasks, such as web design agencies or freelancers. If you manage a team and need to schedule shifts, Deputy is the more suitable option.
Deputy vs. When I Work
When I Work is an award-winning employee scheduling and time tracking tool. It has a similar feature list to Deputy including shift scheduling, attendance tracking, and built-in messaging. Managers can build complex schedules using the intuitive calendar and easily allocate shifts or find replacements. The mobile app (iOS and Android) has been widely praised and received thousands of positive reviews.
While Deputy primarily focuses on shift scheduling and employee management, When I Work includes additional tools for hiring managers and recruiters. For example, you can create job openings, share on social media, and accept applications. If you hire internally, this can be an excellent feature as you can manage everything using one platform. With Deputy, you might need to invest in other recruitment software such as Jobsoid or Workable.
Compared to Deputy, which starts at $2/month per user, When I Work is a more affordable option. The highest paid plan is only $1.75/month per user. The company also has a free plan with basic scheduling for up to 75 employees. This can be the perfect solution for small businesses that want a robust and affordable software to manage their workforce. The hiring tools are also a welcome addition and help to streamline the process.
Is Deputy Right for you?
If you’re after a reliable and easy-to-use scheduling and attendance tracking software, Deputy should be at the top of your list. The software not only makes it easier for administrators to build and edit complex shifts, but it’s also extremely straightforward for employees to accept shifts, view tasks, and submit leave requests. All communication can be managed through the platform helping to keep your team engaged, connected, and well informed. When it comes to evaluating your staff performance, Deputy’s customized reports and robust analysis tools won’t let you down.
Deputy streamlines the processes of managing a team, regardless of the industry. With its comprehensive suite of features and superb 24/7 customer service, it's an excellent solution for any small business looking to improve the efficiency of their operation.