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Three Free App-Friendly Human Resources Excel Templates: Timesheet, Expense Tracker and Vacation Request

As promised (in my Project Planner Templates post), I've got more Excel and Google Sheet templates to share! This time we're looking at Human Resources (you may want to check out my post on Inventory Templates) and its three most common use scenarios — take employee attendance, track expenses and process vacation requests. If you are interested in converting these spreadsheet templates into mobile apps in order to empower and engage your mobile employees, I included links to each sample app that I created. From there, you can copy the app, replace the data, and customize it to meet your specific needs. Without further ado, here are three free human resources spreadsheets!  HR Excel Template: Employee Attendance Tracker The weekly multi-employee timesheet (below) has Employee Name, Time In, Time Out, and Hourly Rate fields, basically every key element that a time-sheet should have. In this spreadsheet, you can easily track the number of hours an employee worked each week as well as calculate their weekly wages.   I changed the above sheet's structure a bit and converted it into the following mobile app. With the app, you can: Take attendance on the fly as long as you have a mobile device. Display attendance data by day, week, month, or year without having to create new sheets. Check out an employee's detailed information.     HR Excel Template: Expense Tracker The following template can be used by home builders or maintenance technicians, who want to keep track of the progress and cost of each item. It organizes data by Area and tracks Actual Cost and Cost Overruns. When you add a row, you can track Total Cost per Area. When you sort data by Status, you can see what items are In Progress, Complete, and Not Started. I turned the sheet into an app (below) so that superintendents or technicians can enter information on the site without the hassle of filling out a sheet with a pen and driving to an office to submit it. The app shows data by Area and Status and has a Actual Total Cost chart.     HR Excel Template: Vacation Request Form After an employee submits a vacation request form, the HR team might want to gather all forms and put them in one place so that they can monitor whether a request has been approved and the total vacation days per employee. The following spreadsheet serves that purpose. It keeps a record of all vacation requests. The Timestamp column displays the time when a request was submitted. Total Days is End Date subtracted from Start Date. To make the process even easier, I turned this sheet into an app. From the app, employees can submit vacation request forms. The moment an employee submits a form, all information he or she entered, together with other vacation forms, is automatically stored in one spreadsheet. You can configure the app so that only the HR team can make edits on a form after it is submitted. You can also pre-fill the form's fields (match a user's login email with the user's information) so that when a user logs in with her/his email (for example, gwen@appsheet.com), the app pre-fills the Employee, Team, Supervisor, and Supervisor Email fields. In this case, the user will only have to enter the start and end Dates. Well, that's it for now! Hope you find these spreadsheets useful and remember: it's really easy to turn a spreadsheet into an app!

Simplifying Healthcare Staffing with an AppSheet White Label App

  As a recruiter, I've always tried to find innovative ways to locate and hire the best possible candidates for jobs. What makes being a travel nurse recruiter so unique is that we typically have hundreds—if not thousands—of jobs to offer our candidates. To make this task easier, I started searching for a way to share our massive database of available job openings while simultaneously driving qualified candidates in my direction. I have no programming background but have a lot of experience working with Google Docs and building websites (since 1997). What made AppSheet so appealing is the way it's core functions are wrapped around a database. This allowed me to populate the back end with fresh information on a daily basis without releasing new updates to the app itself. The app I created allows job seekers to see job openings and then apply for those positions. In order to reach those candidates, I had to submit my app to the coveted App Store—a slightly terrifying experience! But I persevered and this is my AppSheet app creation story. Developing My App: Learning as I Go My first step was to find a way to organize and format our company's internal database of jobs in a way that would be easy for job-seekers to search or browse. That involved some tricky decisions about which nursing specialties to feature and how locations would be sorted. I ended up making browsable categories for the most common types of nursing units. I also created a location-based menu that allowed nurses to browse jobs by state, city, and finally, unit type. I had the most fun creating the custom icons for the map feature. There are a lot of health-related icons already built into AppSheet, and trying to match the colors and icons to a particular kind of nursing unit was one of the more creative parts of the app building process. Critical Care jobs, for example, got a red ambulance icon, while Endoscopy jobs required a bit more discretion! One thing that makes AppSheet so powerful is its ability to run Excel formulas right inside the app. Although I have plenty of experience with Excel, I'm not exactly a master. Fortunately, there are plenty of online communities dedicated to helping newbies like me with simple or complex questions. Putting Excel formulas inside my Google Sheets database made all the difference: instead of an app that just sort of sits there displaying jobs, my app intuitively guides candidates through the job search workflow so they can submit an application. Once the Travel Nursing Jobs App was out of testing phase (I have to thank my husband for his help as a beta tester), I released it on the App Store and on Google Play as a white label app. During the publishing process, there were a series of technical challenges to jump through (Android is fairly straightforward but iOS sets strict requirements for an app to appear in the App Store). But despite my complete lack of experience or education as an app developer, I was able to create developer accounts and go through the entire process on my own. Yes, it was very stressful at times, but the AppSheet team was always there to help with questions and look into the backend when something wasn't working. My App's Market Performance The Travel Nursing Jobs App has been on the market for nearly a year and it has consistently been the #1 staffing app for travel nursing jobs for Android and the iPhone. It's more functional and easier to use than other travel nurse apps built by major healthcare corporations—apps which serve the exact same function, but cost tens of thousands of dollars to create. In contrast, the only costs incurred with my app was the time I spent creating and deploying it—far less expensive than those apps built by healthcare companies! In the past year, 10% of all travel nurses in the United States used the Travel Nursing Jobs App to search for their next assignment, and the nurses who have actually been hired through the app have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. In short, not only does the app do exactly what it's supposed to do, it's doing it better than the competition. Pretty impressive for a white label app created by a non-developer with no money! Speaking of money: one of the most challenging features to add to the app was displaying a salary range for each open job. It was impossible to create thousands of different pay packages and upload them each day for each position, so I had to get creative. A few months after the app was released, I wrote an extremely complicated Excel formula that allows me to instantly generate accurate pay ranges for each position. AppSheet's custom icon function made it possible to highlight the highest-paying jobs, which is a very popular feature for travel nurses looking to score a big paycheck while they're on the road. The Travel Nursing Jobs App is currently the only travel nurse staffing app with this feature. The Travel Nurse Industry Hospitals are perpetually looking for qualified nurses, and they're happy to pay staffing companies to help find them short-term help. However, over the past five years, the industry has exploded as more and more baby boomers require medical care and more Americans have health insurance and access to hospitals. This surge in hospital visits has resulted in a near-constant need for temporary staffing solutions. Travel nurses are that solution. Healthcare staffing has undergone a major shift in the past few years. Cold calls and mass e-mails used to be the only way to find a nurse who might be interested in a job, and because travel nurse contracts are typically 13-weeks long, they are always looking for their next assignment. Facebook and other social media sites have drastically changed the nature of travel nurse recruiting: now a nurse can join a travel nursing jobs group and instantly have access to dozens of recruiters from every major staffing company. However, the big drawback to social media recruiting is that a recruiter can only post so many jobs in one day and there's a ton of competition from other recruiters who frequent the same job boards. Recruiting apps, like the Travel Nursing Jobs App, provide a simple, easy way to let nurses see every single job, updated daily, right on their cell phones. And when nurses express interest in a position, only the app's owner receives their information. When it comes to nurse recruiting, it’s clear that mobile apps are the way of the future. Related stories: How Saad Healthcare Uses AppSheet to Deliver Exceptional Patient Care An App to Schedule Cardiovascular Surgeries Citizen Developer

Manage Your Freelance Business with an App Maker

It is common knowledge that telecommuting is on the rise. Cloud platforms have eliminated the need for brick and mortar offices and the high overhead costs that go along with traditional business practices. However, freelancers are also taking advantage of new technology and the amazing opportunities that are rising in this innovative era of commerce. As of 2014, a study found that more than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work and account for more than 34% of the entire workforce. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average employer cost is $29.71 per employee per hour, with roughly 70% of that accounting for wage and 30% for employee benefits. Freelancers eliminate that extra 30% expense and therefore are becoming more attractive to employers. However, there are a few downsides to this freedom of enterprise. You have to be your own marketing team, project manager, accountant, and a specialist at job hunting. Fortunately, a spreadsheet app can help with maintaining impeccable organization. Here’s how: Client Management At any given time a freelancer can have a variety of clients. Each client has his or her own contact information, guidelines, pay scale, and timeline. Not only that, but there are the timesheets to maintain, invoices to send out, and tracking to see who has paid and who has an outstanding bill. It can easily be overwhelming to work on a project AND maintain the bookkeeping that comes with it. With a spreadsheet app, a freelancer can keep a mobile running time clock whenever he or she conducts onsite meetings, has a teleconference, or even just works from a local coffee shop. This aids in staying on or under budget and helps to track each individual client without the hassle opening a separate spreadsheet for each one. Project Organization App creators can help you to create a task checklist and running expense sheet. For example, let’s say you are an interior designer. You can create a spreadsheet listing each room that you are decorating and the items that are needed to complete it. As you shop, you have a mobile checklist along with a running expense list so you can get exactly what you need while staying aware of your expenditures. Furthermore, you can add pictures of tiles, floor samples, and paint chips so that everything coordinates. Contact Tracking Finally, a freelancer’s life can be terribly unstable. One month you can have more work than you can handle and the next you are combing through job sites pitching for projects. With a mobile app, you can create a contact list with past, present and potential clients along with extensive notes tracking your communication with them. When work becomes sparse you can reconnect with these individuals and make notes so you don’t accidentally pester the same client two weeks in a row. Moreover, if you get a call or e-mail from a contact while you are on the go, you can immediately log in the information so you won’t forget to later. A freelancer may be extremely talented, but their business will only be as successful as their organizational skills allow them to be. Miss a project deadline, forget to send out invoices, or going over budget will greatly hurt your credibility and reputation. A mobile app can provide you with the right tools so that you can keep your focus and successfully complete each project.

Unleashing the Potential of Human Resources Processes with Mobile Apps

While mobile apps often spring to mind for companies looking to make sales, supply chains, and production processes run more efficiently, they also have the potential to improve human resources processes as well. The proper mobile apps can unleash a wealth of potential for your company’s bottom line. According to Gartner analysts, over the next five years, 65 percent of enterprises will adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution for their corporate liable users. “The era of the PC has ended. Employees are becoming more mobile and looking for ways to still be connected wherever work needs to be done,” explained Phil Redman, research vice president at Gartner. “The convenience and productivity gains that mobile devices bring are too tempting for most companies and their employees.” The expansion of the mobile workforce also presents new challenges – and opportunities – for human resources. Here are some ways that mobile apps can unleash the potential of HR processes. Viewing and managing benefits schedules. Mobile apps make the complicated process of managing healthcare insurance, flex spending accounts, retirement account details, and tax deductions easier. They allow employees to access this data from their smartphones or tablets and allow them to work with their human resources manager and/or providers directly to discuss accounts and claims for faster resolution of issues and questions. Connecting with mobile workers. There is great business value in providing mobile access to many central HR functions today, given the ever-expanding mobile workforce and the universal use of mobile devices. From talent management and employee communications to payroll/time and attendance or employee benefits, practical applications make these processes more efficient and immediate. According to ADP, usage of mobile apps in both the midsized and segments has grown and the expansion trend continues. Engaging a growing new generation of techie employees. According to Fortune, Millennial employees are “screenagers,” who were born and raised online and are more comfortable with handheld technology than with other forms of communication.  Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology than their older counterparts, and they stand out when it comes to producing and uploading online content. That means that organizations need to embrace the technological side of these techie employees to keep them happy. Human resources mobile apps can be one part of that engagement strategy. Managing PTO requests and scheduling. For organizations that function with multiple shifts and/or multiple locations, managing scheduling and time off can be a real challenge. Mobile apps can help reduce the complexity of such requests, allowing employees to enter PTO information, view their remaining balances, and submit suggestions for weekly scheduling. Requests can then be approved via mobile by managers and human resources employees, allowing them to see in real time where there are shortages of staff and to assign duties according to schedules. Managing department expenses. One of the most dreaded responsibilities is tracking departmental budgets to ensure that expenses are in line with resources. Mobile expense report apps can help employees ease the process of submitting receipts and reports, since it eliminates the need for scanning receipts and processing paper files. Department managers and human resources managers can also maintain and view a history of expenses easily, as well as allowing them the power to approve or reject reimbursement requests via their mobile devices. Providing easy access to the company directory. In a large corporation, finding a fellow employee who works in another department can sometimes be challenging, particularly when they are on the go. Mobile apps can provide users the ability to quickly and easily search names and call contacts in seconds, eliminating the cumbersome task of searching emails or paper files to find contact information. Human resources managers can also easily update directories, keeping them accurate in real-time without requiring reprinting of directories or sending notifications to all employees. Connecting your employees by creating an internal social media portal. Employees are increasingly connected via social media today, so adopting mobile apps allows your workers to connect with each other and with human resources via an internal social medial portal. This will also help discourage the use of external social media during working hours while also serving to boost company morale. Such portals can serve as real-time newsletters or bulletin boards, where employees can find and share pertinent information about company events, promotions, and news about their coworkers.  Mobile HR solutions enable interaction, not just communication, with employees. Managing employees and time is no easy feat, whether you run a private business, government organization or a non-profit. From time cards & sheets, records of attendance and employee PTO/vacation requests, to accident report forms and injury/illness reports, adapting mobile HR solutions are effective means to drive employee productivity and build satisfaction, particularly as they tap into the wide use of smartphones and tablets.

Becoming a Paperless Employee: Now’s the Time to Switch to an Expense Tracker and Timesheet App

In many circumstances today, the way we did business isn’t the way we do business anymore. Case in point, 3.7 million employees telecommute at least half of the time. Moreover, we’ve become a mobile workforce; in 2015 the scales tipped when one study found that the average Internet user spent 51% (2.8 hours) on their mobile device as opposed to 42% (2.4 hours) on a desktop computer. The times are changing and one of the biggest advances is the rise of the paperless employee. Gone are the days when companies had storage rooms lined with metal filing cabinets or when annoyingly loud fax machines buzzed, beeped and shook to announce the arrival of an important document. You probably are already evolving into a paperless employee with a Google+ or DropBox account, but expense tracker and timesheet apps are two convenient solutions to become even more efficient in the mobile workplace. Expense Tracker Receipts can be a complete hassle regardless if you’re traveling abroad for business or if you are an employee that visits clients locally. They’re easy to lose, they can become a jumbled mess in your wallet, and it’s inconvenient to organize them when it’s time to submit the paperwork for reimbursement. If you’re one of the over 65% of American adults who own a smartphone, then all you need to do is download an expense tracker app. Just make a spreadsheet using Excel, Google Sheets, or other compatible data format, create categories such as date, amount spent, restaurant/store name, notes, mileage and take a picture of your receipt to confirm spending (because who can remember all of these details when you finally sit down at your desk?).  An expense tracker can allow you to submit your expenses for reimbursement from anywhere and you have the added benefits of sorting charges by amount or date, you can compare expenses month by month, or you can manage your running total if you are required to stay within a set budget on the go. If you are a professional such as a lawyer or interior designer, you can also divide these expenses by client when it’s time to invoice. Timesheet App According to Global Workplace Analytics, “Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50-60% of the time.” With so many people away from the office, it can make employers a little nervous. With a timesheet app, you can easily see who has clocked in and is working on an assigned task. For example, if a contractor is meeting with a potential customer, you can confirm when he timed in and how long he spent reviewing the information with the person. The categories for this app could include time in, time out, total hours, rate per hour, total earned, and task worked on/client name. This is also helpful to ensure that employees’ hours are managed within the designated 40 hours per week to limit over time if needed. Additionally, a time tracker can help you to review employee output and progress to analyze productivity individually and as a team. Another benefit is that when a mobile employee is clocked in, you know it’s okay to contact him or her with a question (like if it’s after 5:00 pm). There are no timesheets to lose, calculate, or submit when all of the info is on a convenient app. Custom mobile apps are clearly valuable tools to manage employees in this age where workers are no longer confined to the walls of an office space. The capabilities to monitor employee spending and schedules certainly can bring peace of mind to any employer.  

Managing Human Resources Functions with Custom Mobile Apps

According to its website, “Landscape 2000 Ltd provides a complete landscaping and garden maintenance service that is second to none.” The West Sussex, England-based landscaping company provides a variety of services for commercial sites, including design consulting, custom patio and deck construction, fencing, lawn and irrigation systems, and more. Eleanor Wilton is Landscape 2000 Ltd’s office administrator, and performs nearly all of the duties associated with managing the business’s administrative needs. This includes finding new ways to simplify the procedures that are necessary in accomplishing the company’s assignments and goals. As one might imagine, a landscaping company must keep track of a wide range of supplies and data-- employee hours, landscaping and personal protective equipment, machinery repair needs, location information, and more. Eleanor needed to find suitable equipment inventory software and HR apps to fit her needs and help her manage these functions. Before finding AppSheet, Eleanor was handling these tasks via pen and paper or simply over the phone. She says, "Our company has previously collected employee work times weekly using a paper-based system. This necessitated extra admin work for the office and trips by these field-based staff into the office to submit their timesheets.” Indeed, managing these procedures via pen and paper methods was extraordinarily inefficient. Eleanor needed a way to track the important information with sophisticated tools like equipment inventory management apps, timesheet apps, purchase order software, to name a few. When Eleanor found AppSheet, she created various apps to accomplish these functions more effectively and replace the old systems. She realized that not only did her apps greatly simplify the data collection process, but the synchronization between the apps and the backend Google Sheets meant data was immediately available to office administrators regardless of where it was entered. “Appsheet has allowed the staff to submit their daily work times via the App on their smartphones on a daily basis making the data available immediately in the office for examination and use, saving us a considerable amount of time," she says. Though initially some bristled at adopting the new system, Eleanor says, “I think because most individuals both young and old appear permanently attached to their smartphones, it was an easy transition to get them to [use the apps]. A couple were resistant initially but once they realised the benefits of no longer needing to use a paper version, they soon came on board.”       

App Innovator: Paul Carpenter with Anglo-American School of Moscow

Paul Carpenter is a Technology Integrationist for the Anglo-American School of Moscow (AASM) in Russia whose job is to help administrators, teachers, and students use technology purposefully and effectively. His other tasks include collecting and analyzing data for the HR and Curriculum departments. Because AASM is an international school with expats serving as employees, there is significant employment turnover each year. As a result Paul needs a way to disseminate information to new staff quickly and efficiently. Before finding AppSheet, the school was using various methods to do this, but none were ideal. They tried housing the information on a password-protected website that wasn’t mobile-friendly. Then they gave every new staff member paper copies, which understandably no one ever carried around. Since the school uses Google Apps for Work, finding AppSheet was easy. Paul created an app that acts as a directory of people, places, and services that faculty and staff should have with them on mobile phones for convenient access. He included all kinds of helpful resources, like dental services, fire and evacuation protocols, emergency contact information, and more. The app also contains photos, phone numbers, map locations, links, and documents. Important organizations like embassies, hospitals, and law enforcement include contact information, so employees can reach them rapidly straight through the app during emergencies. The convenience of the app helps staff get acquainted with the school quickly and easily, rather than having to carry around stacks of papers or access a website that isn’t easy to navigate on a mobile device. This quick access really helps new employees and ex-pats become more comfortable and confident with their new place of employment and surroundings. In turn, they are able to provide better care and attention to students. Paul says, “AppSheet is allowing us to rapidly develop mobile apps customized to provide a service or interaction that satisfies a need within our school. I love that we are able to develop and manage the app ourselves without relying on an outside company or programmer to design or update the functionality and content."       

Take Human Resources Efforts Mobile with These 5 Apps

Businesses employ all kinds of tactics to manage information; but one thing that seems never to change is the use of spreadsheets to keep track of it all. This is especially true in Human Resource fields, where reps must keep track of employee data, procedures and policies, events, and more. Spreadsheets still persist as the best organizational tool around. But what if you need to interact with the data in your spreadsheets while away from the office? Share and collaborate over job candidate information with your colleagues? Plan an office event while on a business trip? Sure, you could use a mobile spreadsheet app. But spreadsheet apps aren't ideal for interacting with data, organizing it, charting it, or allowing you to collaborate on it. That's where human resources mobile apps come in. AppSheet enables professionals to turn the spreadsheets they use to manage HR processes into mobile apps that let them connect and collaborate with their data. These apps can help HR reps manage employees, plan events, collect and distribute information, and more-- all while keeping data synchronized and secure. If you're an HR professional but you're not sure you need a mobile app, don't fret. We've created five mobile tools for HR that will help you envision a how an app might work for your unique needs. With features like automatic workflow emails (Vacation Request Form), form surveys (Interview Feedback), and conditional color formatting (Equipment Inventory), these apps are designed to vastly simplify HR management processes. Check them out below, and copy and customize when you're ready! Contact Directory The contact directory app provides students and staff with a quick reference to key locations and contact information for a school.   Vacation Request Form HR reps can distribute this app to employees so they can request time off remotely. The app allows HR to approve or deny the time off. Workflow emails notify both HR and employees when updates to requests have been made.   Interview Feedback This app helps a team of interviewers at a company keep track of and collaborate on information about each candidate for an open position.   Equipment Inventory The Equipment Inventory app helps HR reps keep track of inventory items checked out by employees, enabling them to quickly browse and search through those items.   Employee Training Aided by instructional images, Employee Training can be distributed to employees and gives written pointers along with visual aids on how to give CPR. This app can be copied and customized for any process or set of procedures in a business.    

How One AppSheet User is Helping His Clients Retire Peacefully

  "Pensions are disappearing at an alarming rate. The security of having an additional source of income during retirement is no longer an option for many." -Brice Prather Brice Prather owns Life On Your Terms Inc., a company dedicated to helping individuals achieve financial security so they can retire with confidence and peace. Brice builds custom tools to help clients identify where they might need to make improvements with regards to financial matters like housing payments, 401(k), IRA, pensions, Social Security, and more. AppSheet is one of the tools he's using to enable his customers to determine where there may be inefficiencies and opportunities for growth. He has built several mobile apps all on his own with AppSheet. Specifically, he built an app called "iRetire" for real estate agents and mortgage loan originators to discuss the importance of eliminating one's housing payment during the time of retirement to maintain financial security. This allows agents/originators to calculate complex annuities or investment scenarios on the spot; whereas before, these calculations took days to weeks to complete. And clients simply didn't have the time to wait. Brice is helping people take the guesswork out of retirement by providing innovative, powerful, and easy-to-use mobile apps that tackle the calculations associated with reaching financial security. AppSheet has enabled Brice to use his own skills to create these tools when he needs them, quickly and easily. As he says, "AppSheet has taken a once static boring data set of various spreadsheets and turned it into an interactive machine."