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What's the difference between shift and job scheduling? Which are you?
What's the difference between shift and job scheduling? Which are you?
Shoshana Fleischmann avatar
Written by Shoshana Fleischmann
Updated over a week ago

Scheduling lies in the operational heart of any organization, especially businesses that rely on shifts or have many hourly employees. It takes a significant portion of a manager’s time and has a tremendous effect on the bottom line. It can be a high-frequency, resource-draining, and tedious event.

Job scheduling and shift scheduling are two similar yet very different activities. While the pains may be similar - the complexity, the cost of mistakes, and what defines success are dramatically different.

Let’s break them down to discover if your business runs on job scheduling or shift scheduling so that you can better understand the challenges and associated factors you should take into consideration when running your business!

Job Scheduling

Before understanding what’s job scheduling, let’s understand what’s a job.

A job refers to a specific activity or task that a specific employee needs to perform.* The job is not based on time but rather on execution and completion of the task.

Job scheduling is the process of determining which jobs, tasks or projects need to be completed, when they need to be completed, and who will be responsible for completing them. It requires assigning employees to specific tasks and jobs, with the goal in mind being to ensure that work is completed efficiently and effectively, involving minimal delays or conflicts.

Associated factors in job scheduling include:

  1. Place/location of the job

  2. The actual job needed to be completed

  3. The person performing the job

  4. Time of job

These factors change constantly!

Here are a few examples from the industries that utilize job scheduling:

  • Technician - A technical specialist working for a cable company tours all day around the country, visiting clients and performing different tasks such as connecting new customers, fixing problems, adding more outlets, and more.

  • Electrician - An electrician receives his work schedule and starts the day. He can start with fixing a malfunction in an appliance, move on to installing a new power outlet, and finish the day with installing a new home appliance.

  • Handyman - The handyman can perform different jobs throughout the day - installing shelves, fixing walls, or assembling furniture.

  • Logistics driver - The driver arrives at the warehouse, picks up the deliveries, but then every stop looks different - unique locations, different drop-offs at each location.

  • Home caregiver/nurse - A nurse arrives to a specific client/patient, and they might have several clients per day.

*not to be mistaken with “Job” in Connecteam's Job Scheduling feature.

Shift Scheduling

As with jobs, let’s first understand what’s a shift.

A shift is a defined period of time during which a group of workers performs a specific job or set of tasks. A shift can be several hours, parts of a day (morning/evening shift), a full day, or more.

Shift scheduling is the process of assigning employees to open time slots in a certain location (that does not change) within a given day or week to ensure adequate and full functionality of the business. The goal here is to ensure that there are enough workers available to handle the workload during each shift (maintain a functioning shift), while also ensuring that employees are not overworked or working too many consecutive hours (resulting in overtime).

Associated factors in shift scheduling include:

  1. The location

  2. The actual employees performing jobs in shifts

  3. The tasks in the shift

  4. Time of shift

The people change while the time, task, and place stay the same.

Here are a few examples from industries that utilize shift scheduling:

  • Restaurant - a restaurant needs 3 waiters, 2 cooks, and 1 manager to run an effective shift.

  • Store - a store needs 3 frontline personnel and 1 manager to run a morning shift.

  • Call center - a sales and service call center cannot operate with less than 10 representatives holding the lines.

  • Support center - a call center needs 3 representatives and 1 manager to be able to accept chats and calls.

  • Factory - for the factory to be able to produce X kilograms of products, they must man all 10 machines, with at least 10 employees.

Here’s another way to compare the two:

Job Scheduling

Shift Scheduling


Technician, installer, trainer, plumber, logistics driver, 1:1 services (personal trainer, homecare, cleaner, personal security)

Restaurant, gym, factory, bus company, store


Based on qualification - certain jobs require specific personnel


Unique, may change from visit to visit

Same job every time


On the go

Same location


Based on client demand

Based on shifts or set times

Now that you have identified yourself as a business that runs on job scheduling or shift scheduling, continue reading our articles all about scheduling to learn how to maximize your time and efficiency.

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