The Benefits and Challenges of Personnel Management

The Benefits and Challenges of Personnel Management

By: Terry Moss

What is Personnel Management?

Personnel Management in the broadcast and media space frequently includes management of Personal Data, Skills/Experience, Labor Agreements, Employment Contracts, Pay Rates, Payroll and Working Patterns for staff and temporary/freelance personnel.

Benefits of Personnel Management

The benefits of good Personnel Management is transparency and equitable treatment, eliminating advertent or inadvertent favoritism or undue workload burden of one specific resource over another.

Personnel Management elements

Traditionally sources of Personnel Management information needed by Resource Planners is distributed across multiple systems including HR, Payroll, Time & Attendance and Resource Management.

Resource Planner Challenges

Although staff are hired by HR and contract details are managed through collective bargaining agreements, operational personnel manage the freelancer hiring process. The challenge is gaining access to relevant information as the personnel rules define what are freelance/temporary personnel, how these resources should be hired, how long they can be hired for and at what point tax authorities consider a freelancer to be a staff employee varies country by country. Engaging a temporary worker by phone or email and not formalizing the arrangement may open later tax liabilities. Issuing a Purchase Order is not sufficient to define specific terms of engagement, pay and benefits. Some countries mandate a formal contract, even if the hire is for just one day.

Basic planning of staff and freelance human resources requires access by planners to a resource’s availability, knowledge of the work they can perform and job specific skills they have. More information is needed to plan equitably, planners should also be aware of a broader set of information:

  • Work preferences
  • Hours worked in the current pay period
  • Hours worked year to date
  • Overtime worked
  • Weekends and Holidays worked
  • Agreement Rules that may affect pay and benefits

With access to all this information Planners can then evaluate options and make decisions with awareness of what the effect is of using one resource over another is.

The goal with freelancers is to allow the planner to identify the most suited resources and then offer the work to multiple candidates accepting responses on a first come, first served basis. The planner can then quickly formalize the engagement standard contract template documents to cover period of engagement, pay rate, benefits, work location, job role, work to be done.

Whether it is staff or freelance personnel all off the rules that apply regarding pay rates and benefits should be constantly being analyzed so that periodically this information can be reviewed and exported to payroll.

To better manage the complexities of freelance resources, many media and broadcast facilities seek a personnel management tool with the ability to:

  • Show their availability
  • Accept or decline job offers
  • Check their schedule
  • See job related information such as location, security, parking, travel and accommodation
  • Receiving schedule updates
  • Actualize work performed
  • Request absences
  • View payroll related information

Ideally this should all be available on all mobile devises.

Future direction

Moving from basic resource planning to a more equitable planning model is just one step, with the goal to automate this process, leaving planners to focus on the numerous short-term challenges faced due to unforeseen personnel absences, weather delays and production schedule changes.

At Xytech we strive to meet these evolving challenges.Terry Moss headshot