Finding good employees is frequently cited by retailers and restaurateurs as one of their biggest challenges, and PeopleMatter not only helps with that, but also follows up throughout the employment process. The company has software modules accessed in the cloud for hiring, training and managing not just employees, but what President and CEO Nate DaPore calls “talent.”

“We’re the only talent management company that provides a full talent management suite with a schedule embedded into it,” DaPore maintains. “There are other companies out there that do pieces of what we do, but there is not a company that does all the entire end-to-end suite with scheduling embedded into the applications.”

PeopleMatter’s system can be accessed through smart phones so that managers can contact employees and send out shout-outs or announcements of employee or product promotions. The recipients of these messages can be varied depending on need.

“We had a customer when Hurricane Sandy hit, they were able to send out emergency communications through the system just to the stores that were affected in that area,” DaPore recalls. “It was a very effective way to communicate with just a subsystem of their stores.”

Additionally, with PeopleMatter’s scheduling and communication module, employees can request changes in their work schedules according to the rules the customer has set up. This means that manager approval can be required for any shift changes. 

The scheduling module will build the optimal labor schedule based on employees’ availabilities and employers’ hard and soft constraints and rules that can be customized for each employer. These can limit employees’ work hours so they do not work overtime or beyond certain thresholds. Blackout periods also can be enforced on holidays, for example, so no staff members can change their work shifts then. 

Modules Matter

The first module of the PeopleMatter system is for hiring. It handles employee applications and hiring forms for a multitude of matters, such as tax deductions. An online learning module trains employees for their first day of work and can do testing for any certifications they might need. “It’s a true learning management system,” DaPore emphasizes.

A fourth module due out in 2014 will allow managers to provide feedback through their mobile devices on employee performance for their exemplary efforts. The feedback will be designed to keep employees improving in their jobs and can be used for hourly and salaried employees. Designed for frequent use, daily notes can be captured and used during an employee’s review period. “The system has the flexibility to really drive the key performance indicators that the employer feels are important,” DaPore states.

This second-generation platform for the modules will do business execution. “BizX will allow for the employer to drive business outcomes through their human capital,” DaPore explains. “There are going to be more decision-making tools around strategy and analytics that are probably going to be used by a vice president and above.

“It’s really a new technology to help the employer understand how to efficiently and effectively use their human capital in the organization,” he continues. “It’s a very strategic tool to plan out strategy, understand where the business is today and doing modeling in different scenarios. For instance, if they were opening new stores, they could easily determine potential leaders to help you expand and open new locations. If they had to acquire a company, they can determine the impact on the human capital. It has all those dynamics.”

PeopleMatter focuses on four vertical industries: foodservice, hospitality, retail and service. “If you look at each one of those verticals, there is a variety of different shapes and sizes of customers,” DaPore points out. “In the foodservice vertical, a food truck with two or three guys on it use our system for scheduling. It really became their system of record. They don’t have a human resources system. People could use this as their core system, and then all the way up to the big guys which may have 40,000 employees.”

In the hospitality industry, large hotel chains can use the PeopleMatter modules, along with convenience and grocery stores in the retail vertical. “Our sweet spot for employers for the number of employees we typically serve is right around 500 to 10,000 employees,” DaPore says. “We do have a lot of customers below 500, and we have several that are over 10,000.”

More to Come

The charges for PeopleMatter’s modules are based on the number of modules being used, how many locations are using them and the average number of employees at each location. 

PeopleMatter was founded in 2009 after DaPore assisted a friend who had a restaurant with selecting his employees. The company’s first product, the hire module, was launched on Sept. 14, 2010. “In 2008, when all hell was breaking loose and the economy was in the middle of the Great Recession, it was a great time to start a business,” DaPore stresses. “You can always ride the wave when the economy comes back instead of chasing the wave.”

DaPore has high hopes for the effects of his company’s products. “We really see ourselves as the system of record for the employer to really manage their entire employee population,” DaPore emphasizes. “We see ourselves as a company that’s inspired by our purpose to change the way the employer and employee interact in the workplace and make it better. We really fundamentally believe that this platform, this tool, will allow the relationship between employer and employee to become better.” 

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