Welcome to ShiftSub! Below are the most common questions we get from employers. Our knowledgebase has a wealth of information about our site and a great place to go if your questions aren’t answered here. You are welcome to contact us with feedback, feature requests or general questions by clicking here. We also encourage you to join us on social media!

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Are SubWorkers W-2 or 1099?

    SubWorkers sign up on ShiftSub with the understanding they will be a part-time, W-2 employee of employers they connect with and choose to work for.  

    If an employer is looking to add 1099 Independent Contractors to an open shifts schedule, please make it clear in the ShiftRole and at the Meet&Greet that the shifts being picked up are going to be paid as a 1099 Independent Contractor.  

    Whether an employer pays W-2 or 1099, it is the responsibility of the employer to know and follow all local, state and federal laws that apply for their business.  

  • How are SubWorkers trained?

    Start small. Think simple.

    ShiftSub offers a unique opportunity for employers. There is a variety of ways ShiftSub can benefit a business. Being creative with the training process is one of them!  

    Employers have expressed frustration with hiring employees and spending an enormous amount of time and money on training them only for them to leave the company 3 or 6 months later. Well….ShiftSub can help your business establish work ethic before spending all that time and money on training. Start small. Think simple.

    We recommend you start with ShiftRoles that do basic tasks. Tasks that can be taught in under an hour. For example: A general contractor may be remodeling a home and instead of having one of his skilled, highly paid employees dig a ditch or assemble cabinets, create ShiftRoles just for these type of tasks and post open shifts on the days/locations they are needed. As subworkers pick up shifts, show up, and do the work on a regular basis, then talk to them about picking up shifts doing things that may take a little more of your money and time training them to do.

    We do not recommend putting subworkers through a rigorous training and/or assessment program that is not required to do the ShiftRole with basic tasks. This may deter them for joining your team.  

    You can surely see how this is establishing a long-term team of workers and at the same time lower your time and money spent on turnover! Upskilling and cross-training at it’s finest!

    At the end of the day, it’s every employer’s choice as to how they handle training. Our recommendations are based on the feedback of many employers struggling today. We are here to help!

  • Who are SubWorkers?

    SubWorkers are part of a massive, untapped pool of workers that you won’t find on job boards or with staffing/temp agencies. There are people that want to work, but are not looking for permanent employment, a regular schedule or benefits. They simply want to connect with enough employers so that work is always available when they want it and as it fits around their day-to-day schedule.    

    Why SubWorkers prefer ShiftSub 

  • How old do workers have to be to register on ShiftSub?

    SubWorkers must be 14 years old to create an account on ShiftSub.  

    This age was chosen because ShiftSub was started in Missouri and 14 is the minimum working age in Missouri. Employers are responsible for following federal, state and local laws in regards to the “minimum working age” for their business.  

The Problems We Solve

  • Paying Employees When They Aren’t Needed

    Utilizing SubWorkers instead of maintaining staff when their services are not consistently required offers several benefits to businesses:

    1. Cost Savings: Using SubWorkers allows businesses to control labor costs more effectively. Companies only incur expenses when there is a specific need, avoiding the financial burden of maintaining a permanent workforce during periods of low demand.
    2. Flexibility: SubWorkers provide the flexibility to scale the workforce up or down based on fluctuating workloads. This adaptability is particularly advantageous for industries with seasonal variations or unpredictable project demands.
    3. Specialized Skills: SubWorkers often possess specialized skills that are valuable for short-term projects or specific tasks. Businesses can tap into this expertise without committing to long-term employment.
    4. Reduced Overtime Costs: Rather than paying overtime to existing employees during peak periods, businesses can bring in SubWorkers to cover the increased workload. This helps manage labor costs and avoids potential burnout among permanent staff.
    5. Resource Optimization: SubWorkers can be strategically deployed to fill skill gaps or handle tasks that require additional manpower. This ensures that the workforce is aligned with the specific needs of the business at any given time.
  • Customer Complaints

    SubWorkers offer businesses the ability to quickly adapt to fluctuating customer demand. This flexibility ensures that the right number of staff is available to handle customer needs promptly.

    With SubWorkers available to cover peak periods or special events, businesses can maintain a higher level of customer service. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of complaints arising from extended wait times or inadequate assistance. 

    Utilizing SubWorkers ensures that permanent employees are not overburdened with excessive workloads. This can result in a more focused and attentive workforce, reducing errors and customer service lapses that may lead to complaints.


  • Managing Changing Schedules

    ShiftSub streamlines the scheduling process, automates updates, and allows for real-time adjustments.

    SubWorkers provide the flexibility needed to fill shifts efficiently, ensuring that the workforce is appropriately staffed without the need for extensive manual coordination. 

  • Lack of Work Ethic

    SubWorkers are often aware that their performance is closely monitored, as they are hired for specific tasks or projects. This accountability can motivate them to maintain a strong work ethic to ensure they meet expectations.

    Open shifts are often filled based on merit and skills. SubWorkers who fill these shifts may feel a greater sense of accomplishment and recognition, encouraging them to demonstrate a higher work ethic to secure future opportunities.

    SubWorkers may appreciate the flexibility associated with their roles. This flexibility can contribute to a positive work environment, as SubWorkers are more likely to maintain a strong work ethic when they have control over their schedules. 

    SubWorkers are often hired for specific projects, allowing them to concentrate on defined tasks. This focused approach can lead to increased motivation and dedication to completing projects successfully.

    SubWorkers may be less prone to complacency compared to long-term employees. Knowing that their tenure is temporary, they may be more driven to make a positive impact during their time with the company. 

     Businesses can strategically use SubWorkers to fill specific skill gaps or address workload peaks. This targeted approach ensures that the workforce is aligned with the demands of the business, reducing the likelihood of disengagement associated with underutilization. 

  • Turnover

    Maintaining a pool of SubWorkers who can voluntarily pick up shifts contributes to reduced turnover within a business. SubWorkers have the flexibility to manage their schedules which fosters a collaborative work environment. This will build a more committed workforce, ultimately lowering turnover rates. 

  • Attendance

    Utilizing SubWorkers can help address attendance issues in a business by providing flexibility to cover staffing gaps. Building a SubTeam where workers are always available ensures that essential tasks are completed without disruptions. This flexibility allows businesses to maintain productivity during unforeseen absences without overburdening permanent staff. 

    Granting SubWorkers the autonomy to pick up shifts when it aligns with their preferences promotes a sense of control and work-life balance. This can contribute to higher morale and shift attendance.

    SubWorkers have the flexibility to adjust their work schedules, so they are more likely to accommodate unexpected situations or personal needs without resorting to absenteeism. This can lead to a decrease in unplanned absences.

    SubWorkers with diverse preferences and commitments can tailor their work schedules to accommodate personal needs. This customization can lead to a workforce that is more satisfied and committed.

  • Lack of Skill, Knowledge & Experience

    Retiring Employees & Turnover resulting in a shortage of skill, knowledge & experience in your workforce?

    Constant turnover within a company can result in a lack of experienced personnel. Frequent departures may leave knowledge gaps and hinder the transfer of skills from experienced employees to newer ones. 

    When people retire, a workforce may experience a shortage of skill, knowledge, and experience due to the loss of seasoned employees who possess valuable expertise. The departure of experienced workers can create gaps in institutional knowledge, hinder the transfer of skills to younger employees, and result in a lack of expertise needed to address complex challenges.

    SubWorkers may have expertise in niche areas that can be crucial for short-term projects. Employing them allows businesses to tap into specialized knowledge without committing to long-term employment. 

    SubWorkers can fill in while a company searches for permanent employees. This ensures that ongoing projects are not delayed due to skill or knowledge shortages during the hiring process.

    SubWorkers may bring diverse experiences from different companies and industries. This diversity can contribute to knowledge transfer within the organization, enriching the overall skill set of the permanent workforce.

  • Overtime

    SubWorkers provide flexibility to businesses by allowing them to scale up or down based on workload fluctuations. During busy periods, SubWorkers can be brought in to handle increased demand, reducing the need for existing employees to work overtime. 

    SubWorkers are often hired for specific projects or time-limited assignments. This helps in managing workloads without burdening permanent staff with excessive overtime. Once the project is completed, SubWorkers can find work elsewhere without the need for long-term commitments from one company. 

    SubWorkers are often hired for their specialized skills in a particular area. This can be beneficial for handling specific tasks or projects without overburdening permanent staff with work they may not be specialized in. 

    Excessive overtime for permanent employees can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and increased turnover. Utilizing SubWorkers helps distribute the workload, reducing the risk of burnout among permanent staff.

    Businesses with seasonal fluctuations may find SubWorkers particularly useful. Hiring additional staff during peak seasons helps manage the workload without committing to year-round employment.

Getting Started

  • Step 1: ShiftRoles & Notices

    ShiftRoles are similar to job ads. You post a general title & description of what you are looking for. No specific dates or times. It’s more about setting expectations and attracting the right people for your need. SubWorkers click an “I’m Interested” button to connect with you through Notices if they want to learn more about working with you. Notices are like a chat where you and the SubWorker and communicate.

    Use Notices to set a time for a phone call, video call or in-person meet&greet. See “Connections” for our recommendations on the structure and outline of the Meet&Greet.

    NOTE: When selecting minimum age on ShiftRoles, please select the minimum age and all of the ages older than it. Thank you.

    Side note: better videos coming soon. 🙂

    1. STEP 1A: ShiftRoles Part I (video)
    2.  STEP 1B: ShiftRoles Part II (video)
    3.  STEP 2: How to use Notices
  • Step 2: Give SubWorker the ability to see your Open Shifts


    • We recommend you do not give SubWorkers the ability to see your Open Shifts Schedule until they have completed the local, state and federal paperwork needed to pay them.
    • You will need the SubWorker's first & last name and either their ShiftSub username or the email address they use for ShiftSub. This will make sure we are adding the right person to your schedule.

    Steps to add a SubWorker to your Open Shifts Schedle:

    1. Click on Calendar
    2. Select Calendar Manager
    3. On the left, click on "Add/Remove SubWorker"
    4. Complete this form. It may take up to 24 hours for a SubWorker to be added. Once added, they can see and pick up any Open Shifts you have posted.
  • Post an Open Shift

    From the Calendars drop down menu, click on Team Calendar.  

    Click the button that reads "+Shift".

    Complete the fields. Once submitted, your Open Shift is live.


    If you will be posting the same shift information over and over, we recommend creating a RepeatShift where it will save the information and populate as you select it for future Open Shifts. To create a RepeatShift, from the Calendars drop down menu, click on Calendar Manager. At the bottom left, click on the button that reads "Add RepeatShift". Complete the form with the information you want to appear in EVERY shift for that role. Anything left blank you will have to enter each time you go to post it.

Connections: Meet& Greet / Orientation

  • Meet&Greet

    This is an opportunity for both the employer and the subworker to determine if they want to work together. We do not recommend an interview style meeting. We recommend taking them for a facility tour, talk about the type of tasks they would be doing if they picked up the shiftrole they are interested in, see the workstation where they would work the shift, and possibly watch the work being done by an employee.

    If all goes well, we recommend setting up orientation on a separate day

  • Orientation

    Orientation is when the subworker completes the paperwork needed for payroll, meet a few key employees & leadership, show they where they will clock in and put their personal belongings. This would also be when you would schedule any mandatory safety training or other training required before they can start work.

Open Shifts

  • Can I customize the fields in OpenShifts?

    YES! From your Calendar Manager , you can send a request to add/change the information shown when an open shift is posted. Some information must remain, but if you wish to add something that the open shift doesn’t include that is specific to your business, just let us konw!

  • What are ShiftGroups?

    ShiftGroups can be added to a schedule from your Calendar Manager page. If you have a task that will take more than one day/one shift to accomplish and want to tie shifts together for selection, you can!  

    Let's say you are a construction company and you need someone to build a deck. It's going to take 4 days to build. You need the same two people to work all 4 days.  

    With ShiftGroups, the system forces them to accept all four days. They can't just select one.  

  • What are RepeatShifts?

    If you have a ShiftRole that you will use over and over, add it to your RepeatShift list. For example: If you are a manufacturing company and your Picker/Packer works 8am to 4pm every day, then create a RepeatShift where you select the title and start/end time instead of selecting "OpenShift".  

    You can add RepeatShifts from your Calendar Manager page.

  • What are ShiftNotes?

    At the bottom of each Open Shift, there are fields that are only seen by employers. They include attendance, punctuality and shiftnotes.

    Once a SubWorker picks up a shift and the shift runs it's course, the assigned mentor goes here to document attendance, punctuality and any notes that may be needed for HR purposes.

  • Do I have to include a bonus?

    NO! The bonus is there for your benefit. If you post an Open Shift and no one picks it up, you have the option of adding a bonus of whatever dollar amount you want to motivate SubWorkers to pick it up. You wold be surpriseing how much interest jumps with a simple $20 bonus for working a shift.

    Bonuses are meant to simply build interest and grab the attention of SubWorkers.

  • Why is it important to include closing duties?

    Every shift has closing duties so don't let SubWorkers leave without doing their fair share. By defining them in the open shift, it sets an exectation before they choose to pick that shift up and before they arrive to work it. There is no misunderstanding about their responsibilities and your permanent staff gets true help with closing duties.

    We recommend making them things that just about anyone can do. But don't slack on asking them to help close. Your team members will appreciate the help and probably be more likely to make the SubWorker feel like part of the team!  

  • What is a Mentor and why are they important?

    When posting an Open Shift, employers are asked for a name & phone number of a “Mentor”. Mentors were designed with intention to keep things running smoothly.  

    We see Mentors as being the “Supervisor on Duty” for that shift. They are the person the SubWorker checks in with when they arrive, checks in with before they clock out, goes to with issues and goes to when they don’t understand something. SubWorkers are encouraged to not ask other workers for instruction.  

    The phone number is included because if that SubWorker has an emergency, they will need to know who to call. The Mentor is the first person that needs to know they aren’t coming.  

    With that said, the Mentors also hold another role. We look to them to make sure the SubWorker feels part of the team has everything they need to work their shift. They find ways to create teamwork and reduce friction between SubWorkers and their permanent staff.  

    Mentors have access to the Open Shifts schedule so they can do attendance and punctuality at the end of the shift for HR. There is also a place for ShiftNotes in each shift. This allows them to make any notes that HR needs for documentation. Maybe the SubWorker wasn’t in uniform or took a longer break than planned.  

ShiftSub Apparel

  • What are the benefits of SubWorkers wearing ShiftSub apparel?

    ShiftSub is flexible in what employers would like Subworkers to wear when picking up shifts in their business. We ask employers to consider choosing ShiftSub apparel because of the benefits it provides subworkers, employers and customers!

    Benefit to SubWorkers: SubWorkers are more likely to join SubTeams where they can wear ShiftSub apparel. Having one set of clothing to keep clean and have handy is much easier for them. Going from one shift to another, wearing the same apparel makes things simple for them.

    Benefit to Employers: Employees of a business can easily see who is picking up shifts and who is a permanent employee. A visual that tells employees not to rely on them for certain things that they may not be prepared for or trained for.  

    Benefit to Customers: Customers will get to know the ShiftSub brand and appreciate those workers for filling in so they can get the service they are getting. If they have a question or issue, customers know those wearing ShiftSub logo are probably not the best person to go to. Employees who can answer their questions or concerns are easy to identify.

Important To Know

  • ShiftSub Age Requirements

    Workers must be 14 years old to create a subworker account on ShiftSub. To work for an employer, the SubWorker must be of “working age” in the state in which they live and work. It is the employer’s responsibility to follow all local, state and federal laws in association with minimum working age for SubWorkers. ShiftSub is not the employer-on-record.

    Employers must be 18 years of age to create an employer account on ShiftSub.   

  • Adding ShiftSub to your iPhone or Android Home Screen

    We are currently not in the app store. Users who wish to use their smart phone, you can easily add an icon to your home screen for easy access to our web-app.

    Click here to watch the iPhone Video

    Click here to watch the Android Video.   

  • Employers Canceling Shifts

    We understand sometimes employers schedule workers and it turns out that the shift doesn’t bring the demand originally expected.  If the employer is able to cancel the shift that has been picked up at least 24 hours in advance, it gives that subworker enough time to find another shift to pick up and make money.  If the shift cancels less than 12 hours and the subworker shows up for it, we ask that the employer works and/or pays them for a minimum of four hours.  If the original shift was less than 4 hours, we ask that the employer pay them for the amount of time the shift was set for when the subworker picked it up.  

    ShiftSub looks to create a respectable system where SubWorkers and Employers can work together. 

Tracking Time

  • ShiftReports

    ShiftReports allow you to run a report with custom start/end dates. These reports show shifts that SubWorkers picked up within that time frame. Note: the shifts listed on these reports are shifts picked up whether they worked them or not. We have plans for this area of the site as well. For now, know that they are available to employers however they choose to use them.

  • How do SubWorkers track their time?

    For now, SubWorkers will clock in/out on your timekeeping system. We recommend something they have to be in the building for. This will make paying them from your payroll system a breeze.  

    SubWorkers will have the ability to manually track their time on ShiftSub, but it is for their recordkeeping purposes. We have big plans for this area of the site. We hope to integrate with payroll systems in the future.  

Unemployment & Workers Comp

  • Workers Compensation

    Works Comp premiums are not based on the number of employees you have. Premiums are based on your actual gross salary paid for the year. It is similar to your personal income process. You pay estimated income taxes through out the year and at the end of the year, either you break even, they owe you money or you owe them money. It works very similar with Workers Comp. Your premiums all year are based on an estimated gross salary you gave the insurance company. At the end of the year, you settle up based on actual gross salaries paid.

    If you have open shifts that you need to people to work, whether they are a full-time employee or a SubWorker (part-time, W-2), if someone fills that shift, your workers comp is based on their gross salary. This can add up if you are paying out overtime! With ShiftSub, you can have a SubWorker fill those shifts instead of paying an employee overtime to work it and save on your workers comp premium balance at the end of the year!

  • Unemployment

    Your unemployment cost is based on how much you have paid out to workers for justified unemployment claims. Unemployment is paid to full-time workers who lose their job at no fault of their own.

    SubWorkers are part-time, W-2 employees of yours. They have to qualify for unemployment just like any other employee you would hire to fill the same shifts you need workers for in order to receive it.  

MyAccount, Memberships, Subscriptions, Designations

  • Subscriptions

    Subscriptions are "calendars" and "schedules" and have a cost associated with them. Employer membeships that add subscriptions to their account are responsible for payment. Subscriptions can be canceled or paused anytime through the MyAccount/Subscriptions page. Subscriptions are month-to-month. Once you pay for a month, it's yours. There are no refunds. The benefit is that you can pause your account for up to a year without losing your schedules and workers. Or you can cancel any time.  

    You are in the drivers seat!

  • Designations

    Designations are how ShiftSub and Employers establish permissions for the "Employees". Employers choose from Manager, Mentor, Worker when they add them to a schedule. This identifies what permissions they have on that schedule and what they can see on ShiftSub.

  • Memberships

    There are 3 types of memberships. Employer, SubWorker and Employee. All are lifetime memberships at no cost to the user.

    Every user has a personal login/password that makes their ShiftSub Account. This is created when you register for your first membership on ShiftSub.

    SubWorkers are workers that register on ShiftSub on their own looking to connect with employers in their community.  

    Employees are users that employers add to their schedule because they want them to pick up shifts through ShiftSub. If a user is an Employee and not a SubWorker, they don't see things like ShiftRoles, Connections, Notices, & SubTeams. They only see Open Shifts for the schedules their employer adds them to and their own schedule.

  • MyAccount

    MyAccount is your ShiftSub account. It's how you login to ShiftSub. It's private and will always be yours. Usernames can not be changed. We recommend you choose a personal username for your ShiftSub account.

Success on ShiftSub

  • Establish Work Ethic

    Give new SubWorkers basic, unskilled tasks that take no more than 30 minutes (60 min at the very most) to train them on. Allow them the time and space to pick up multiple shifts with your business over the course of a few weeks doing basic, unskilled tasks. 

    Let’s give SubWorkers the time and space to consistently pick up, show up and work. Then invest time and money into more in depth training on the same type of tasks or other tasks within your company. 

  • The First Three Shifts

    Setting clear expectation and establishing what’s next reduces frustration and makes them feel more confident about what they are doing. 

    In all three of the first shifts they pick up, show them how to do the task you want them to do 3 times and explain in detail what you are doing and why you are doing it. It's the "why" that is important! Then ask them to do the task and hang out with them while they complete the task 3 times making sure they saw and heard you correctly. Ask them if they have any questions.  

    Let them know who their mentor is for the day so they know who to go to with questions.  

    Lastly, let them know when their first break/lunch is and how they will know it’s time to stop for break. 

  • Keeping Them Engaged

    If you have to tell a SubWorker they are doing something wrong, we recommend the following. Tell them two things they are doing that you like, then what you would like them to do different. 

    For example: “You are doing great with sorting those pieces out and it seems like you are moving at a good pace. If you happen to see a piece that is broken, can you set them aside so they aren’t with the pieces that we are going to use? Thank you for your help today.” 

    Guiding SubWorkers in a positive manner reduces their worry about whether or not they are doing a good job for you. 

  • Part of the Team

    Building a connection between the subworker and the other team members on your permanent staff will do wonders. Introduce them to team members you feel would engage in positive conversations with the subworker. A subworker is more likely to pick up more shifts if they feel part of the team and positivity is in the air. 

    We recommend making it the responsibility of the mentor to create an environment where the employees are welcoming to subworkers. 

  • Strikes

    Make it clear at the orientation that you follow the ShiftSub Strike Policy and that you will report all strikes. Being consistent here with subworkers will benefit you greatly long-term.  

    Let them know that rules may be different for your permanent employees vs your subworkers so if they see employees doing something they were told they couldn't do. They are to stick to the ShiftSub Strike Policy because that is what they will be reviewed on.  

    Then follow through on this! Report any/all strikes to ShiftSub. 

  • Mentor

    Assigning a mentor to each shift that is picked up by a subworker will save the day. SubWorkers need to know who to go to and who not to go to. If an employer would like subworkers to follow the rules and be successful at their business, mentors are going to be vital. See “What is a mentor?” for more information. 

  • Recruiting for full-time

    This will chase your subworkers away quicker than asking someone to get married on the first date! Subworkers know that if they are interested in full-time employment with any of the employers they sub for, they are to go to the hiring manager or HR. There are plenty of job boards and staffing agencies out there to find full-time, permanent employees. SubWorkers on ShiftSub signed up here because they don't want that.   

    What you CAN do! If you have a subworker that you really like and does a good job for you, simply offer them the opportunity (one at a time) to learn a new skill within the business whether in the same department or another. They can continue to pick up shifts doing what they have but can also pick up shifts in other areas of the business. Create an environment for them where they can work in multiple different roles within the business and let them pick. The more roles they are able to pick up shifts in, the more shifts they will pick up! 

SubWorker Status

  • Lead & Expert

    Lead: Capable of overseeing and coordinating the activities of a shift, ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and in accordance with the ShiftRole's goals & objectives. They are't training workers. They may have one or two more workers that look to them for general guidance or is assisting them on a shift/project.

    Expert: Works independently and is a master in their craft. Highly knowledgeable and skilled. They work jobs independently.

  • Trainer & Trainee

    Trainer: An expert in his trade and will be responsible on the shift to "train" a trainee on the role.

    Trainee: A new SubWorker who needs training before becoming a Rookie or Independent. This is for the ShiftRoles that involve more in-depth training.

  • Rookie & Independent

    Rookie and Independent are going to be the most commonly used SubWorker statuses.  

    Rookie New to a particular ShiftRole, still needs supervision, may have questions or need guidance.

    Independent Has done the ShiftRole before, can work without supervision, can identify tasks, problems or opportunities and take action, can organize workload to meet deadlines and achieve objectives, and is working alone on a ShiftRole.

  • What is a SubWorker Status?

    This is a combination of skill, experience & ability to do the ShiftRole. There are 6 SubWorker Statuses.  

    Rookie, Independent, Trainer, Trainee, Lead, and Expert. SubWorker statuses are specific to each worker and each ShiftRole they work. For example: Bob may be a rookie on a concrete ShiftRole because he doesn’t have much experience doing concrete, but could be an expert or trainer on building decks.

    Employers have the flexibility to select the SubWorker status for each shiftrole they post. See below for a breakdown of each.


  • Is there a long-term contract?

    No. Employers pay a monthly subscription. It is a month-to-month payment plan. You pay for the month, it's yours. There are no refunds. However, employers do have the option of canceling or pausing their account through the MyAccount page.  

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