How to Manage Per Diem Employees?

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In our daily life, per diem simply means for each day. By the same logic, per diem employees are those who are paid for each day. In other countries they are also referred to as wage earners.

How does a manager manage their per diem employees? Before we answer that question, it is important to talk about why it is important to manage them.

Why Are Per Diem Employees Important?

Per diem employees are technically not part of the essential workforce but that doesn’t mean organizations do not require their assistance from time to time. Actually, per diem employees are on demand staff that can be called/requested at any time of the day.

Let’s say organization X makes leather jackets. Out of nowhere, they receive a huge order that their current workforce cannot fulfill. To combat the shortage of workers, they may employ per diem employees. This is a crucial time for the organization, and here’s why per diem employees are extremely important.

The business world is swift, and there are opportunities every single day. If we do not talk about businesses, then we can shift our gaze to hospitals. Hospitals and clinics also require per diem employees when excess patients suddenly arrive out of nowhere.

That’s why managing them is highly important. Managers and owners alike should be equipped with the relevant techniques to manage per diem employees if they want to employ them in the foreseeable future. How to manage per diem employees is a good question, and managers need to ask this often if they want to keep their per diem employees happy.

Labor Management

Per diem employees are just like your average full-time or part-time employees. They also have rights that need to be fulfilled. Although they work irregular hours, this does not mean they’re less than any other employee.

The biggest problem per diem employees face is labor management. Not all managers or HR staff know how to handle per diem employees. This usually happens because terms and conditions with permanent and full-time employees are already decided. So there’s not much that changes with their contract that is pre-decided.

However, when it comes to per diem employees, they can be a little tricky to deal with. First things first, they’re employees who are usually called in emergency situations. Since they’re called out of the blue, they expect to receive higher earnings. This can result in quarrels or disagreements between the HR managers and the per diem employees.


The best solution is to treat per diem employees like they are a part of your team. This can be difficult for some managers since they’re not used to having new employees around, but they’re employees too. It makes sense to judge them by the same manner.

Of course, since they’re called up to fill irregular hours, they demand higher rates. In this circumstance, managers should try and negotiate rates beforehand. Instead of arguing in the heat of the moment, these things should be decided beforehand. The circumstances and their rates should be documented accordingly. This will save time, avoid conflict and per diem employees can then work smoothly.


Let’s face it, per diem employees are unreliable. Full-time and even part-time employees are bound by contracts and restrictions. The terms that govern them make them work. However, the same cannot be said about per diem employees.

Per diem employees sometimes call it off at the last minute. They may call it off or inform the HR manager that they won’t be able to work. Or perhaps, they may leave the work in the middle. This is a circumstance that can actually happen. Since this is the corporate world, managers have to consider everything beforehand.


The problem of unreliability is actually a threat to HR managers. Whether we talk about a factory or a business, per diem employees who call it off at the last second are a problem. When we talk about a hospital, the situation becomes more serious.

Therefore, HR managers should build a rapport with per diem employees. This can also be done by trying to keep them afloat through financial motivators or work in the future. The HR managers can also try to keep proper documentation for everything: before, during, and after work. In case there is a disagreement or a conflict, then it can be avoided if proper documentation is present in front of everyone.


HR managers can sometimes overuse per diem employees. Since they’re called in when there’s an emergency, their services can be utilized even after the emergency has ceased. This is not only unethical but also wrong. Overworking them when there’s a lot of work to be done seems alright but they’re not the same as full-time or part-time employees.


The solution of this problem is to use their services as per diem employees. HR managers should not confuse them with full-time or part-time employees because they’re not.

If you’re dealing with hospital per diem employees, then contacting the right place to guide you can be an excellent option. Companies such as Mass Medical can help HR managers with this, though there are many others as well.


Internationally, per diem rates differ. This is primarily because of the laws and regulations of each country. It is reported that Bermuda has the highest per diem rates. There are actually international per diem employee guidelines that need to be followed,just like the law in each country,per diem also have difference.This includes information about taxes, foreign guidelines, details about expense reports and much more. It is important to read the do’s and don’ts of per diem employees too.

Per diem employees, if utilized in the right of way, become the backbone of important organizations. Since they are flexible in nature, HR managers can always rely on them in case there is an emergency. However, the proper guidelines, procedures, documentation, and protocol needs to be set beforehand. Deciding matters then and there will never end positively for either side.

The best way to manage per diem employees is to think of them like your own workforce. This can result in them being friendlier, and working better than they usually do. If they feel that they’re intruders, or employees who don’t belong in the organization, they may show resentment toward work, authority, or policies. This isn’t a good sign at all. In fact, most HR managers would never employ staff that does not intend to comply with the policies in action.


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