I’ve found that the user roles included in WordPress can be repurposed without having to rename them because the end user will not see how they are classified. If you have a separate WordPress install and locked down your site with Piklist Helpers, you can use subscribers or contributors for entry level employees, authors for employees and editors for managers. If you are using a public site for your system, you should reserve subscribers for actual subscribers. By using the hierarchy included in WordPress instead of giving all of your users the same role, you can modify the output of pages so that sensitive or irrelevant information is hidden for certain users.
I create a user profile for everyone who will be entering data into the site so I can track the data he submits, even if he will only use a webform and not see the WordPress admin.
Expanding the User Profile with Piklist
I like to include an employees ID, direct phone number, licenses and other information in their profile. To create additional fields, you’re going to need to access your site via FTP. WP Engine uses SFTP, here is a guide on how to connect to your site.
Piklist uses a system of file folders in either the plugin folder (recommended) or theme folder to modify the WordPress admin. To create a user metabox with additional fields in a plugin, create a PARTS folder in the main plugin folder. Then create another folder called USERS. In the folder you will create a php file that will contain the custom user fields. Here’s the file I created with fields for employee ID and license number.
Here’s the Piklist guide to creating user profile metaboxes.