Let’s go out to play

At Watu, data integrity is one of our driving principles. Our payroll system will make sure everybody is paid and nobody is paid twice. That means that if you run payroll once, you won’t be able to run it again for the same jobs. How do you give it a try then? Well, I’m glad you asked. You jump into the playground!

Jump into playground

Your playground is an alternate database. It looks and behaves the same way as a live database, but the data is fabricated, evidenced by the movie directors and hollywood actors that you’re now able to book on that leafleting job in Scunthorpe.

playground dashboard

You can send messages, accept or reject staff applicants, create jobs, run a bogus payroll, test drive features and generally play around. It’s your playground and it comes without any adult supervision.

If at any point you want to clean it up and start again, you just hit the “reset playground” button and off you go again. If only all things were that easy!

reset playground

When you hit that reset button, we strip out all of your ‘work’, and we start afresh. Don’t build anything for real in there!

resetting playground

And when you’re done with playground, and you think you’ve really got the hang of it, click on “Leave playground” in Account and you’re live.

Leaving playgroundIf you are a new customer to Watu, first, let me welcome you, I hope you find our application useful and enjoyable. The first time you start using Watu you’ll be in the playground. You won’t have a “Leave playground” link, instead, you’ll have a “Graduate from playground”. When you click that option, we’ll build your real database taking some information from your playground and at that moment, your free trial officially starts. While on playground, it’s free for as long as you want.

Won’t you come out to play?

It’s Our Birthday!

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 14.49.16

We’re 1 year old and like all milestones, it has been a time to briefly reflect on the past 52 weeks and assess how we’ve progressed.

Pablo and I started this business with a simple mission in mind.  Build easy to use, crazy clever, fun software that increased agency profitability, contributed to a better informed and engaged staff and upped the happiness quotient in agencies across the world.

We believe that temporary staffing agencies will be best equipped to handle the economic and competitive pressures of the next decade by driving their business on a great technology platform.

We believe, more so today than ever before, that great technology can radically improve agency productivity and profit as well as dramatically enhance the working relationship between agencies and their staff.

We’re really proud of what we’ve built so far and it is a daily pleasure to see our features being used and receiving the positive feedback and ideas from both agencies and the staffers themselves.

Here’s our progression in numbers:

  • We’ve written 11,000 lines of code
  • 13,000 lines of tests to make sure those 11,000 lines of code are good
  • Over 20,000 promotional staff are registered on watu
  • Our customers have sent 77,478 messages
  • 137 jobs have been created in only the last 2 weeks
  • 2850 shifts have been booked
  • 46% of all open shifts have been applied to by staff, drastically reducing down the resource requirement for booking jobs
  • We’ve made 1 brilliant hire to the team, Daniel Magliola, the designer, architect & engineer behind our payroll feature

We’re really excited about year 2 at watu.  We have huge plans for features that are going to radically improve efficiency, improve the way staff are pitched to clients, streamline payroll and expenses, measure staff performance, enhance briefing and training and produce our first business analytics for agency owners.

It’s going to be a big year.

Finally, we wanted to extend a HUGE thank you to all of our customers, the agencies that have taken a leap of faith and joined our mission to deliver the very best technology in staffing.  Without you, we wouldn’t be here.

Onwards and upwards…

Julian
Co-Founder / CEO

Happy Customers

Kim Levine, a director of Hels Angels, an excellent promotional staffing agency, recently sat with us to discuss the impact of watu on her business.  The purpose of our chat was to give some insight into the type of customers we work with, both in terms of industry and size, as well as get some feedback on the value that watu is adding to her team and the overall business.

1. What does your business specialise in?

We activate Brand to Consumer promotional activity.  We specialise in both promotional and hospitality staffing, alongside campaign implementation services.  Roles include Event Managers, Brand Ambassadors, Character Staff, Mixologists, Bar Staff, Waiting Staff etc

2. How big is your team?

We have around around 1,000 Angels working in the field, and 10-14 staff in the office depending on the time of the year.

3. How many staff do you book each year on projects?

We book around 7,000 staff days per year.

4. What software solutions did you consider?

We found the options to be very limited.  The other products on the market that came closest to satisfying our requirements were systems built for the recruitment industry, which meant that they did not really have the functionality we required.  This is why we eventually chose to build our own database which was proving to be really expensive, time consuming and frustrating.

We totally underestimated the resource requirement to build a system that works and quickly realised that we were going to build something that quickly became inadequate.  The process made us very aware that we wanted a system that would develop over time, in line with our particular work flows, something that would easily scale as our business grew and that didn’t require immense financial and human capital investment to get all the functionality that we were after.

5. Why did you decide to work with Watu?

We chose watu for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it was the most cost effective option for a business of our size.  There were no set up costs, no long term contracts and we could switch licences on or off depending on how busy we are.  We met with the team too and their background in our industry meant that they knew our problems instinctively.  They are really ambitious, like us, and we knew they would grow alongside us.

6. What system of infrastructure have you migrated from?
We were running the bookings through excel.  In fact, everything from recruitment through to booking and payroll was all managed through excel.  It was very time consuming.
7. What benefits does watu bring to your business?
Efficiency, time saving, centralising of information with easy access for all managers.  Easy access for staffers in terms of update of their profiles and jobs board.  Professional staff facing application.
8. What would you list as key features on watu?
Search function, messaging, photo and video upload, postcode search, jobs board, staff history (including messaging, job feedback, grievances etc).  We can’t wait for the availability function which is going to change our lives!
9. Has the team adapted well to watu?
The team has adapted extremely well to the search and messaging functions which are intuitive and time-saving, and even though building jobs and having a job market are completely new to us, we’ve taken to it well and are booking jobs much, much quicker.  The system is flexible enough to allow us to integrate the best of our processes with the improvements that Watu can offer and it’s made us a better team as a result.  Not to mention the ease of payroll!
10. Who would you recommend watu to and why? 
I would recommend Watu to any business that manages teams of people.  It can be used to store profile information, communicate with teams and individuals easily, allocate/book people to jobs/shifts/events, manage payroll etc.   It is a flexible system that I think would suit small or large agencies and certainly has the ability to grow with a business.  We’re loving it!

Watu makes staff managers jobs easier

Yesterday I ran a training session with one of our early customers, StaffWarehouse, a staffing agency in the promotional staffing industry in the UK.  Up until the introduction of Watu, StaffWarehouse had been using a recruitment industry software, a software that cost £4000 to set up and hundreds of pounds per month to subscribe to.

I asked Hailey how she felt about Watu and here’s what she had to say:

Thank you for coming over yesterday, I found the meeting very constructive as it was a fantastic opportunity to get an overview of the system and learn about your motivations for building it.

Having worked in the staffing industry for two and a half years and used 3 other databases, I have had my fair share of what I call ‘phone-bashing’ in a desperate attempt to book a job. After just 2 weeks of using Watu, I can see that my ‘phone-bashing’ days are limited as Watu has staff apply for the shifts they’re available for and I just choose the best!

The obvious difference for me, is that Watu is built for staffing managers, not built as a database for account managers and manipulated for staffing!  Similarly, each job has its own staffing challenges and Watu is obviously interested in addressing the most important challenges. I’d recommend the system to any staffing agency interested in booking the best staff and doing so as time efficiently as possible

We’re stoked that Watu is making such a big impact in their business and that we’re building a solution that makes staff managers jobs easier and more fun.

Watch watu in action.