Exploring Software for Staff Check-in

image of finger on phone map to represent staff checking in

Managing field staff comes with a vast array of challenges that normal offices just don’t encounter. Like, for example, knowing if the staff are actually on site. Whilst many events may have an event manager who is responsible for feeding back information, this sounds better in theory than in practice. In reality, the EM can often be busy liaising with clients, setting up the stand, or ensuring people are where they’re supposed to be. Result? A lost or delayed staff member may easily slip through everyones’ radars.

To help tackle this, various softwares have been introduced. In it Live has been specifically created for the temporary staffing and volunteer industry, offering an app for Android or alternatively, browser log in. It has the capabilities of staff check in but, importantly for Watu users, there may be too much overlap. Firstly, In it Live requires that you build the job schedule within their system too and in fact, staff can book themselves on directly to shifts which may not be ideal for agencies looking for specific criteria for certain roles. You can also communicate with staff through their software, but again, as Watu also offers this feature, this could easily become confusing to staff as to where they receive messages, and to whom they should be responding. And finally, it’s another site for staff to have to log in. Cue confusion with regards to where to log in, what for, and crossed wires.

In terms of pricing, it’s calculated per event and per staff member which is a good fit for the promotional and hospitality staffing industries. It doesn’t come cheap, but saying that, knowing your staff are all on site and being able to show this data to the client can be priceless.

An alternative may be Staffometer. It’s much more straightforward in its purpose, stating “Staffometer is an affordable system for employers which allows workers to use a smartphone as a time clock with location tracking. The employee installs a free app to their smartphone and uses it to clock in and clock out.” No additional website, and no bundled together features, this is staff check-in straight up. As long as staff have the app, they can just check in and check out as needed per job.

However, as Staffometer is made for regular employees and not the vast temporary staffing business, pricing presents a problem. It costs $20 per month but only for 10 employees; suitable for your top 10 event managers maybe, but not for your hundreds if not thousands of field staff.

It seems this is an ongoing challenge for agencies. There are a couple solutions available, but they either target remote, regular workers, or the temporary staffing industry but the latter with too many booking features. We’d love to see software like In it Live focussing on one main feature – the staff check in – and make this readily available to the industry; for example, their app currently only exists for Android which is bad news for all the iPhone users out there. In the meantime, we’re keeping our eyes open for alternative solutions and welcome any feedback from agencies who have struck gold in a solution!

Photo by David Hall

Mapping your staff with Maptive

mapping promo staff with maptive

Every now and then, I come across an app that would come in handy for staffing agencies. And Maptive is exactly this. If you’ve found yourself trying to understand your densities of field staff placement, but instead are left staring at Excel sheets with postcodes by the hundreds, Maptive will be able to help by mapping your staff. “Your data, on a custom Google Map, crazy fast”, it promises. It’s the crazy fast bit that caught my eye.

Maptive have taken the cumbersome task of mapping and made it elegant, not to mention, foolproof. Provide them with raw data, and they will place your hundreds, or even thousands, of staff on a Google map. If you’re keen to explore your data even further, they provide the options of filters, radius circles, grouping, and determining the most efficient routes between locations.

So what can you do with a map of your staff? Well, it’s more like, what can’t you do…

  • Present your staff spread to a client needing nationwide coverage – and proof that you can do it
  • Know which locations you need to focus on for hiring purposes
  • Tackling a job with multiple stops? Easily find the quickest routes
  • Use the attractive display options to present to clients when displaying potential target areas
  • Share routes or other staff members’ locations with your Event Manager via Maptive’s mobile friendly feature
  • Use your imagination…

Begin with a free trial and, if you won’t be using it extensively, stick to the limited and free version. But if you’re ready to explore more, check out the different packages starting at $250 for 45 days.

It can be daunting taking on new software, but adopting new apps and finding which ones stick can be game-changers. If you give Maptive a go, be sure to let us know if it’s helped you out!