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