Job Board Improvements: Map View

Job applications just got easier for staffers working on Watu.

When staffers now log in to their agency database and click on jobs, they see a distribution of job opportunities across the country.  Each of the jobs pinned on the map is listed below it with a photo showing who the job manager is, a title, role type and description.

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Staffers can adjust the job catchment area up (10/20/50 &100 miles) to look for more job opportunities…


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And they can change the primary address that they are searching from for those occasions when they are looking for work in other regions…

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Staffers are also able to see the maps within their job bookings, including directions on how to get from their primary address to the job location.

With staff now aware of all of the opportunities in their area, with distance calculated, they are able to make more informed decisions on which jobs they apply to, increasing the accuracy of the application and the efficacy of the booking.

Payroll, the easy way

One of the most onerous tasks inherent in temporary staffing is payroll.  Processing the pay of tens, hundreds and even sometimes, thousands, of staff per month is time consuming and open to error, especially if the process of collating & calculating pay is over reliant on spreadsheets and man hours. Crucially, errors in payroll have significant knock on effects, whether financial (paying too much or the wrong people) or reputational.

Watu‘s Payroll solves this headache with a quick, simple solution of 3 CSV files created for third party payroll providers.

Gross Pay – 3 clicks and about 15 seconds of work will produce a gross payroll readout, giving you two reports: an overview report showing which staff are due money, what they are owed and how to pay them (bank details).  The second report is more in depth, giving a detailed read out of each staffers gross wages split by each job that they have done.  The CSV read out is designed to contain all the information needed to run a net payroll through SAGE.

This solution is designed to make your payroll error free, fast and of benefit both to the managers using it, and your staffers who are able to access all of their pay information in their dashboards.


Growing Your Staffing Business

Our customers come in a beautiful array of shapes and sizes, owner manager businesses running a few jobs per month through to larger staffing business running many hundreds of shifts per day.  Some have growing pains, some have ‘grown’ pains, all have opportunities to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.

A regular topic of conversation is how to best leverage the new technology opportunities that are available as a result of the shift towards low cost, monthly subscription software that deliver ingenious solutions to very specific challenges in a business.

Everything from email through to CRM, staff management, marketing, project management and accounts can now be delivered better than ever before, cheaper than ever before.

Here’s a list of the software that we believe forms the basic platform for building out a highly efficient, profitable staffing business:

Email, Calendar, Files – At only £3 per user per month, Google for business comes with your own custom email address, Google Drive for storing all of your files, 99.9% uptime and the ability to access it anywhere.  No need for an expensive email client, hosting or IT support.

Sales – Successful sales is about structured process.  Measuring your ‘activity’, the metrics that deliver a sale (phone calls, emails, meetings, conversions), is fundamental in building up your sales pipeline and growing your revenue.  To do this, you need a decent CRM.  We recommend HighriseHQ, built by a brilliant company called 37Signals.  Highrise offers a completely free version for 2 users and a basic entry level at £16 per month.

Project Management – The cost of retaining an existing customer is far less than acquiring a new one.  You can grow a great staffing agency by over delivering to your existing customer base, retaining them year in, year out, and growing with them.  You over deliver by being super hot at managing your staffing projects.  We recommend both Asana and Trello as two very cool products that are free!

Staff Management – Staffing is a labour intensive industry, the management of people and their ever evolving diaries and needs, a complex juggling act.  If run inefficiently, staffing businesses turn into small crisis management centres, managers running from one little fire to another.  The job is harder when you’re not using the optimal set up.  If you’re using separate email, Excel documents, payroll solutions, power point for profiles, mobiles for sending SMS, staffing is stressful.

Optimise your staff management with Watu.  Integrated recruitment, job scheduling and booking, messaging, automated profile creation, online expenses, 30 second payroll makes the job WAY easier, saves you HUGE amounts of time and frees you up to get out there and grow your business.  All for the price of a London cup of coffee per day. Pricing.

Accounting – Good friends of ours and only around the corner in London Bridge, Kashflow build super easy to use accounting software for SMEs at the beautiful cost of £18 per month.

Staffing doesn’t need to be super stressful.  The stress can be managed. We know this having seen the dramatic time saving Watu has achieved for our customers (watch testimonial), and read the resultant smiles (read testimonial).  Structure your staffing business for success, work with the right tools to give yourself the best opportunity to grow and then get out there and do what you’re great at, recruiting brilliant people to deliver for your clients.

Interested in playing with Watu? Register for your free trial here.

It’s personal

Watu is fully configurable, enabling our customers to build bespoke recruitment forms, profiles and overall appearance.  Our customers all benefit from the ‘economies of scale’ inherent in us focussing all of our efforts on building one platform, but have the ability to differentiate their database to be specific to them.

Promotional Staff Love Watu

We received an e-mail from one of our customers, Mash Staffing, with a little feedback from one of their staffers:

Hi Watu

I just spoke to a new recruit who asked how they could register with us.  When I told her, she said this;

‘Oh my God, you’re also on Watu, that’s amazing!  That’s definitely the best staffing portal around, it’s just so easy and fast to use’

I thought that would make you guys smile and code faster! 


E-mails like that make us smile.  Last week we had over 40,000 logs ins to Watu from staffers alone, updating profiles, checking and applying for jobs, reviewing job bookings, claiming expenses online and looking at upcoming pay.  It’s an awesome feeling building a product that is being used by so many people on a daily basis.

Submit for Support

One of the coolest things about building an internet product is the feedback loop from our customers and the feeling that we’re building out a better product together.  After each deployment we wait with anticipation for the first batches of feedback that provide us with insight in to how our new release is affecting our customers.

User feedback is what drives product excellence, it defines whether the feature makes a true difference.  We measure ‘a true difference’ by whether it does one, or all, of three things:

  1. Save you time
  2. Make you more profitable
  3. Enhance your staffers experience with your agency

The value of feedback is greater to us when it is highlighting failings and missed opportunities within Watu rather than things we get right.  Positive feedback feels good, but negative (let’s call it constructive) feedback makes Watu better.  It’s much more valuable to us.

When logged in to Watu, you can see a ‘Support’ tab on the right hand side of the screen.  Each and every time you spot something that you think could be better, or that you think would be valuable for us to know, hit the Support tab.  It’s much better than e-mailing us.

What happens when you hit the Support button?

The power of the button is that it provides a link to the exact page that you’re proving feedback from, enabling our engineering team to see what you saw, and saving you the hassle of providing a screenshot or writing paragraphs of copy to ‘set the scene’.

So, hit that Submit button.  It’s gold dust for us and makes sure we’re building a better product for you.  Submit.

Payroll in Minutes not Hours

A slip of a finger in Excel may mean that the austerity programme that Britain is following to guide its way out of  the recession, is actually based on the wrong data.

If you haven’t read about this error already, here’s a synopsis:

Two Harvard economists, responsible for a 2010 paper entitled ‘American Economic Review, Growth in a Time of Debt’, a paper that was circulated throughout the world and used to underpin the strategic decisions that governments have made to deliver austerity packages, were in fact working with a spreadsheet that had a couple of faulty formulas.  In one instance,  it was just someone using Excel on a laptop who was highlighting cells for a formula and released his index finger from the left-click button of his mouse too soon.

Sound like a familiar mistake?

There is no doubt that spreadsheets add great value in numerous areas in a business, regardless of size.  But not always.  There are cases where spreadsheets just don’t add up (excuse the pun), where task specific software provides far greater value.  One of these cases is payroll.

When a staffing agency runs their jobs on spreadsheets, the processing of payroll is a time consuming, error-prone endeavour.  The bigger your agency, the higher the risk, the greater the expense, both time and reputation, when you get things wrong.

Each and every month staffing agencies up and down the country spend hundreds of combined hours on collating spreadsheets, cross referencing and double checking.  Invariably, the result of those hours is a payrun that every now and again, contains an error.  Errors result in unhappy staff and doubling down on attention to detail for the next month; more time spent.

Time is money in staffing.  The more time you take on a task, the less profitable you are as a business.

You have an alternative.  Build and book your jobs using Watu, sign that work off on a daily basis (one click) and produce a payroll file for third parties to process in three clicks and a couple of minutes.  Error free.

Gross Pay – 3 clicks and about 15 seconds of ‘work’ will produce a gross payroll readout, giving you two reports, an overview report showing which staff are due money, what they are owed and how to pay them (bank details).  The other report is more in depth, giving a detailed read out of each staffers gross wages split by each job that they have done.  Gross pay is free, included in the £99 per month manager license.

We’ve turned payroll from hours in to minutes, saving you huge amounts of time.  Time is money in staffing.  The less time you take on a task, the more profitable you are as a business.

If Excel ever goes, we will miss it, just not for payroll.

‘I have genuinely LOVED using Watu…’

Hi Guys

Just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know that today is my last day at SW.  I have genuinely LOVED using Watu during my time here and can’t express how much time, effort and stress it has saved me.  It really is a fantastic resource.

Your team are all brilliant so please pass my thanks on to them for their patience and hard work when helping with any of my issues.  They’re awesome and should be super proud of what they’ve made.

Thank you again and hopefully I’ll be back on Watu in the near future.


Getting e-mails like this makes our day.  We love building a product that people spend 8 hours a day on and the opportunity that gives us to genuinely change peoples lives for the better in our own little way.

It turns out that Lucy wont be spending too long off of Watu, the company she’s moving to is now a customer of ours too.  We’re happy about that.

Would you like to see watu for yourself? We have a free trial version for you to play with! You can also see our tour page or examine the pricing structure.

Job Applications Rock

When booking a person on to a shift you need to ascertain their availability, their suitability & their interest in the job.  Without your own job market you achieve this filtering by sending SMS to staff or calling them to see if all three factors coincide with the details of your job.  This is time consuming and costs money.  It’s also potentially damaging for the agency brand as staff will register and never ever hear from the agency again.

Managing your own job market addresses all of these redundancies:

Time – By publishing your job to your market place, your staff are able to review all open opportunities, review the details of that job from description through to dates, location, shift times and pay and then made a decision on whether to apply.  At this point, no time has been spent by the staff manager in ascertaining any of these particulars with staff.

Accuracy – Staff confirm their suitability and availability in their application.  Information that can be lost on a phone based booking is all noted, increasing the booking accuracy.

Cost Saving – No SMS notifications or phone calls, and far less time spent by the staff managers means booking costs are reduced.

Reputation – Giving staff the opportunity to view and apply to all opportunities means your staff are always up to date and don’t feel like they are never offered work.  WIth a simple way to decline applications, they don’t feel ignored and it ensures that your staff managers can be accused of booking favorites, an accusation that can lead to agencies gaining a bad reputation.

Just four great reasons to be utilising your own job market!

Shortlists Save You Time


Shortlists are designed to save you time.  When you create a job you’ll either have a set idea on the staff that you would like to book on the activity, or a set type of staffer that you would like to apply and book.  Shortlisting works for both.

Shortlists for Select Staff 

Once you’ve created the job, simply search for the specific staff that you would like to book, whether they be individuals, staff that have worked on similar activity or a specifically trained, and shortlist them to the job.   By including a message to the staffers, with full details on the activity that you have shortlisted them for, you make them aware of the opportunity and its particulars.  The resultant staff applications are pre qualified for availability and suitability and booking is faster and more accurate.

Shortlists for a Set Type of Staffer

You can shortlist roles types too.  After you’ve created the shift, search the for the role type you’re looking to book, choose the number of staff that you want to make aware of the opportunity and then shortlist them.  Once you’ve booked all the roles, you can mass decline all further applicants in one click, thanking them for applying and letting them know the job is fully booked.

Staff love the transparency, managers love the efficiency and agencies benefit from better engaged staff and more productive managers.