Finding the Ideal Registration Form

To be good at recruiting and staffing requires the ability to attract the right people, generate a deep understanding of their abilities and store information on them that enables you to conduct accurate searches whilst building a solid interaction history with them.

The registration form is one of the critical components of this process. Its design requires the right balance: ask too little and you won’t have the information you need to operate; ask too much and people will give up before finishing. In my experience, almost nobody pays enough attention to form design.

Read the rest of the article at The Staffing Stream

Better job locations

Knowing where you work is as important as when you have to be there. That’s why we significantly improved the way we manage job locations in Watu.

Like before, you can just enter the address in a simple text form:

but it is better if you provide more accurate information by expanding the form:

You can give locations a label, something descriptive about the location. The address is meant to be just the address, so we can pinpoint the place better in the world. We’ll show you a map next to it so you can confirm we are placing it correctly. It’s important that we do, because this information is now shown to staffers:

Soon, this information will be critical, because staffers will be able to search jobs by location.

You can learn more about job locations in our knowledge base.

Providing great support, a part of a great user experience

Traditionally enterprise applications never provided a great user experience. This is coming to an end with a wave of enterprise applications built, distributed and maintained the same way the great consumer applications are. Watu is part of the new wave of user friendly enterprise applications.

One part of providing a great user experience is providing great support. The only way to know how we are doing is to measure it. Well… measure and compare it. For example, how are we doing compared to other web applications:

watu vs web applications

On average, web applications respond to support requests in 20hs, we respond in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Most web applications get 753 tickets a month, we only get 125. The last one is a tricky number, the more customers you have, the more tickets you are likely to get. But also, the worse you application is, the more you get. Every time we get a question about Watu, every time someone is confused about how it works, we keep track of the expected behavior of the application to later implement it.

A good example of that is password reset. We got to a point where we were getting about 10 emails a week asking us how to log in, register, reset password, etc. Our password reset functionality worked fine, but in many situations it didn’t match the users expectations. One of many cases is when people tried to register and they were already registered because we imported a database from a previous system into Watu. Now we offer a better workflow in that and many other situations, which means, a better user experience.

To be fair though, comparing ourselves against all web apps is too broad. We should compare ourselves to other small companies that are likely to be part of the new wave of enterprise applications. The companies that are working hard to give a good user experience and good support. This is how we are doing:

watu vs small companies

We are still doing great! If you start using Watu, whenever you have an issue, you are very likely to get a reply in a few hours:

first response

But ultimately, what matters is how you feel about Watu, so, why don’t you let us know? We love hearing from current and future customers.

Looking nice in mobile phones

Mobile is the future and we know it. We recently learned that hundreds of staffers are bookmarking direct links to Watu in the home screens of their mobile phones. Now we’ll make you look better, by exporting your icon as an iOS icon. It looks like this:

iPhone icons

If you don’t have an icon or you don’t like your current one, please, go to the configuration of your account and set it. It’ll make you stand up much more in the home screen of your staffers mobile phones.

Send more than just messages: attachments!

We understand that you really wanted attachments, but coming to Watu headquarters with pitchforks and torches was a little bit extreme, don’t you think? At any rate, it’s here and it’s awesome. Oh… and simple… so simple.

When you start composing a message, you’ll notice there’s a new button:


But you don’t have to use it, because we fully support drag and drop. Just drag your files to the email message:


and drop! Plop, they’ll be attached:


Not only will those files be attached in your e-mail, they’re also accessible in the list of messages so that you can see exactly what you sent:

sent messages with attachments

Et voilà! Attachments have landed and you can now send mass mail to your staffers, avec le attachments. Simply lovely. Until the next time folks.

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?

Searching on notes

In all systems that handle information, once you have enough information, there’s only one way to handle it: search. We, humans, are handling more and more information every day. Today we couldn’t think of a mailbox that doesn’t support an amazing search system, yet before Gmail, that was the norm.

After we released notes, I wasn’t really surprised we got the question: can we search on notes? Yes, you can now search on notes:

Notice that it’s the same staffer search you already used thousands of times. At Watu we are working hard to not only make search possible, but also easy and intuitive. We have several exciting new improvements coming soon. Stay tuned!

A tip to search for staffers in different states

We recently released mass-messaging and you’ve been using it quite successfully. You can easily click on the Active link and message all your active staffers. But what if you want to message all your active and all your pending staffers in one go? You can always do it with two messages, but Watu is all about efficiency, so let me show you a trick.

Once you click on Active, you’ll get a search bar that says “State: Active”:

You can add more states to the search by typing either “state” or the name of the state you want and picking from the list:

Once you select a second state, you’ll get the results from both of them:

Everything else works as before, you can further narrow the search by adding more search criteria, mass-message, and in the future, maybe more actions too.

Mass message your staff

If you click on “active” you’ll notice something different in Watu today. The Message action is enabled even though no staffer is selected. This is new.

This is the number one requested feature for Watu and today it’s finally available to all users: mass mailing staffers.

If you click on Message without selecting any staffers you’ll get a slightly different message window:

In this example, message all 183 active staffers.

In effect, you are now able to message all of your ‘active’ staffers (staff that are approved and live in your database).  Mass mailing works for any search you run in Watu. For example, let’s search for staffers that like the color green:

Simply click on the Message link and you get a messaging popup showing you that you are about to send a message to staffers who have stated their favourite colour as green:

Since we don’t know whether you want to message everybody who likes green, regardless of state, we give you the option to pick staffers that are pending, rejected, suspended, etc.

Messaging is the only mass-action we have for now, but in the future there will be many more as we look to streamline the job of booking staff. Mass actions enable you to easily affect a lot of people making them a powerful action.  With this in mind, remember uncle Ben’s wise words:

with great power, comes greats responsibilities

Inviting staffers to a job

A wonderful new version of jobs is in the pipeline and some of you have seen it and fallen in love with it. We are working around the clock to release it, but in the meantime, we are also improving the current version of jobs that you are already using in Watu. You might be asking yourself, didn’t you already have a feature to invite staffers to a job?

Yes, we did have that feature, but our user studies showed that there was room for improvement. Thinking out of the box we were able to develop a more intuitive version of that feature. If you go the usual messaging window, you’ll now notice a new option:

From the template chooser you can now select to “Invite a staffer to a job”. If you do that, you’ll be asked to pick a job:

This will also change the contents of the message itself to use the invite-to-job template which, as you can see, will include a lot of information about the job:

We hope that in the future, as we add more features to Watu, there will be more options in there. Stay tuned!