New Feature:: Document and Photo Upload to Jobs

Whilst the ‘booked’ job description allows for a full job brief, sometimes there are things to say or images to share which just can’t be written into a box.

And that’s why we’ve created a space for documents and images to be uploaded into jobs.

When clicking into a job, you’ll now see ‘show documents’ in the top right:

At this point, you can now choose documents to upload either by clicking into the grey space, or by dragging and dropping the document or image.


Once you’ve selected your document, you have a few options – do you want the document to remain private to managers? Or visible to all staff, or just the booked ones? And if visible to booked staff, is it only for a specific role?


Simply choose whichever settings are suitable for you, and save the document. Of course, you can choose to upload multiple documents which would only be visible to specific staff members.

Once your documents and images have been uploaded, here’s how it looks for the staff members:

If you have any questions about this feature, drop us a line via ‘tech support’ or info@watuapp.com

New Feature: Adding notes to a job

image of post it notes by michal grosicki for watu job notes

In the evolution from paper to computer, we’ve waved goodbye to paper notes, paper letters, sometimes even paper books. It’s virtual freedom from piles of notes on our desks…except for those pesky post-it’s which have stuck around – till now.

We’ve added a new feature which welcomes managers to leave notes within a job. Here’s how it works, in video:

In summary, managers can click to add notes in the top right of the job build page. Notes can be added and tracked per manager, as well as deleted.

 

Connecting Watu to a Questionnaire via Typeform

Following a shift, many agencies are keen to collect data from their staff in the field. What was the public reaction, how many samples were handed out, who showed interest…how many tweets were tweeted!? A questionnaire provides a natural route to gather this data and is a feature that has been mentioned by a few clients who already use Watu.

At the moment, it’s not a feature we offer and whilst it is a task we are considering tackling, we really doubt that we can build it better than the experts. Especially Typeform, who create “Free and Beautifully Human Online Forms.”

How does it work?

Building a typeform is ridiculously easy. It offer very straightforward report-building software which you can use from the get-go. No need to read instructions, experiment with practice forms, or temporarily morph into a coder. Create an account, build your form. Magic.

Image of Watu customer service survey

What does it look like?

This is the best part about typeform. Beyond being super simple for managers to use, it’s beautiful for users (or, as they say, humans…) to reply via. Bold texts, varied colours, imagery and clean graphics come together with the singularly appearing questions to create a pleasant-survey-experience. Not three words you often hear together.

How can you add a form to Watu?

Whilst the form cannot be hosted by Watu itself (that’s taken care of by Typeform), you can easily insert the link in a booking email. To do so, simple take your Typeform URL – which you can find within the ‘share’ section of Typeform- and paste it into your ‘booked staffer description’ within the Job Description of your Watu account.

Add a little sentence to go along with it, let’s say for example “After completing your shifts, please take 2 minutes to fill out this questionnaire about the campaign” and paste in your link.

image of watu including a typeform link

Want to experience an example?

Conveniently for you, I’ve created an example and would love for you to take part. Check out our customer service survey and let us know what you think of Watu’s customer service at the same time!

Filtering agency emails

Image of mailboxes to represent filtering agency emails Photo by 白士 李: https://flic.kr/p/mMthm6

The excitement of signing up to a new agency and receiving your first job offer provides for a real buzz. A new team of managers, a different range of clients, and the potential for some awesome gigs coming through into your virtual mailbox appeals to your curiosity and inbound post is read with relish.

Until that email turns into hundreds. Then maybe thousands, as you register with more agencies. And not just that, but you’re hectic at the moment with finals and shifts and social events galore. You want to apply to some shifts, but the amount of incoming mail is overwhelming and not to mention, totally drowning your inbox to the point where personal emails get lost in the subject headers and you decide it’s just not even worth checking the mail. This just isn’t working.

Many staff, at this point, get in touch asking to be taken off the books, preferring to not be registered with an agency at all rather than be bombarded by potentially irrelevant job offers. But there’s another option: filtering your agency emails. Here we have a look at the most popular email servers and how to create filters.

Filtering incoming mail for Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the search box at the top, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  3. Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search Search.
  4. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter with this search.
  5. Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
  6. Click Create filter.
  7. When you create a filter to forward messages, only new messages will be affected.

Use a particular message to create a filter

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Check the checkbox next to the email you want.
  3. Click More.
  4. Click Filter messages like these.
  5. Enter your filter criteria.

Filtering incoming mail for Hotmail

  1. Select Options | More options… (or just Options in Windows Live Hotmail classic) from the toolbar.
  2. Follow the Automatically sort e-mail into folders link under Customize your mail.
  3. Click New filter.
  4. Select the desired filtering criterion under Which messages are you looking for?.
  5. Choose the folder to receive all mail matching your criterion under Where do you want to put these messages?.

Filtering incoming mail for Yahoo

  1. Mouse over the Settings icon Image of the Mail Settings icon. | select Settings.
  2. Click Filters
  3. Click Add.
  4. Enter a Filter Name.
  5. Enter the filter criteria.
  6. Select a folder to deliver the affected emails to or select New Folder to create a new one.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Click Save again to return to your emails.

Filtering incoming mail for Outlook

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Manage Rules & Alerts.
  3. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, click New Rule.
  4. Under Start from a blank rule, click either Check messages when they arrive or Check messages after sending.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the conditions that you want the messages to meet for the rule to apply.
  7. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value for any condition that you added, and then specify the value.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Under Step 1: Select action(s), select the action that you want the rule to take when the specified conditions are met.
  10. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value for any action that you added, and then specify the value.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Under Step 1: Select exception(s), select any exceptions to the rule, and then click Next.
  13. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value for any exception that you added, and then specify the value.
  14. Click Next.
  15. Under Step 1: Specify a name for this rule, enter a name.
  16. Under Step 2: Setup rule options, select the check boxes for the options that you want.
  17. If you want to run this rule on messages that already are in the Inbox, select the Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox” check box.
  18. By default, the new rule is turned on. To turn off the rule, clear the Turn on this rule check box.
  19. To apply this rule to all email accounts set up in Outlook, select the Create this rule on all accounts check box.
  20. Click Finish.
  21. What filters should you create?

Filtering your inbox by subject

Perhaps you’d like to separate job invites from being shortlisted to a shift, and confirmation requests from decline messages. If so, there are some key words that most agencies using Watu will use.

How to create a Gmail filter in your inbox
Creating a Gmail filter

When a box like the above Gmail option pops up offering you various filters, here’s what to enter:

Job Invites: (Subject) “Would you be interested in”
Being shortlisted to a job: (Subject) “Status: SHORTLISTED”
Confirming a job you’ve been booked to: (Subject) “Status: SUCCESSFUL”
Your application to a job was declined: (Subject) “Status: UNSUCCESSFUL”

Extra: From: This is a bit trickier, as each manager has an individual email address. If you opt to use this filter, note that it will be from an email address with ‘watu’ in it, and not the manager’s direct email address. (hint: also add this inbound email address to your contacts, to avoid spam!)

So rather than choosing between leaving the agency for good or having to deal with 452 new job offers every day (which technically sounds good but, in practice, stinks), have a go at setting up filters. That way when you decide you’re ready to read through what’s available and get stuck into some work admin, you can opt to dive in.

 

Photo by 白士 李

Making the switch from brand ambassador to campaign manager

Photo by Szabolcs: photo of typewriter to symbolise switching from brand ambassador to manager photo of typewriter to symbolise switching from brand ambassador to manager

Whilst there are some who are perfectly content in their current roles, there will always be others who wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. Or maybe we should say, there some folk thinking of leaving the grassy fields of experiential staffing behind for the cosy interiors of the management office.

Perhaps you’ve seen the managers swinging by whilst you were out and about (snapping a few photos Joel and Lia style!) or when you went for your interview the offices held a certain pull. Maybe, it’s just time for a bit more routine in your life and a more comfortably predictable day.

Whatever the reason, switching from working your 9-5 in the field to booking them from the office is a pretty common path in the promo world. But if you’re thinking about it, what exactly should you be thinking about?

Bye-bye spontaneity, hello routine

Events will have you working nationwide with a new crew, new brand, and new brief every few days. It’s go-go-go with fresh sights, smells, sounds, and faces galore. The office, on the contrary, will bring you familiar sights, a regular commute and the same colleagues day in and day out.

Whether that sounds like a nightmare or a chance to introduce some structure into your life, is completely personal to you. Will you miss the variety? Or appreciate the chance to automate some parts of your life? Do you get bored easily? Or prefer the familiar, settling quickly into your comfort zone?

More accountability

Brand ambassadors play possibly the most crucial role in a campaign. Months of work stemming from the brand, to the marketing agency, to the staffing agency and many others in between all come together in the moment that you step on board. Your message delivery, positive interactions and great big smile can make or break a campaign.

But whilst you may be rated by the agency on your performance with them, when it comes to whether or not the promo was pulled off successfully, it’s the campaign manager who bears accountability.

So if you switch from field to office, it’s worth bearing in mind: drop outs, an unhelpful staff member or uncooperative team, lateness and all those niggly negatives that can tarnish a campaign are your responsibility. Unlike praise, which is often credited to and swiftly passed on to the staff on the ground, negative feedback often makes its final stop in the staffing agency office where the bookers must bear the brunt.

Events don’t close

Do you get a buzz out of working late nights and weekends? Does anyone? Because that’s a fact you’ll have to consider thanks to the nature of the industry. Events don’t close and in fact, they tend to pick up in the evenings and on the weekends when the crowds are out and about.

And if events are live, you’ll have to be on call. Many agencies do allocate one manager per weekend to take care of everything running, but if you’re heading up a campaign, you’re the one with the inside knowledge and may have to step in to help out.

Saying that, this can be a plus if you’re interested in getting involved beyond the 9-5. Have you ever finished a campaign wondering if it was successful, if the social media hashtags gathered attention and final sales increased? Or you built up a great working relationship with the client on-site and thought it might be cool to nurture a budding network? That curiosity and drive is what will help you to make the switch.

A tighter team

So promo work might bring a lot of socialisation, but it also includes a lot of social turnover. The guys you did the chicken bites promo with may have been super cool, but you may also never work with them again. Bummer.

As a team in the office though, you’ll be sitting there together day in and day out. Gritting your teeth through the tough days of last-minute client requests, laughing along with the characters surrounding you, and partying till the sun comes out before heading straight back to the office (guilty…).

Not to mention, companies love a little team bonding and you can count on activities away from the office, Christmas parties, birthday cakes and mini-celebrations all year long.

You can’t work the really awesome event

Sometimes, when I was a campaign manager, a ridiculously cool gig would come through. Driving around beautiful cars, getting all dolled up for a make-up brand, giving away freebies at a festival (because everyone knows freebies and festivals are the best), or even a particularly well-paid event. As I took down the details from the client all I could think was “me me me me!” but, clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. It wouldn’t be professional, it wouldn’t be fair, and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t be the best person for that role. And so instead, they went to the fantastic staff on the books who totally rocked the jobs.

Some agencies do encourage their office staff to get involved in some campaigns – it helps remind them of the logistics, the experience, the cold and wet days spent working outside, the feeling of rejection when no one wants a flyer, and the good bits too – but what you get booked on is luck of the draw and no, you won’t make double wage that day!

So what do you think, how does it sound? If you’ve considered all the above and think it sounds up your alley, give it a go and let us know!

Photo by Szabolc

5 Tips to Optimise Your Health at Work

Great staffing doesn’t just come from having processes in place and fantastic field staff – the booking team are the people making the magic happen behind the scenes, so this article is just for you guys.

I’m guessing you spend most of your work day behind a computer – building jobs and booking staff on Watu, of course. Mouse-hand pulled forward, your back in a relaxed arch with your neck craning towards the screen. A little something like this:

hunched skeleton
Does this look familiar?

 

Can you catch yourself doing it now? Yes? Then read on for 5 tips to optimise your health at work:

  1. AK stand up deskMove every 15 minutes: I’m not saying go for a jog; just grab a glass of water, do a lap around the office, stroll outside to the corner and back. Do anything that will get you out of that chair.
  2. Have a stand up/ sit down desk: Make point number one even easier by having a desk that can be either a stand up or sit down area. Not possible? Sit working at your desk, stand working at another location in the office – maybe on a bookshelf? Sitting all day is being compared to smoking such is the negative affect on your health. I’m not saying stand up all day, but just remember to mix it up.
  3. Make it a walking meeting: Can you spot the theme here? Daily movement throughout the day is your goal. Even if you’re a gym-goer, that doesn’t negate the side effects of sitting. Plus, walking stimulates the mind so your might finish the meeting bursting with ideas!
  4. Let your eyes relax: When staring at the screen, one part of your body working really hard is your eyes. Looking at close objects means your eyes are contracted. Give them a break by looking into the distance every now and then. Maybe even during that walking meeting…
  5. Roll your feet: Do you stand up feeling stiff and bundled up? Grab a golf or lacrosse ball, slip it under your desk  and slowly roll your feet over it with deep pressure. Do this for 2 minutes each foot a couple times a day, and walk around feeling looser, lighter and more flexible.

Try out just one tip, a couple or even all five. We don’t have to all sit like turtles at our desks, so challenge your body to feel the benefits for life – then drop us a line to let us know how it’s going!

Your Staffers’ Top 4 Questions

I love my job

i_heart_my_jobI’m Watu’s Customer Happiness rep which means you guys mean everything to me. Well – almost everything. I also have to take into account all your staffers, which is a mere 25,000 or so people. With direct access to support, your staff can send us their questions without you playing the middleman. If you’re picturing us trawling through thousands of staff questions, don’t worry; Watu’s friendly interface means queries come through one-by-one, every now and then.

But, what are the most common staff questions? Here are the top 4 queries staff ask about working for you:

  1. When will I get paid?
  2. How long does it take to approve me once I’ve registered?
  3. When will you approve/decline me after applying to a job?
  4. How can I make my application or profile more appealing?

These are questions that I can’t answer on your behalf, but I can provide suggestions of how to tackle these before staffers are left wondering:

  • Make use of your message templates: Within settings -> message templates you have the option to edit all the messages that go out to staff. Tackle the above queries by inserting information in “Message sent on Registration” so you answer before they ask
  • Check out your profile template questions (settings -> profile template) to ensure you’re asking everything you need of the staffer. Provide areas for staff to upload files, insert URL’s of showreels, and more
  • Promptly decline applications if you know a staffer has not been chosen. We recommend ticking the message box so they’re notified that they have been rejected for a booking

Using these solutions, your staffers will have an even better experience working with your agency thanks to efficient and transparent communication. And as we all know, happy staff become loyal staff.

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.

Signing off on Job Dates

So, you’ve scheduled your job, booked your staff, big day comes, everyone shows up on time, the event goes wonderful and your client loves you!

Now what?

Well… You’ll have to pay all these people at some point for the marvellous job they did, and we wouldn’t want Watu to just decide to pay without some supervision, would we?

Introducing: Job Sign-offs!

After each date in each of your jobs, you will now need to review the allocated shifts to confirm whether everything went smoothly or not, and finally sign off so everyone can be paid what they are due. We’re not paying yet, just confirming everything went well, which is much nicer and faster to do every day in little nibbles, than having to look at thousands of shifts at the end of the month, trying to remember exactly what happened several weeks ago.

So, from now on, your welcome screen will let you know every day if you have pending sign-offs:

Don’t worry though, it’s going to be very little work. When everything goes smoothly, you don’t really need to do much, just give the page a glance and “Sign-off” at the bottom, and everyone is confirmed. Most days, it’s just one single click and you’re done.

In those rare cases when there’s a problem with a staffer, you click on their picture to expand, and edit as necessary:

  • Staffer didn’t show up? No problem, just flip that little blue switch, and they won’t get paid for this shift.
  • Did they break your contract terms? In seconds you can apply a fine.
  • Seriously misbehaved? Easily type up a note explaining the situation, and if it’s really serious, mark it as a warning so it shows up prominently in their profile, for you to be alerted in the future before booking them again.

Rating staff

From this page, you can also quickly rate how staffers did on this shift by simply clicking on the stars. You don’t need to do this, though, and in most cases you won’t, and everyone will get their default 3 stars, signalling that they did a good job.

Resist the temptation of giving everyone 5 stars! After all, if everyone gets 5 stars, no one will really stand out, will they?

The point of rating staffers is to let Watu know who underperformed, and who excelled. This is by definition for people that were out of the ordinary (in either direction). This will soon enable us to make your best staffers show up more often in searches, make better decisions and recommendations to you. However, if everyone has 5 stars, we can’t really differentiate them much.

Really, give it a try, just leave everyone with 3 stars unless they were extraordinarily good. Trying to give everyone 5 stars will leave you tired of so much clicking, and won’t be usable information  for ranking.

Unbooked shifts

There is one final thing that we need to bring to your attention when signing off a day, and that is shifts that were left unbooked. This could’ve happened because the shift was actually left unbooked, and no one covered it. However, it may also have happened because, in the rush that always happens before big events, the booking was arranged with the staffer, but not recorded into Watu.

If that happens, the booking really needs to get recorded in Watu, otherwise, that staffer won’t get paid. For that reason, we let you know when we find an unbooked shift, and ask you to either book it, or acknowledge that it really was left unbooked, and there’s no one to pay for it.

This is a security measure to make sure no one goes unpaid by mistake.

We hope you find this handy, and we’re working hard to bring you the final step of this journey: using this information you approved to actually pay your staffers.

Until then, please do try to sign off as often as possible, and as always, we’d love to hear what you think about this, and all the features in Watu.

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!