SMS Usage Summary Report

SMS usage report image of girl holding a mobile credit: unsplash rawpixel

If you’re a regular SMS-user in Watu, you may be in need of a monthly SMS usage report to break down your spend in the previous month.

Now, clients can do this by clicking into ‘billing’, selecting a previous bill, then following the hyperlink next to the SMS usage figures:

image of how to export SMS usage report from Watu

Within the report, managers will find all the details for each SMS including:

  • Sent At
  • Sender Name
  • Job Number
  • Job Name
  • Client Name
  • Message Template
  • SMS Body
  • Search Query
  • Number of Messages
  • Number of SMS*

*these numbers may differ as long messages can use multiple SMS per recipient

Whether for accounting purposes or to keep track of communications, all agencies may find some helpful nuggets of information contained in this report. If you have any questions about it, drop us a line at info@watuapp.com!

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

Newsflash: Watu system updates

Image of tools from Unsplash to represent Watu's features

We’re constantly working on giving you more, and better, tools within Watu. As a front-end user of Watu, you may sometimes be wondering what we’re working on behind the scenes, so in case this is you, here is a list of recent releases which are visible to to clients*;

*this means you will be able to see the difference. There is plenty that goes on in the background which would only make sense to developers 🙂

Booking Emails are Clearer

This is the latest release and one which many of you have been asking for! Previously, ‘successful booking’ emails listed the shifts with details at the top of the email, followed by exceptions.

This was confusing. For everybody.

Image of booking confirmation email from Watu to temporary staffer

Now, as seen above, it lists each shift with its details, unless all the shifts are exactly the same in which case it lists the detailed information just once.

Introducing Canadian Payroll

For our lovely and loyal Canadian clients, we released a detailed payroll data capture section integrated into Watu, much like we have for the UK, US and Australia. This means that Canadian accounts will now be able to ask staff for their bank account payment details, SIN numbers, and everything else necessary to be able to pay staff.

Image of bank detail capture in Watu for Canada

And when payroll is being exported, all this information will automatically populate the spreadsheet. Hello, simple payday.

Fixing a calendar glitch

When staff were looking at the calendar to pick a date – like their birthday – the white text would show up against a white background. Oops.

Image of Watu's calendar feature

This has happily been corrected!

Easier profile cancellation for staff

Whilst the system previously had many blocks in place for staff cancelling their profiles with an agency, we eased some of the restrictions so that staff can now cancel even if they had been shortlisted for a job – as long as the job is in the past.

This should mean fewer emails to managers asking to be suspended.

Portfolio background image

Previously, the portfolio background had two black sections on either side to contain the image. We realised that this wasn’t ideal for some agency images, so the image now covers the entire background.

It’s ever-so-slightly sleeker and a slight adjustment to a feature we’re excited to be renovating in the future.

Could sharing be caring in promotional staffing too?

Photo by Alan Levine: https://flic.kr/p/dtBSgg

The promotional staffing industry has a big elephant in the room and it’s trumpeting loud and clear, but we’re not really listening. Or maybe, we’re even trying to muffle it. Every agency says it has the best staff and indeed they often do. But these fantastic field staff are not unique to each agency. Rather, especially in a location as small as the UK, the best of the bunch and beyond are often shared between agencies, as staff register with as many agencies as they can find for the maximum number of work offers.

Agencies have historically been quite protective of their staff, with guarded surnames, and on-site poaching very much frowned upon, hoping to hold these brand ambassadors and event managers close and sheltered from the hungry books of other agencies.

From the viewpoint of the field staff, registering with as many agencies as possible makes complete sense. More agencies, more work offers, a higher chance of getting booked. And yet, for the agencies, it creates a challenge of how to pinpoint a unique selling point. If you can offer the same team as another agency, what sets you apart? Of course, your offer encompasses everything from pricing to management skills and established relationships, but often your star factor and what it really boils down to, is your team on the ground.

Maybe the answer is working on staff loyalty, ensuring that your top team come to you first and will prioritise your work. But it’s a tough industry in which to create loyalty, with a lot of competition and people who simply need to fill their diary. Oftentimes, field staff do not have the luxury of picking and choosing when and for whom they will work; if a well-paid job is offered, it will be snapped up and probably rather quickly before the thousands of others send in their job applications.

Or, perhaps, this offers an opportunity for agencies to open up, accept that your books may look like a reflection of another agency’s books and consequentially, you may have a lot to learn from each other. If we consider the fact that your goal as an agency is to provide the best team for a client, we must think about the benefits that could come with sharing.

Primarily, this is instant access to a staff member’s work history which, if known beforehand, can make or break your campaign. If you had industry-wide knowledge to a staff member’s notes and reviews, let’s imagine what that could offer before you hit accept…

  • Client approved/rejected
  • Suspensions from other agencies
  • Great potential to be an EM
  • Whether the person in the profile reflects accurately the person on the ground
  • Any stand-out behaviour, whether positive or negative
  • An overall sense of the person you are welcoming onto your books

Whether trying to gain a better understanding of someone for your books, or for a particular job, the information is already out there. It’s just hidden.

When I type a staff member’s email address into our database to search where they are registered, there it is right in-front of my eyes. John is a fantastic staff member and this client adore him…Jane never showed up to her last 2 jobs and has been removed from the books. But removed from the books of 1 agency. And the others? They are left waiting until she does the same to them, without being forewarned of her potential unreliability.

So how would this affect staff? Well, that really depends on whether they’re a John or a Jane. Stellar feedback and an industry-wide reputation for being a reliable, energetic and professional staff member will bring John more work and consequentially, higher chances of climbing the promo ladder towards Event Management and more. But Jane? Her chances of work would suddenly diminish as agencies become wary of her lack of dedication.

Could this be hurtful to staff who genuinely had problems getting to work that day, or perhaps made a mistake along the way? Yes, it could be. But from my experience, the industry is quite forgiving and we’re often willing to give people another chance based on honest communication, and this poor feedback could be easily overwhelmed by positivity after a few bookings.

The US seems to be heading towards this direction, with white label staffing companies popping up, selling to clients who expect shared staff. Our friends over at Pop Bookings offer agencies their own books, but with some shared access to staff information.

Perhaps, if we were to let our guard down in the UK ever so slightly and begin a conversation between agencies, we could see the benefits too. Managers could have more confidence in the team they’re booking. Recruitment would not be so much of a guessing game with 3-page long questionnaires to complete, or weeks of interviews. You could be filling your books with who you know to be the best, not just who you think to be the best, freeing up your concentration to focus on your unique selling point. And your clients? They would receive the biggest benefit of this change: a guaranteed-to-be-fantastic team on the ground.

Photo credit Alan Levine

Brexit: Are you making history?

Brexit vote for staffing agencies credit: IB times.com

In just two days’ time, we are all being offered the opportunity to determine the future of our homeland. Will we remain joined with the EU, or widen the waters with a political separation in the attempt to go our own way?

The team at Watu have done our reading, trawling through articles representing both sides of the stage, listening to our friends’ comments – as hard as some of them may have been to bear, and imagining how we would like our home to be down the road.

We firmly believe that choosing to remain is the best route, based on a collection of opinions from some of the world’s leading voices. Economists, politicians (at least, the ones we listen to), activists, environmentalists, you name it. These informed voices of reason and our humble views of joining together forces to make the world a better place have led us in this direction, not to mention the benefit it brings to our business and yours.

Why do we write this? Not to convince you to vote our way, but simply to ask you to vote. To give your two cents and make your voice heard, too. The country can only represent its people, if its people speak up when given the stage.

And if you really wanted to shake things up, we encourage agencies to make the most of the thousands of brand ambassadors and event managers on your books and reach out to them too. Many are young, full of energy and points of view, and we’d love to see them put it to paper. Perhaps it’s not conventional to mix work with political views, but oftentimes the world is changed by those who tend not to follow the norm…

 

Photo credit: IB Times

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

Should you be paying staff for their travel time?

Should travel time be paid for staff commuting image Photo by Cliff: https://flic.kr/p/6h6Zu8

Note: This is applicable for UK agencies only and is not legal advice

As we’ve discovered with issues like working hours per week and holiday pay, running an agency managing temporary staff can be like wading through a swamp. The information available is thick and murky, and you’re stuck in the middle of it. Not only do agencies have to abide by UK laws, but there are EU regulations to bear in mind as well – as long as, of course, Brexit doesn’t actually happen.

Just last week, an agency sent through an article which was of high concern: MiHomecare was facing a group action lawsuit and is having to possibly cough up hundreds of thousands of pounds for staff who had technically been paid under the minimum wage.

Before we get too into the thick of things let me just say – I love when agencies voice their concerns, send us articles, and discuss the industry with Watu. It’s awesome to hear from you and it helps to keep us in the loop of what needs working on. So, kudos to the agency who sent through this article!

What was the case?

This case currently only applies to care workers who must travel in between their shifts, spending sometimes an hour either driving down small roads, or waiting outside homes until their elderly patients are ready to see them. They were not compensated for this time and as a result, were working long hours without balanced pay.

The court, and now HMRC, have decided that this lack of compensation qualifies the carers as potentially working for less than minimum wage, hence why they can now claim these fees back and why HMRC is in the midst of investigating more than 100 other home care suppliers and their working practices.

This decision could also affect many other industries including IT workers, nurses, engineers and technicians with many of them supporting this case and hoping to better their own circumstances which involve many hours of travel per day.

But that’s just looking at travel in between shifts…

Most promotional agency staff commute to their place of work, fulfil their shift, then commute home again. So does the above apply? Most likely not, if this is how your staff are working.

And most agencies, if the staff are having to travel for the campaign – like in guerilla marketing – continue to pay the staff member continuously during the shift, rather than discounting the time spent hopping from one place to another.

But what about travel to and from work?

Here’s where it starts to get swampy. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled late last year that “those with no fixed place of work spend travelling between home and their first and last places of work each day counts as ‘working time’“.

So, said simply, when your temporary staff are going to and from their shifts/home, this does count as work. What is important to note, however, is that this has effect on the Working Time Directive which only has ruling over working hours and not working pay.

In fact, the ruling of the case from last year specifically stated that the “CJEU expressly stated in its decision that it is for national legislation to determine whether or not this travelling time – or, indeed, any other category of working time – is paid or unpaid”.

So should you be paying staff for their travel time?

Totally separate from the Working Time Directive, minimum wage is governed by the National Minimum Wage Act.

They have stated that time spent travelling to and from a shift is not subject to minimum wage, consequentially meaning that although it’s working time, you do not necessarily have to pay for it.

What’s important to consider

Based on the above, it then seems like what’s important to consider are the hours and not necessarily the pay. So when viewing the issue from this angle, agencies should be bearing in mind the European Union’s Working Time Directive. For example, it would be worth reviewing:

  • If the staff member has not opted out of the 48 hour working week initiative, does this mean they’re then working over the 48 hours?
  • Does this affect how much break time staff can have during the day?
  • Does it affect the number of consecutive hours worked?
  • Must holiday pay reflect this new total of hours worked?
  • Are you staff working night shifts? There are extra rules protecting staff from being overworked throughout the night.
  • Do your terms of engagement comply with the ruling?

It seems like, for now, as long as your agency is complying with the working hours regulations, then you’re following the rules and will make it through that swamp unscathed. But with national and EU laws changing and evolving to ensure staff are treated fairly and compensated correctly for their time, it’s worth keeping an eye out on these topics.

We would always recommend discussing these legal issues over with your HR department or employment lawyer to ensure you’re in line with what’s being required. And an easy way to stay in tune with what’s happening? Set up a Google alert with keywords such as “working time directive”, “national minimum wage”, “travel time compensation”, and so on. It’s not a completely reliable way to catch the latest laws, but it could go a long way in alerting you as to what’s happening, what’s being discussed, and what’s being determined by the courts.

Did you already know this about travelling time? Or will you now be reviewing your staff schedules? I’d love to hear whether you’re already a step ahead or will be tackling this issue now!

Photo by Cliff

 

Recording a video interview for an agency

Image of webcam for recording a video interview

Agencies are turning more and more to video interviews to accommodate nationwide growth as well as to make for easier logistics of both managers and staff. If you haven’t already made one, chances are you’ll come across a request to film a video next time you’re registering with an agency. So what are important points to keep in mind? What do agencies look for?

As a former booker at a London agency before making the move to Watu, I used to be one of the recipients of our video interview applicants. From the weird and wacky to the downright brilliant, I have seen a lot. And whilst they were wildly entertaining, only a small number could actually be forwarded on to the client. From errors that are easy to oversee – like someone’s knickers in the background – to the more inappropriate-for-client’s-ears type mistakes, I thought I’d share with you the in’s and out’ s of creating a video interview that gets seen and shared.

The Video Set Up

First step is to set the scene. Choose a private, quiet space far from kids, animals, or a TV. Then focus on what shows on screen. Hint: the less, the better. Background props may highlight your personality, but they’re actually distracting from what you’re saying. Not to mention, you don’t know which brand you’ll be representing week-by-week, so what if you have their competitor’s poster stuck to the wall behind you? Best to keep it simple by having a blank wall behind you meaning you’ll be the centre of attention.

Next up, secure your device so that it’s stable whilst filming. This is probably easiest from a laptop, but if using a mobile device, simply use a stand or create one using books or shelves. You want to ensure the camera height is equal with your eyes so you’re looking straight ahead, and not craning your neck or showing the clients a tour of your nostrils.

You’re ready to record, but what software do you use? Almost all phones or tablets have a built-in recording software via the camera button. If using a computer, Mac users can go to imovie or Photobooth, whilst Windows users can use Quicktime, Windows Movie Maker or other options detailed in this WikiHow.

But before you hit the red button, do a check first. Practice answering a question, then watch yourself. Is the sound coming through ok? Is the video clear? Check it over, fix whatever is going wrong, then get started.

What to say in a video interview?

Chances are you’ve been given some guidance along what to say, or even handed some questions to answer. Even if this is totally open to interpretation, do a few practice sessions first. The goal isn’t to come off sounding robotic, but to make sure you’re confident and speaking smoothly. And after saying it a few times to yourself, you may realise a better way of wording things.

If the agency asked you to answer specific questions, answer these as you would in an in-person interview, and remember, even if an agency gives off a ‘fun vibe’, it is still business and clients may not feel the same. Think fun, but professional. For example, if they ask the classic “what is your weakness”, don’t mention that you’re always running late. That’s not a weakness, and it’s definitely not something managers or clients want to hear.

Also, bear in mind the industry. Promo requires confident people who aren’t afraid to speak up, be engaging and have their voice heard. You have one video to demonstrate that you can do so – and what better an opportunity than this? Beats having to fill out another ‘about you’ section where you say how bubbly and outgoing you are.

Presenting yourself in a video interview

Equally important to what you say is how you present yourself. Clients and agencies are looking for people-people…that is, people who genuinely like to, and know how to, engage with others. Body language is a huge part of this communication so here’s how to get it right.

Look directly into the camera and think of them as the eyes of your interviewer. Looking at your screen comes out appearing awkward, as if you’re trying to avoid eye contact (it seems as if you’re always looking down), and looking near your camera but not at it looks like you got confused as to where your camera actually is, or like you may be distracted.

Saying that (and this was one of the more common – and creepy – mistakes) please, please remember to blink! Not blinking leads people to think you memorised your answers, are super nervous, or are just really strange which is not a quality of promotional staff. In short, be natural. Look at the camera, look briefly away (think about it…do you stare directly into someone’s eyes all the while you’re talking to them? Because that can be really intense) and blink. Treat the camera like a person you’re interacting with.

Have you ever had someone snap candid photos of your whilst you’ve been speaking? Notice how you pull some really awkward faces? Video, although fast moving like in-person, has the option to be paused or re-watched, and with the addition of the viewer focussing mainly on your face. In fact, this is one reason why, during photo shoots, models are asking to pretend to talk rather than have a real conversation. Fact is, we can be pretty expressive and this doesn’t come off well on camera. I noticed once after filming myself how many goofy face I pull and maybe I can get away with this in a live interview, but for a short interview clip, my expressions looked out of place. The next time, I kept in mind “smile as a default” and presto, I looked like the more secure, confident and happy candidate that I know myself to be.

Ok so your video is filmed – now what? Check how the client would like it to be submitted. If the question asks for a link, that means you have to upload the video to be hosted on a site like youtube or vimeo after which point you can just paste the video link in the application form. Or, if there’s an upload button, simply upload your saved video directly from your computer.

Keeping it real

Agencies want to see your personalities, your individuality and your vibrant selves. But there’s that fine line between recording a few memorised lines whilst you stare into the camera, versus dressing up in your favourite anime outfit before bursting into scene to show off your creative, artistic self.

With a bit of planning, a clean set up, and a few minutes of effort, you’ll be able to set these boundaries, stay within the lines and yet still let your personality shine through. Even if your agency doesn’t explicity state they will show your video to clients, treat this task with the same importance and with the knowledge that they just might in the future. And by doing so, you just might land that dream campaign.

Photo by David Burillo

Helping Staff to Understand the Bigger Picture

Here is a confession: when I first started as a brand ambassador, I was rubbish. All of a sudden at 18 I was being hired to work these random shifts with super fun co-workers and no helicopter manager around. It’s not that I wasn’t doing the job, it’s just that I didn’t understand my role nor value its importance.

Fast forward a few years and I was better. I showed up a few minutes early and handed out all the samples, delivering my lines as memorised.

A few years even later? This time with experience as an account executive, I got it. Suddenly I understood the dedication, the extreme planning requirements and the delicate client relationships that all boiled down to the moment that the brand ambassadors were in action. Now when I was booked on field work, I showed up early. Handed the samples to the right target demographic. Understood the brand message and how they wanted us to represent them.

If only every temporary staff member could come with this experience already, a huge hurdle would be overcome in the often crazy world of booking staff. Based on my experiences, here are some ideas on how you can be helping staff to understand the bigger picture:

Encourage field staff to work in the office

Have a bit of extra, straightforward booking that can be done? Or even some general admin work? Encourage your field staff to come in and experience the office. Not only are many field staff looking to gain more permanent, office work meaning this would be a great opportunity to give it a try, but just being there in the hectic environment, listening to the conversations with clients, picking up on just how much work bookers put into each shift – it’s guaranteed to leave an impression.

Host social events between managers and field staff

Create links between the field staff and the managers. Not only will friendships be built, but a sense of wanting to do good for another person and loyalty will follow. A sense of trust between each end will help to provide better results.

Provide thorough briefs with fresh text

Reading the same brief with a different <<client name>>  and <<briefing details>> inserted each time gets dull. It also conveys the message that each job is the same just for a different brand and we all know this isn’t the case. Each event is unique, each client has different requirements and this needs to be translated for staff and communicated clearly.

Follow up with specific feedback

Whether from an event manager, yourself, a mystery shopper or even the client, personal feedback will show the value each staff member has to your business. Specific comments – whether good or reflecting the need for improvement – will encourage staff, help them develop their careers and show them that you’re willing to invest time to help them better themselves.

Help yourself – and your clients – by showing staff the grand picture. They are the final step in a very long process involving hundreds of people and huge sums of money, and all this effort boils down to their efforts in those crucial hours of work. Only by involving them in the process and valuing field staff as individuals can they also invest as much energy as you do.

Country names in staffer search

Watu is global, and sometimes this has unexpected consequences on your workflow – like searching for a location that has namesakes elsewhere in the world. To help dodge these mix-ups, we’ve added a tiny tweak to the search box that automatically adds the name of your home country to your location queries.

Suppose you searched for staffers near a place like Portsmouth, and got no results:

failed search

Wait, that’s got to be wrong, you know you have staffers there! Could it be because you meant the old coastal town in Hampshire, but our geographic search thought you’d meant the old coastal town in New Hampshire? A quick look at the map will tell:

failed search with map

Many of our clients operate only or mostly in their home countries, so the new search box explicitly suffixes the location query with the country name:

new search small

But then how do you search for staffers in other countries? Easily: just type a comma and follow it with the name of the country – or for that matter state, province, suburb, really anything that describes the location you have in mind. The automatic country suffix will disappear and leave your search exactly the way you typed it:

new search comma

There it is, another small step on the road to making your work easier.