Follow our top ten tips below and you will save days of emailing a year whilst attracting the right kind of workers you are looking for – when you need them.
Being a WT host: take it seriously
Make sure your profile is 100% complete: Fill in all the details about your place, what you do as a business, what you offer and expect from Working Travellers. It takes longer to fill in you WT profile than other volunteer sites. That’s because it does so much more and saves you days of emailing a year once you understand how it all works. We hear about the lazy volunteers but I assure you, there are many lazy hosts out there that do not fill in their profiles and then complain they are not getting the type of workers they want when they want them. The good hard working travellers you are looking for, plan ahead. The ones on holiday drifting around the world contact you a few days before.
You spend how much time marketing your business, making your offering good? Don’t spend 10 mins on your profile, make your offering look great so the best workers want to come to work and stay with you and not your competition.
Plan ahead - what work needs doing?
Take the time to write down all your work needs for the next six months/year. As you know, getting skilled workers a few days before you need them does not happen. Booking them well in advance is the norm. So plan ahead click on “Work Posts” when you are logged in and get all your work needs posted on to your profile so they appear in traveller work searches. Create 10s of work posts, one for each skill you need for building the new barn, or for each helper needed for the season, way before the season starts. Working Travellers are motivated focused individuals looking to build their references in their chosen skills so they can eventually get paid for the work they do as they travel and a good job when they go back home.
Last-minute travellers contacting you a few days before are on holiday. Nothing wrong with that but if you want their focus to be about work and not a holiday, be organised and book them well in advance to come and work for you
Don't complain, never complain - explain
Look at any “ Volunteer Exchange” Facebook group and it is full of hosts complaining about lazy volunteers who ate their special sausages or told them they only work two hours a day and need almond milk. That’s because that host is not organised and not agreed exactly what they expect from the volunteer and what they will give in return before they arrive. Working Traveller has a work placement system Many hosts have said “it’s too complicated by like Helpx” This is the whole point, we are different and offer a different service.WT is about being far more flexible and agreeing with every person who comes to stay exactly what they will do and what they will get before they arrive so no surprised when they arrive to work.
A few hours thinking out your house rules and adding them to your profile will save you weeks of explaining a year and fewer surprises. Using volunteers as we all know is never be perfect but setting out your rules on how you do things will save so much time and misunderstandings.
Know your volunteer work visa situation
We are often asked by travellers on our customer support “Do hosts help us get a visa?” We explain WT hosts are interested in travellers ‘already coming to their country’ to help them out with work for a short person of time. If you have problems with local authorities about volunteer work visa permits etc, makes sure you explain this on your profile so you do not get people asking to come and work for you if they do not meet your requirements.
We have created a Work and Travel Country Guide to help travellers see where they can find work and what the work visa siltation is. Please help us maintain these pages by volunteering to be a moderator for your county. You can apply by going to your county page, make sure you are logged in and apply from there. Chances are, your county has not been edited and has information about what work you can find there – help us grow the wiki work and travel guide and help yourself to attack Working Travellers to want to come and visit your region.
Things you can get done out of season
We all focus on what we need “for the season” helpers to deal with the busy periods. Working traveller is also good for your quiet season. Why? Because you have the time to get involved in all those non-seasonal projects that need doing. Check our skills list, see if the skills you need are on our list and what travellers have them. You can invite them all to come and work food and just accept the best on or two. Build work, repairs, new ideas, a reed bed toilet system etc.
WT also has many travellers with online skills, you can invite travellers who can help you with your web site, social media etc. In the offseason who can help train you to use all these new ways of marketing your business. We have a lot more skills available than cleaning and harvesting.
Those first all important references
If you have 20 good references and, like Trip Advisor, you have a bad week and get one bad one – your reputation is still in tack. Having no references which is probably where you are now – getting your first one can take time as travellers look for hosts who have good references – so when you do get it – 100% makes sure it’s going to be good. Make sure you deliver what you said you would. Every traveller who comes and stays with you under a work placement agreement will leave you a reference and you them. This will make all the difference in the coming years with who you can attract to come and work for you. They will all read your reference like you obviously will read theirs.
So the tip is. When you are starting out with Working Traveller – go the extra mile with your first season of volunteers and build up some great references. You will then have all the good workers applying to come and work for you for years to come.
What type of work will you advertise?
Working Traveller is far more flexible than other volunteer sites. There is no one size fits all – you are in charge, you set the rules and you aslo set what kind of work is on offer.
- Volunteering – you ‘pay’ them in bed and board, agree exactly what you will provide and what you expect from them in each work placement.
- Volunteering to start with the option to be paid – If the volunteer is an average worker, ask them to leave at the end of your volunteer agreement. If they are good and you don’t want to lose them now, you can pay them something over the bed and board ‘payment’ for more hours, more responsibility or whatever you agree with them.
- Paid – You need a skilled carpenter, plumber, real skills and you know you will not get these 10 hours a day for free.
- Pay to stay – If you have a particularly nice host offering, tiger cub sanctuary/5-star resort, you can charge a lower fee than you normally do for some work in return.
I have many hosts say ” I can’t use Working Traveller as I am not allowed to pay my volunteers” – as long as you select ‘Volunteer’ when you are setting up a work post – it clearly shows the work is volunteer only and no different to any other volunteer site. Add a line about ” We only take volunteers, due to local laws” on your profile if you are worried about this as well.
Don't book Travellers outside of WT
Working Traveller is free for travellers to use. They can contact 3 hosts a week and then if they pay €10 a year they can contact as many as they want. They will get much better work booked up, like you, when they have good references. If a traveller is not willing to make a work placement with you and wants to deal with you just on FaceBook or What’s App – why? Keep your work placement communication all in Working Traveller, we keep a record of everything for you in case there is a dispute later on. You want references to growing your profile, so should travellers so if they refuse to make a work placement with you – there may be a good reason why they do not want to keep a record of what has been agreed between the two of you.
The only way Working Traveller is going to grow is through its references. Our service is free to you. Do your bit for the community and make sure you agree with travellers what you will do with them in a work placement agreement before they arrive and help us create the hard-working culture that WT is all about.
Promote your work needs on WT & SM
The best place to promote your profile is in the Working Traveller web site. Do a search for the skills you need and your country and invite every traveller coming your way to work for you. As you have created work posts it’s literary a few licks and they then have all your details and can accept or not. Your profile is, https://www.workingtraveller.com/members/workingtraveller/ just replace our user name for yours at the end. Like you do for your business advertise your work needs on your web site, your facebook page, and in facebook groups you are members of. If you are in the backpacker facebook group for your country and there are 10,000 members – make a post and add your WT profile link. They will then see all the live work posts you have and contact you through your WT profile instead of hours of emailing telling travellers the same information that is on your profile over and over.
That is why it is called Work and Travel after all – is about mixing the two things that are important to together so you get to have both at the same time at this stage of your life.
It's all about getting good references
Working Traveller is about agreeing what you will do with each traveller before they arrive – this means you can build complicated teams all linking in together on the day when they arrive or have a few homes helps who know the rules and are OK with them before they arrive. Once you get in the habit with this system – ever one who comes and stays will have a work placement agreement with you. This means every traveller that stays will hopefully leave you a reference. We are building a community built on references – the good hardworking travellers and hosts get the recognition they deserve and appear at the top of searches for their skill/country needs. Once you have been given a reference it affects your rating. Top-rated hosts with more references appear at the top of searches. Remember you can also add in pictures., video and audio to show the work that was done for each reference. Take the time to show future travellers what it is like to work for you and you will have as many good workers contacting you as you want.
I hope these top ten tips on how to get the most from you Working Traveller host profile have inspired you to take the time to create work placement with travellers and give our service a chance to show you how much time it will save you over the year and how it will he;lp you attract the best talent coming to your country. Enjoy the workers who come and thank you for helping us making it all happen.