New Tech: Connecting the Dots with Ilya
The Clifford Wallace Agency has been making some exciting new advances recently, working toward an even smoother and worry-free experience for clients and staff alike. One of the driving forces behind that change has been Ilya Shirshov. On any given day he’s a whirlwind of activity, working hard to deliver. He took a rare free moment to answer a few questions about exciting things on the horizon for CWA.
How long have you been working with Clifford Wallace? How has your career developed since coming on board?
Since joining CWA in 2013 it’s been hectic. I already had three jobs at the time, when I managed to pick up extra shifts with CWA as a waiter and bartender working at private functions and corporate events, and exclusive places like Government House and Parliament House. Then a year later I was promoted to a supervisor role for both venues. In 2016 I had an offer to be involved in CWA software projects which are ongoing at this stage.
You’ve been hard at work on some exciting new software. What prompted the need for an update?
Apple updates iOS at least twice a year. So the update is a natural necessity to keep the bring the software up to date and relevant to the concurrent needs of the business.
The current CWA software platform empowers clients to create a booking for staff. Staff are in turn are able to view the jobs, confirm their shifts and submit feedback and time-sheets online. From the office side the booking helps manage the bookings and client request, coordinate jobs, allocate staff.
What new functionality can clients expect?
There are over 70 different features due to be released very soon. These features will affect clients, floor staff and office staff. One of the major features is the staff and client portal will be adaptive making it easy to use from any mobile devices. There will be a dashboard featuring main notifications for upcoming big days, new shifts, feedback requests etc. The client will be able to add their favorite staff to a special team list featuring individual profile avatars with a preference level assigned.
You’re also working on Instahire. What experience do you have working on apps?
I’ve been developing apps since 2013 as a weekend hobby. My first app was a rhyme maker on iOS helping people compose poems and songs to include on a card or for a wedding speech. It’s downloaded over 30000 in the first year and grew 24000 followers on Facebook.
Instahire’s been an exciting project. Being a start-up in nature, bringing challenges on a daily basis! Instahire is a platform that connects clients with jobseekers at a touch of a button for on-demand hospitality jobs in the area. The short-term plan is to disrupt the hospo hiring industry, bringing value to small businesses that operate on intricate margins and are understaffed. The long term vision is to empower individuals to be free to work when and where they want – all via the mobile app.
How does your experience as a hospitality professional influence your work on Instahire?
Having the IT background alongside with the hospitality work is almost like in the proverb – “walking a mile in his moccasins”. The combo serves as an enhancer in understanding the industry through actual experience. This can be a valuable attribute to any new product development. The fusion of the two saves a lot of time significantly shortening the feedback loop and allowing Instahire team to connect the dots with confidence.
Can you predict where Clifford Wallace Agency might go next?
In general, I feel the hospitality staffing and recruitment industry will be undergoing a significant overhaul with the new tech disrupting the status quo. In particular, automation and AI will be the next big thing in recruitment and automatic allocation staff to a job.
In the meantime, at CWA there are plans to increase the utilisation of the cloud based technology and disrupt the market with Instahire app.