Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

Hi All :wave:,

We’ve been testing the functionality of one-off pauses over the last 6 weeks, and believe that this change will improve your experience on the platform. We also believe that this will improve communications and help speed up the application process, and help more of you become successful.

We fully understand the concerns expressed by sitters applying to popular international sits and assure you we will monitor the situation closely. This new functionality will only affect a very small percentage of sits. There are now more amazing sit opportunities than ever before, giving sitters many more choice options. However, as we have said, we will monitor this closely, together with your feedback.

Members have suggested that we increase the application threshold but after a full evaluation, the data shows that 5 applications give sufficient opportunity for member success, so we will keep the limit at 5 for the time being and evaluate in the future. Owners will be able to unpause their applications if they are not happy with their applicants at any point.

One additional concern owner members had is whether they could unpause their applications without declining the first 5 sitters (so that they could compare new applications to the first 5 they had received). Owners will now have to decline previous sitters to get more than 5 applications. This has been done to help speed up the application process, and avoid uncertainty or any time wasting for sitter members. However, nothing prevents owners from messaging the first 5 sitters they previously declined and inviting them back, if they wish so.

We want to thank members for your invaluable feedback, particularly about visibility and clarity on how owners will know when their applications have been paused, so that they are able to manage their applications in the best possible way to help improve the selection process for themselves and our sitter members.

We have created a document here, showing how this will be communicated.

You can also find other relevant FAQs here.

We are now launching phase 2 of the test which is continuous pausing. This means that as soon as an owner reaches the limit (5 open applications), all new applications will be paused. I want to emphasise that this is still a test and will run for 6-8 weeks.

We will update everyone on the findings and next steps as and when they become available.

Many Thanks,

Ben

Product Manager

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This is a fabulous new start and very exciting.
Thanks! :+1:

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excited for this from a sitter POV, seems like it will help speed up confirmation of sits as well as prompt HO’s to decline applications, that way there is less time wasted :+1:

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Thanks Ben!
The message owners get after 5 applications is really clear, so hopefully this will speed up the decision making.

I saw that you will monitor the impact on international sits and time differences. Can I ask you how? How will you know that a sitter would’ve wanted to apply if they can’t see the sit cause it has been paused already?
No criticism, just curious :wink:
Thanks!

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Hi @Els

Good question, we will be looking at the time it takes for sits to be filled and we will be looking at the % of Sits being carried out by International Sitters

Thanks, Ben

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I really dislike this “feature”, My recent listing was auto-paused and I manually unpaused it because I wanted to see more applicants. None of the first 5 applicants was so awful that I wanted to decline them, but most weren’t ideal either. I don’t live in a hugely popular area, so i don’t get flooded with applications. I don’t want to have to decline an early applicant and then try to retract that rejection. That’s a terrible workaround that could be very awkward for some HOs and sitters.

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Great news for sitters. It stops the huge application list the owners have to plough through and hopefully make the process far quicker.
I’ve just applied for a sit and must have been the fifth applicant because it closed immediately after I applied.

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@Ben-ProductManager , with this change, would it be possible to have the counter now indicate the exact number of applications received instead of the range, 0-3 or 4-7, so that prospective sitters can see where they stand and how critical it is to make an immediate decision to apply? (There should be no 4-7 since the cutoff will be 5).

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This is good to read, Ben. When I read the document link, I see step 3 in the email notification mentions pop the sitters not suitable a message then decline them. Could that be repeated when they’re actually in their Inbox reading the applications, just to remind them of this courtesy?

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Ooof, this is a bummer.
As a sitter, I foresee this negatively impacting me and my ability to get the sits I want.

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@mars thanks for this feedback :+1:

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Hi @Lassie
As a sitter I am curious to know if you have made contact with the 5 applicants to see if there is a chance of them becoming more ideal for your sit? I’m not asking for details of why they are not ideal, there could be so many reasons & all valid. To my understanding this has been implemented to get owners talking to applicants to see if they are a fit for their pets/home and decline if they are not. Sooner rather than later.
I hope you find the right applicant for your sit. :grinning:

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@Mslaura - I contact every applicant within a few hours to acknowledge their application.

My first or second applicant was great on paper - and I ended up offering the sit to her. However, she might have declined the sit after speaking with me, leaving me with the imperfect applicants. I don’t feel that I should have to “interview” the imperfect applicants, when a perfect one might apply as the 6th or 8th.

HOs in very popular locations probably have the luxury of declining the imperfect applicants quickly, knowing they will get lots more applicants. I don’t have that luxury.

I’m a sitter also, BTW.

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We have just been in the five then pause situation.
I have applied for 4 sits recently and one of them must have been in the test group as when my application went in it paused. We were rejected last night, I don’t know why but their lose. It was disappointing but at least we can move on from that unlike the other three which have 50, over 25 and 4 to 7 applicants. We are still to hear from any of these and it’s coming up to a week.
Give me the rejection in 24 hours anytime. It works for us.

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it does sound good BUT this means that it has become a race for the sitters > apply quickly or you will miss out

consequences for Sitter
-a lot of impulsive applications and probably not carefully selected

  • Other sitters won’t have the opportunity, even if they are better suited

I have noticed a lot of applications for one sit, and a lot of cancellations too!

This should be a CHOICE for the owners and while we are talking about this, how about the same idea for the sitter (as long as it is a CHOICE /option they can control)

  • should be able to pause it themselves if they wish too, pause and unpause, review applications then if not successful then unpause
  • also rushing is not always better of course depending how much time you have

Automatic rejection is also :-1: :-1: maybe practical but can we bit a bit more human here and less robotic ?

Very important is to get NOTIFIED of this auto pause, from owner AND sitter side ! But again, not in favour of everything auto, OPTION is the key here and BOTH SIDES should have it.

I noticed a lot of homeowners being desperate and having no applicants so THS suggesting sitters would also be a good idea for them, and vice versa suggestions of sits for sitters.

We need THS to be a little more active in the matter…
Anyway for me there is sooo much more to do, more priority issues, desktop and mobile device alike…

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I have noticed that owners ignore a lot of the applications so maybe should be like an email inbox to do something about each message one by one … before they can do anything else?
Owners with high numbers of applicants are still looking I have been told…
might be good to have like a backcourt number so when it increases and decreases we know about it?

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@Ben-ProductManager Please clarify this about the auto-pause features: As a HO, if I receive 4 applications and decline 3 of them, does the auto pause occur after the next 1 or the next 4 applications? I.e. if I keep on top of declining, is it possible to avoid the auto pause completely, thereby allowing me to retain at least a couple sitter candidates while still seeing new candidates without the limit kicking in. Thanks!

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Hi @BruceT

We only auto pause if you have 5 open applications. So in the example, you have provided you would receive another 4 applications.

Thanks, Ben

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Option and choice maybe?

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I am a bit confused by this. As a sitter can I see that a pause has been applied. What if I see a sit that I really want to apply for, but there are already 5 applicants. Do I then wait to see if a chance to apply appears? 5 applicants seems so low. I am curious as to why this has been chosen as the magic number.

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