How did we create a service system for job fairs organized by the biggest recruiting portal in Poland? | Pracuj.pl
A corporation, pracuj.pl (the biggest portal with job offers in Poland) was faced with a similar communication challenge when organizing one of the biggest job fairs – Jobicon. Pracuj.pl came to us seeking assistance in creating a system, which will make cooperation between job fairs organizers and exhibitors easier and possibly automatize it. What is important here – the fairs are growing with each edition – in 2018 there was one edition in Cracow, while in 2019 there are two editions in three cities. Pracuj.pl has hired Bespoke event agency to create and produce the event.
Bespoke asked us for support in creating a system that will simplify and possibly automate the cooperation between the organizers of job fairs and many exhibitors taking part in the event. Importantly, the fair is expanding with each edition – in 2018 it included one edition, in Krakow, and already in 2019 – two editions taking place in three cities.
How did we help our client? How did we respond to the needs of the user? Find out in our case study!
First contact – how we met
You are probably wondering how a small software house started working with such a big client as Pracuj.pl. The first stage of our cooperation – which enabled us to meet and identify the problem – was creating a simple, internal stand reservation system for the company’s sales representatives.
Igor Podlawski, CEO of Software Things and programmer talks about the collaboration:
The client expected quick action – both in terms of time of elaborating, programming and implementing products, and, also reacting to errors. In order to accelerate the whole process, we had to hire new people, who turned out to be a huge support for the team.
Project managers did not originate from the IT world, so we had to translate their requirements into technical language.
Simple system that increased sales of floor space
Additionally, the prepared website was functional support during meetings between sales representatives and potential exhibitors. Having an interactive visualization of how the floor spaces look (thanks to a map based on SVG file), company representatives were able to present the offer in a more accessible way – show which spaces were currently occupied, indicate the difference between given localizations, and thus better justify their prices. After each client’s purchase of floor space, sales representatives received an automatic email informing them that space had been reserved, and the location was no longer available on the map. This solution made an organization easier and helped the Clients in purchasing decisions.
Simple, reliable, effective
Our solution had three features: it was simple, reliable, and effective. This way we gained our client’s trust and proved it is worth betting on us/proved one can depend on us. Our successful cooperation resulted in the creation of yet another project, connected with the job fairs – coding a website – jobicon.pracuj.pl. The website included information necessary for job fairs visitors – like localization or a list of exhibitors.
Solving the main problem – project challenge
With time, Jobicon organizers wanted to automatize not only the process of stand reservation but also of exchanging information between them and the exhibitors. There were more and more exhibitors, the fair was increasing its reach – new locations, new participants, new clients. Therefore, technological service involved ever more people.
The main goal was the optimization of the process, which led to time savings. Our job was to create an appropriate solution that will meet the client’s needs. We decided to bet on maximum process automatization.
Intuitive product for any user
The purpose of the service system for the job fairs, was so that it is an internal system – accessible only by pracuj.pl employees and representatives of the companies which bought the ability to present themselves during the event.
Here we were faced with the first challenge. A potential user of the system is not someone you can easily characterize as a specific person. Exhibitor’s account can be used both by presidents of big companies, but also by HR managers and other employees. Creating an intuitive tool that is to be used by representatives of various industries, was yet another challenge.
Last but not least – automatization of the communication process is more than just exchanging information between two parties. It requires creating a tool – database. As it is a repository of information, it would also be used for creating the next elements of the job fairs.
Universal system supporting job fairs service
Automatization that supports issuing job fairs catalog
An example is a printed catalog of firms participating in the fair, distributed during the event. Our tool makes it easier to create it, basing on information from the database. Company representatives have a specified timeframe to upload information about their firm and to access the preview of the catalog.
An example is a printed catalog of firms participating in the fair, distributed during the event. Our tool makes it easier to design it, as all necessary elements like photos and descriptions of companies are available in the database. What’s important here – firm representatives have a specified timeframe to upload information about their brand and to access the preview of the catalog. When the time expires, the content gets blocked and further changes cannot be made.
This is huge facilitation for the publisher – they get final approval for the product from the client without exchanging dozens of emails with each exhibitor. What’s important is that exhibitors buy a certain plan which has a predefined maximum number of characters to be used in the company description in the catalog. The system automatically matches the possible length of the description with the requirements of the plan – additional verification on the organizers’ end is not required.
Automatization that supports stand preparation
The main aim for the firms participating in the fairs is to reach potential employees – one tool to achieve this goal is creating a unique stand. Fair organizers strive for aesthetic cohesion. Therefore, they provide exhibitors with standard stands to promote the company.
Pracuj.pl group handles branding and installation of the stands as well. They are all made according to one scheme – companies can add logos only in certain spots.
Our system facilitates the process of stand creation. Company representative uploads visual materials (e.g. logo) which are supposed to be on the stand.
If the end result is satisfying, the representative can accept the preview, and then pracuj.pl automatically receives information that a certain stand is ready to be produced. If the end result requires corrections, they can be implemented without contacting the organizers.
Main functions of the system
Creating the service system for the fairs, we sought to anticipate any possible situation, which could potentially disrupt smooth cooperation between exhibitors and organizers. This part of the job was coordinated by our designer, Wiktoria Szymczak:
For me, the biggest challenge in this job was to put myself in potential user’s shoes and design all actions on the website in a clear way. All stages had to be linked and carefully thought out. We had to think a few steps ahead and anticipate all potential options. We wanted the whole process to be intuitive and pleasant for the user. I hope we managed to achieve that.
It was not easy to put ourselves in our client’s shoes, but thanks to design thinking workshops it was much easier to understand potential users’ perspective:
– a user can upload vector files, and then they are displayed on the preview of the stand and catalog (when the user uploads AI or EPS files, our system automatically converts them thanks to API cloud convert) as they automatically convert themselves to SVG. At the same time, the original versions are saved in the catalog for the designer,
– the system automatically generates visualizations, which facilitates the production of materials. Storing files in high resolution makes printing much easier. The organizers are able to use the files according to their needs,
– the fairs take place in many different cities in Poland. The system facilitates work for exhibitors who participate in them more than once – once inserted information is saved in the user’s account, and when the next edition takes place, the user is able to edit, delete or leave the information unchanged, which saves time,
– within the system exhibitors receive notifications with information from the organizers – this saves time for both parties and assures nothing important goes to spam,
– if more than one person is responsible for a company’s application for the fairs, a given firm can ask for additional accounts, so that everyone has access to the panel,
– we have also integrated the jobicon.pracuj.pl website and job fairs service system. Logos uploaded to the system by exhibitors are automatically transferred to the website. This solution saves time and does not require involving additional employees to update the website,
– our system generates a package with PDF files with job offers uploaded by employees – this helps other firms use our data and upload them to their systems,
– we have also introduced a ticket distribution system. Those free tickets entitle people to enter the event. When implementing the system, we have come across some problems. Igor Podlawski, programmer and CEO of Software Things tells us how the problems were solved:
The main challenge was the short execution time. We had to come up with a solution basing on the last year’s work done by a different firm. Our job was also to ensure high data security (access to data is possible only through VPN, everything is also secured behind Cloudflare).
Taking into consideration the specificity of an event like job fairs, we wanted to make the ticket scanning process as simple and quick as possible. That’s why we took a close look at the whole scanning process – we chose the most optimal app for QR code scanning and explained our point of view to the client. We were also cooperating with the client’s IT department to make everything smooth.
Great cooperation in the spirit of Agile is the foundation of our work – and that is exactly what happened with this project. A team of several people created the system for pracuj.pl – Igor Podlawski, Mateusz Stopka, Kamil Jędrkiewicz, and Anna Tomaszkiewicz were responsible for the coding, for UX and design – Wiktoria Szymczak and Magda Łukasz(from our sister-company, Kava), and for coordination of the whole process – (previously mentioned) Igor Podlawski(btw if you want to find out what our team is capable of, you have to read a report from the second-largest hackathon in the world – Hack Yeah – where we have won the first award).
Briefly about our cooperation
Our client’s main concern was data security. Kamil Jędrkiewicz explains which actions we took to protect information gathered in the database:
When working on JOBICON service/website, we emphasized issues of service security and personal data protection. Outside standard methods, like:
– constraint to use secure protocol HTTPS (SSL certificate),
– password policy (requirements regarding their length, complexity, and expiry date),
we also used:
– protection from CSRF, SQL Injection, XSS,
– password hashing through cryptography functions (which ones? That’s something we won’t reveal ?).
Access to sensitive data is possible only through dedicated IP addresses (VPN). Jobicon’s domains are additionally secured by services preventing attacks (i.a. DDoS) and increasing efficiency – Cloudflare.
To sum up – our success
Main benefits for the customer – fair organizer, are:
Main benefits for the user – exhibitor:
Our designer – Magda Łukasz – talks about this stage:
When designing systems like this one, we need to transmit maximum content with minimum form. To find out what can be a potential problem for the user, we have conducted many interviews. The fact, that operating within the system wasn’t causing any problems, was very satisfying. Users considered it very clear and comprehensible.
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