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Designing a ground-breaking diversity recruitment platform, fit for the modern world

VERCIDA

VERCIDA has grown from a kitchen start-up to industry leading specialist. Their objective: To empower jobseekers and employers by tackling the lack of diversity in the workplace.

Recruitment is a mature industry with numerous off-the-shelf products available to companies and employees. VERCIDA approached Despark with a huge challenge; How can we create a platform which challenges the norm and delivers true value to both employers and employees?

There was another challenge. VERCIDA was the culmination of years of work by the founders and their team who had created 2 large scale websites to support their business model. Diversityjobs.co.uk and thebigidea.co.uk provided people with both a place to learn from reams of useful content and find or post job opportunities using an intuitive job board. We needed to find a way of combining these sites into one singular platform, VERCIDA, making use of the cross-pollination of data and individual authority of each website.

Some of the key questions were things like:

  • How do we maintain the domain authority of 2 large scale websites when combining into one singular site?
  • How do we make use of the data collected over many years?
  • How do we create a platform which outpaces the status-quo platforms?
Vercida prototype screen
Vercida prototype screen
Vercida prototype screen

Starting with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

VERCIDA’s vision is to solve a core problem within the recruitment market. As with any innovative platform, success relies heavily on the needs of the people using it and ultimately, how it enhances their lives. By starting with an MVP, VERCIDA de-risked their investment by planning features which were at the core of the platform.

Despark helped VERCIDA realise this MVP, it’s scope and a roadmap for future releases.

This was achieved through a detailed Discovery process which included extensive research into platform users, the competitive environment and the recruitment space as a whole.

Before deciding on MVP features, we tested our ideas through focus groups and reviewed historic reports and analytics from the previous websites. This allowed us to draw out less quantitative and more qualitative data to validate our ideas.

What we found

Improving usability

The first step was to review the current website platforms. We found that they both suffered from poor usability and cluttered design. We considered each unique user case and how people interacted with each platform, including their behaviour on mobile devices. Taking into consideration user’s feedback and advice supported by tangible reasoning we began to build a picture of how the new VERCIDA platform could help the people using it.

Guiding the user

A vital metric for success was user applications. So the question was; how do we maximise this and improve conversion rates across the board? We took inspiration from an industry giant, LinkedIn, who help users complete their profiles by providing advice and using prompts and calls to actions whenever it’s algorithms detect an opportunity. This approach would provide a richer service with exceptional value to the platform’s users by allowing us to act on the data collected. A happy by-product was that this would reduce administration time for VERCIDA.

Accessible to everyone

The nature of a platform which supports a diverse user group dictates that high accessibility standards is essential. We needed the site design and front-end to cater for everybody's needs by ensuring the site met AA accessibility standards. We used ReciteMe, an accessibility software which allows visitors to customise a website the way they need it to work for them in real-time.

Big Data

VERCIDA’s biggest lure for employers is the insight it provides. We needed to find a way to harness data captured by the 100k+ users and creating a way for VERCIDA to draw out information to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. We created a number of customised reporting tools and were able to maximise data capture and reduce the administration time of gleaming insight from the platform and it’s users.

Monetising the platform

A core revenue stream within the platform was considered to be through employer advertising. We created a customised advertising feature to allow VERCIDA to manipulate ad placements throughout the platform.

Integrating with Employers

With huge numbers of job advertisements being uploaded to the site it was hugely important to connect the platform directly with VERCIDA clients and their job boards. We created a configurable API tool to allow VERCIDA partners to pull data in real-time to drastically reduce the administrative burden and quicken the process.

Automation

With so many transactions per day, automation was key to the management of the platform. On top of features which guided the user to perform actions and improve the collection of data, we considered features such as customisable notifications and automated content tagging for users which would greatly improve efficiency and user experience.

Highlighting influencers

VERCIDA believes that to truly promote diversity in the workplace, employers need to engage with their diverse audiences. We needed to find a way to promote the companies that do this best. Based on individual preferences as a user, the platform will highlight the best employer influencers and help their content rise to the top, maximising the chances of an employee finding their perfect job.

Vercida desktop screen
Vercida desktop screen
Vercida desktop screen
Vercida desktop screen
Vercida mobile screen
Vercida mobile screen
Vercida mobile screen
Vercida mobile screen

The Outcome

After a detailed planning stage we designed and built a single, progressive web application, designed to maximise user experience and to deliver a unique business model through consolidation of data.

VERCIDA.com allows jobseekers to search for jobs using filters that show the work employers are doing internally to promote diversity and inclusion, as well searching for jobs using the traditional search fields such as location, geography and keywords.

Every employer advertising a job has their own company profile which highlights their values and inclusive features such as age, belief, gender equality, and LGBT initiatives.

The launch of the VERCIDA platform took 9-months, remaining in budget throughout. The MVP has given VERCIDA the confidence to move forward and the road-map of new features is now being periodically released based on regular assessment of the platforms performance and ever-changing user needs. Despark are continuing to support the development of VERCIDA over the next 12-months and beyond.

Despark have managed to realise a ground-breaking and completely unique idea by planning, designing and building an innovative platform for our business. We strongly believe that very few people would have been able to achieve this and we highly recommend Despark as a digital partner.

Ben Chalcraft, Managing Director, Vercida

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