How do you create 50+ recruitment websites, each with separate branding and latest functionality, without spending a fortune?

Recruitment websites on Umbraco


As well as their main website, our client has over 50 specialist associate and franchise recruitment businesses each with its own website. These websites are designed and configured by the in-house Web Development Team with 360 Systems as a development partner. Our client wanted to create a new website which focused on the candidate's overall experience, focused on the candidate journey from search to job to a career. They also wanted to share the new features with each of their associate websites on a standard platform to reduce overall development, administration, and cost.

A recruitment website template was needed to update their main website and those of their associates, allowing all websites to share the latest industry-leading functionality whiles maintaining their own brand identity.

Competitor analysis

Q: Who is the competition?

A: Other recruiters, job boards, plus the website's candidates visit every day. 

360 Systems completed a review of the leading recruiter, job board and on-line retailer websites and compared functionality with their existing website. The retail site analysis focused on product searching, categorising, and filtering, identifying opportunities to improve job search for candidates.

The output was a gap analysis and requirements list.

A number of the requirements were easy to implement as they were already available in back-office systems and could be utilised. Some of the new functionality was deemed as being essential to the new site. Other requirements had fewer concrete benefits and would require further analysis, testing and agreement with the business before their inclusion in the core recruitment website template.

The requirements list was prioritised by our client and the Recruitment Website Template commissioned to run on Umbraco CMS.

Umbraco recruitment website template

This was to be an agile software development project with our clients Web Development Manager working closely with the 360 Systems team in defining key elements and signing off the continuous delivery of functionality.

The recruitment website template is built using the Umbraco content management system platform. It is written in C# and deployed on Microsoft infrastructure and provides a scalable, content managed website environment for businesses invested in Office 365 and the Microsoft Cloud. 

The Umbraco recruitment website template integrates into services for job posting, job categorisation, job search, email alerts, address lookup and more. Some of these services have been created by 360 Systems such as Elasticsearch job search and email alerts, others are integrations with specialist recruitment services such as Idibu Job Posting and Loqate's address lookup service. 

Alongside the content management elements that the recruitment companies use to build up their websites, key functionality in the Umbraco recruitment website template includes:

Mobile-first + candidate journey design

The site framework has been designed for the majority of candidates using a mobile phone to find jobs and sometimes a larger device. 

Our client is focussed on the candidate journey from search to job to a career. As one of the first touchpoints for candidates, the website is designed to help the candidate as they seek their next job. Website functionality available to candidates includes integration with online recruitment services, job search and personalised notifications are top of the list for keeping the recruitment website template up to date.

Elasticsearch search for jobs

Job search should be fast, intuitive and provide the candidate with results that are a close match to their needs. To achieve this, we use Elasticsearch as a service into the template.

Elasticsearch is fast. It is also massively scalable and flexible to the search requirements of sites and apps used in the recruitment sector.

Some of the things Elasticsearch allow us to do is provide the number of jobs available next to each filter, ordering results based on how the user searched, utilise geo-location and provide optimised relevance models designed for real-life, natural search.

Technical search engine optimisation

SEO is making small improvements to a website which individually may seem insignificant, but collectively make a noticeable difference. By providing technical SEO in the template creators of content fill in the information and the template takes care of SEO.

One of the nice SEO features is creating friendly URLs for the job search area. This makes the URL readable, and index with search engines as a landing page that can be shared. Examples of this are /manager-jobs-in-Chester/ or /manager-jobs-within-30-miles-of-Chester/

Also, when a job is removed, the page remains for a time with alternative jobs similar to the original post. 

Job alerts

Job Alerts enables a candidate to sign-up to a Jobs Alert based on what they've just searched for. The candidate is prompted to create an alert if it looks like they are struggling to find what they are looking for.

Microsites for job role, industry, employer, promotions

A candidate might want to review all jobs for a specific role, industry or employer and get more information about how to get into that industry or what the employer would be looking for. The microsites allow the business to create content pages and dynamically pull in the published jobs when the page is viewed.

Along with having employer microsites the business wanted to highlight those employer jobs in the regular search results so to make them stand out.

Separate websites access core functions

Each of the 50+ websites would be separate Umbraco content managed websites but with core functions provided by a service in the cloud. This way any updates to branch and job search, email job alerts and application forms could be completed quickly and not require individual website updates.

Idibu job posting

Idibu allows the back office consultants and administrators to publish and manage their jobs to any of the group websites, other external job boards.

Loqate address lookup

Loqate allows users to start typing their address and it then displays matches which are refined as the user types more characters. This makes for simple and quick address entry for the user.

Rollout new template to websites

The rollout plan is to complete the main website and then upgrade the associates and any new websites.

Technical web and cloud partners

360 Systems provides web application development and cloud expertise to business people in Digital Marketing, Projects Office, Applications Support and IT. The final product allows our clients Digital Marketing team to add each company's brand design on top of a reusable recruitment website template in Umbraco. This saves time and money in both creating new websites, updating, and maintaining those using the template. It also helps our client and their associate recruiters to provide the best service possible to their candidates via the websites they operate.