We recently created an app for our client, Scout Talent, a talent acquisition platform provider that works to connect people to grow companies, careers, and communities. This app, called the Scout Talent App, is a mobile version of :Recruit, their premier software module.
:Recruit is a robust candidate management and applicant tracking system that enables organisations to manage their entire talent acquisition process. Through Scout Talent :Recruit, users can post jobs, track applications, review candidates, schedule interviews and store candidate data, all in one centralised place.
Building the Scout Talent App was a significant project led by Dan Tomasic, NetEngine Frontend Team Lead. Read on to learn more about his experience working on the app.
What was the brief for this project?
Dan T: The brief was for the App to be a mobile version of :Recruit that would allow hiring managers to access candidate applications and utilise other functions of the system on the go. Having a more accessible version of :Recruit would allow clients to reduce their time to hire and drive their talent acquisition process no matter where they are.
Our priorities were to make it easy to use, in order to facilitate a simple process for hiring managers to access, review and process candidate applications. We also had to consider app functionalities such as receiving notifications, to allow hiring managers–who are already so busy during the day–to view updates quickly and maximise their productivity.
The scope of the project was for the App to have the same complex functionality of the :Recruit module and work smoothly across both Android and Apple operating systems.
What work did you do on this project?
DT: To start this project, we ran some workshops involving key stakeholders from NetEngine and Scout Talent; these included web developers, the CEO of Scout Talent, and :Recruit specialists who interacted with the software day in and day out. In these workshops, we discussed what we wanted the Scout Talent App to achieve, as well as what key functionalities it should have and what it should look like.
From these workshops, we split the work across our team of about 5-6 web developers working on the project. Usually, for a client project, we would do the work in sprints, but for this project, we did it in milestones – for example, we marked the project with major milestones such as full login flow created or video viewing functionality enabled.
We built the App in React Native, a coding framework that allowed us to simultaneously develop the App for both Android and Apple. Using this framework made the development process more efficient and allowed us to test and create fixes across both versions more easily.
In terms of UX/UI, the brief was for the Scout Talent App design to be consistent with :Recruit. The desktop :Recruit module is currently undergoing UX/UI updates, so the App was designed with that in mind, meaning the look and feel of it aligns with the new UX/UI of :Recruit. Essentially, the idea was that the transition from the desktop module to the App should be seamless for the user.
What were some challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?
DT: The biggest challenge in creating this App was to make sure it ran quickly and was simple to use for hiring managers. The way we overcame both these challenges was to ensure we performed lots of tests, and put in a lot of consideration for the UX/UI.
We did a test at the end of each major milestone (which usually marked the completion of a major feature) using dummy data; these tests were done with internal stakeholders at Scout Talent, mainly people who used :Recruit frequently and are familiar with how it should work.
These tests checked that the new features of each milestone worked correctly, and that the App as a whole worked smoothly. As is typical with app development, challenges arose from these tests; for example, we had to ensure that the App supported specific older versions of Android. To make sure the App worked across so many versions of operating systems, we had to take our time, checking that we didn’t break the versions that did work by fixing the ones that didn’t.
In terms of UX/UI, the only real challenge was time. Our UX/UI designer had lots of great ideas, but we had to consider what was viable within the project timelines. We had to consolidate all these ideas down to what was necessary for the App before it went to market, in order for us to get it done within the timeline.
What was your favourite part of working on this project?
DT: The best thing about this project was that it was quite a unique one to work on. Building the App completely from scratch with close input from the Scout Talent team was something I hadn’t done before. Being able to drive the project from an idea to what it is now, a fully-fledged App, was a lot of fun.
Our team really enjoyed having influence over the look and feel of the App, and feeling ownership over the project. Overall, it was satisfying to see a final product that fulfilled the requirements set out in the brief.
What was the outcome?
DT: The outcome was that we created what the brief set out: the Scout Talent App available today is a mobile version of :Recruit that allows hiring managers to have oversight of their talent acquisition process no matter where they are.
Between the start of the project and its completion, our initial ideas and designs definitely changed. App development is always an agile process. Similar to other projects, we found along the way that certain workflows didn’t quite make sense to the plan anymore, so we had to pivot to keep the App in line with our objectives.
Along the way, we also came up with extra functionalities and features that would enhance the user experience and achieve Scout Talent’s goal for the App to help connect people to grow companies, careers and communities. One example is that we included animations in the cards that appear when users are swiping through applicants; it’s a small addition, but one that enhances the interactivity and experience for the user.
All in all, the Scout Talent App we rolled out aligned closely with the initial project brief and scope – it was functional for both Android and Apple devices, and included all the key features of :Recruit, as well as additional mobile features, like push notifications.
Want to create your own app?
If reading about the Scout Talent App has inspired an app idea for your organisation, or if you have a digital vision you’d like to bring to life, get in touch with us here.