The brief

Development, design and maintenance whilst employed by company.

The LAL Careers website was not officially commissioned, but was developed by me and another member of staff on our own initiative. We recognised a need for a ‘one stop shop’ for advertising jobs, taking applications and supplying detailed HR information to prospective and contracted employees.

The old site

The site replaced a jobs section on the main LAL website, which simply listed jobs in the order in which they were posted, displaying three at a time. Whenever many jobs were being advertised at the same time – a common feature of a seasonal business – it was very hard to find particular jobs in the list.

I realised that we needed a site that was more attractive and easier to navigate for applicants, and easier for our staff to manage.

The new site

One company division specifically required the ability to upload documents for newly hired staff which needed to be password protected. We decided to use a simple WordPress installation to host files on a dedicated server, which would give us the flexibility to have multiple users and allow administration staff to post and protect files themselves, whilst keeping the data within the company’s servers.

It made sense to have a home page for the site, and logic suggested that a careers-focussed site should advertise jobs. We quickly realised that we had an opportunity to make a radical improvement to our recruitment by extending the functionality to online applications and automatic registration to serve role-specific content.

The home page featured the latest jobs, which were added as custom posts with standardised fields to make it easy to add new jobs in a standard format: departments could manage their own job adverts for the first time. Job posts were categorised and tagged to allow visitors to narrow down jobs by location, keyword or type. There was also a full search function.

Individual job posts included automatically-generated application details that were specific to the role and location, which linked to dynamic online application forms that delivered applications both as database-ready text and fully-formatted PDFs to match existing paper forms.

Detailed HR policy information was available to prospective candidates, and further information made available to contracted staff once they had registered and been approved to log in to the site. Registration automatically set the correct permissions to view only content relevant to each person’s role.

A feed from the site was added as an app to the company’s Facebook pages.

The style of the site was designed to be in harmony with the main website as it existed at the time, though the colours and typography of the careers site were more closely aligned to the official company style.