Trinity Mirror is like many publishing groups in that a large slice of its business has traditionally been in advertising job vacancies.
This business arm that has powered the publishing industry for so long is experiencing a period of disruption as recruiters make use of digital technology, but Trinity Mirror has moved with the times and built up a large digital recruitment business arm over the last 10 years.
Trinity Mirror digital technology strategy product and operations director Gareth Lloyd explained to CIO UK that the business has grown through acquisition
But, the last two years has been focused on consolidating these business units into a unified business arm Trinity Mirror Digital Recruitment and using that period of transformation to deploy make use of some innovations that make the business stand out from its competitors by offering a better, more personalised experience for candidates and recruiters.
In his view, established job board brands, such as Monster.com are moving into a volume-driven global market, leaving the way open for Trinity Mirror to concentrate on the few markets it already has a firm footing in.
The business is divided into vertical industries and geographical regions and where the company already has an established presence, the goal is to be the dominant player.
Over all, the company has around nine million registered users and holds around five and a half million CV records.
Lloyd feels that there is good deal of improvement to be made in making the job-finding experience more aligned with the face-to-face processes people went through before the internet was all-pervasive.
He has been involved in bringing a number of previously autonomous businesses together onto a unified set of systems to support them. The company has invested around £1.5m over about two years in this process.
The functionality Lloyd has been able to bring in roughly equates the systems that enable them. Lloyd separates them out into four separate pillars: Cloud, social, mobile and search.
The underlying driver is that the systems should be more reactive to candidate’s behaviour, learned over time.
He says: “The big players in the market had business engines that are maybe 12 years old. The only way they can build more sophisticated systems is by bolting them on to these legacy systems. This is a perfect opportunity for us to build more user-friendly services from the ground up.”
Trinity Mirror as a group is committed to cloud as an IT procurement strategy and the digital recruitment business is an established Salesforce house. For Lloyd, the facility to scale infrastructure quickly is critical.
Social media has become a core tool in candidates building up profiles in the job market and sourcing vacancies. The systems Lloyd has built integrates easily with the most popular social media to take advantage of this trend in job-seeking behaviour.
Internally, Lloyd has made use of gamification to keep candidates engaged with the job-sites in Trinity Mirror’s stable. For instance, they are rewarded for keeping CVs fresh, as one that is not refreshed for longer than three months is unlikely to be picked up by a recruiter.
Two years ago, about 10 per cent of candidates accessed the sites through a mobile app. Mobile traffic has grown to about 25 per cent today.
Lloyd observes most job-boards do little more than strip out the functionality of their existing websites to make them suitable for mobile devices. He has made sure that his company’s mobile offerings are designed specifically for hand-held devices, to make it as easy as possible to complete a job application.
Search is the core functionality of any job-site. It is the engine that connects job-seekers to recruiters, yet Lloyd feels most offerings on the market are too inflexible to react to jobseekers’ changing requirements, as they search for a new job over time. He notes that candidates expectations change, or having found little luck in one area may change their focus to a different role.
Existing jobsite search engines don’t react to these behaviours and continue to throw up unsuitable matches. Lloyd’s goal is to develop search services that take into account a candidates historical movements through the site, recommending roles that reflect the candidates journey.
Retail sites like Amazon.com have been doing this for some time and it’s something that shoppers expect. Job sites have been slow to pick up this type of smart-recommendation functionality, Lloyd says.
In parallel to improvements in search functionality, the business unit has also invested in business intelligence systems to make better use of client and candidate data internally.
Again, Lloyd has opted for a hosted provider, Pentaho for business intelligence. The move replaces widespread use of Excel for analysing and sifting business data.
Of the 100 or so recruitment sites in Trinity Mirror’s stable, only a handful remain to be migrated to the new systems. Once that has been accomplished, Lloyd’s next area of focus will be the group’s property sites. He says activity there will be increasing quality leads for new home builders.