A project created for Pure Human Resources (a.k.a Pure HR), this automation carries out an important task that needs to happen but wasn’t happening consistently.
This automation fetches information from a software tool called Team Tailor using an API, processes the numbers into something meaningful, and then injects that information into a PDF report.
The PDF reports can then be automatically emailed to clients on a weekly basis, or manually emailed by simply clicking on a button.
What was it like before (the automation)?
The Pure HR team used to create these reports manually. They would copy and paste information from their application tracking system (which is currently Team Tailor) into a document. And then send that document to each client.
These reports are ideal for their clients, as they show how much goes into the Pure HR’s fixed-price recruitment service. The reports give the client a window into just how many applicants were applying for a role, and how many made it through the initial telephone screening that Pure HR conduct, and otherwise make it easy to understand the numbers involved.
For Pure HR, the benefit of the report means the clients understand how much value they’re getting for the recruitment service. And when clients know they’re getting lots of value, they feel great about using their service.
This manual effort takes around 15 minutes per report (i.e. per role), and then per week that the campaign is active.
However, despite every best intention, these reports weren’t happening. The reports were loved by clients, but it’d been too long since a report had been sent.
Therefore the purpose of the report was to ensure something important was happening with consistency. Something that wasn’t currently happening.
How does it work now?
1) Applicant Tracking Data fetched via API from Team Tailor
The information about all applicants and all roles is stored on the Team Tailor software tool. This tool has been used for several years by the Pure HR team for their applicant tracking when they’ve advertised job roles.
The Pure HR team aren’t technical, so we handled investigating Team Tailor to see what was possible. The Team Tailor API is well-documented and therefore we were able to write code to ‘talk to’ that system.
2) Crunching the numbers to make them simple to understand
The raw data that comes from Team Tailor is a little confusing and wouldn’t mean a great deal without explanation. In order for the reports to offer value, they needed to be easy to understand.
Using some simple maths, the raw numbers for each campaign are crunched, ready to add to the PDF.
3) Automating data collection
We felt that the team would benefit from a simple summary dashboard of all the campaigns on the system. The dashboard would include both raw statistics and the ‘crunched’ numbers that clients will see. To make this dashboard useful, this data is updated 4 times a day using automation.
4) Generating a report using a template PDF
We asked the Pure HR team to create a template for their report, so that they could add messaging and marketing information to their report.
From this template, we overlay the crunched numbers from the system, including information about the campaign dates, role name and company name. The PDFs can be generated manually, or they can be sent to clients on a weekly basis via email.
5) Setting up scheduled weekly emails
The Pure HR team can choose which roles are emailed automatically by changing a simple setting. This gives them complete control on how they handle their client relationship.
The email can be customised at any time by simply changing a setting in the admin section.
Was there something off-the-shelf that could do this?
In short, no. There isn’t a native application that takes information from Team Tailor and creates a branded and bespoke PDF Report. Potentially existing tools could have been used to create this automation, but it would have been complex for the Pure HR team to manage.
One key part of the requirements for this project was that it was simple to operate, and needed to take as little time as possible to use. By using our own technology, we were able to create a dashboard that’s intuitive to use without the need for any training.
A quick summary of the automation
- This tool was created as a bespoke WordPress plugin, to utilise the existing Pure HR website hosting. This saves the need for separate hosting for this custom automation.
- Data is automatically fetched via the Team Tailor API and then processed to create meaningful numbers.
- The Pure HR team created a blank PDF template, and then numbers are injected into that template by code.
- The automation fetches the latest numbers from Team Tailor 4 times a day, and shown on a dashboard that only the Pure HR team can see.
- For each role, the Pure HR team can choose which clients will receive an automatic weekly report
- For each role, the Pure HR team can download a PDF summary or email a PDF summary at any time by clicking a button
What Pure Human Resources had to say about this project:
Having seen some of Dan's impressive work with automatically creating PDFs, it gave me the idea to talk to him about our recruitment statistics. We use the TeamTailor an applicant tracking system to manage recruitment campaigns for our clients.
We can have anywhere between 5 to 20 campaigns running per month, it's very easy for us to be busy.
Embarrassingly, we used to send out a weekly report to our clients summarising the statistics on the progress of their job advert. The report was loved by our clients, but it had been too long since we'd done it. And the reports took a while to do manually.
We found that it gave clients a feel for the progress that was happening behind the scenes, demonstrating the quantity of work we did for each recruitment campaign.
Having a discussion with Dan, he identified that we could use the data from TeamTailor and fully automate sending the weekly recruitment statistics as a PDF report to our clients. We really liked that Dan explain things so that we completely understood how it would work.
We love what Dan and the team have created for us. This report is one of those things that really needs to happen. And now it does. We wish we had done it a long time ago, but just didn’t realise firstly that this was something we could automate and secondly that it wasn’t a significant cost to action.