We developed the original Applicant Register back in 2005 as a complete replacement for their paper-based system and the system stood up well during that time with minor improvements over the years.
When the TAFE system was dismantled it became necessary to work the three new entities into the system and while this was relatively successful, when further changes to the Post Year 10 structure were floated it was decided that a ground-up rewrite was required.
Not only would this cleanly support the new organisational structure and the business rules than apply to each entity, but it gave us an opportunity to revamp the user interface to reflect the changes in browser technology and user interface best-practises over the years.
The application is designed to let HR staff update details of ongoing vacancies in areas such as Teaching, and provides a powerful search facility to determine who on the register is best able to meet the positions available at any given time. Unlike a traditional employment system, the register is an open-ended facility where people keep their details up to date and they are contacted when a position becomes available in an area in which they have indicated they have interest and expertise.
Applicants can not only upload resumes and supporting documentation, but can select from predefined lists of 'Areas of Interest' which correspond to teaching subjects for example. This assists greatly in matching applicants to positions.
Applicants are able to fine-tune their response by indicating what areas of the state they wish to work in, and what hours they prefer.
This was an exciting opportunity to stretch our legs in a substantial web application with a complex back-end which also required a powerful user interface to meet the Client's requirements that data capture be as accurate as possible to ensure the best results when searching for potential applicants.
To achieve this we developed a wizard style interface where applicants can step through each part of the process, and are always given feedback on any areas that have not been filled correctly. We balanced the requirement for accurate data with flexible navigation options to allow users to jump around and not be forced into a linear sequence if they were just making small changes.
The system saves your information automatically as you navigate around and features a PDF export facility for completed applications.
HR staff receive notifications of new applicants and can make private annotations in the back-end for each application.
The system was written utilising the Struts2 web development framework with heavy use of Spring for the business layer. JPA/Hibernate provide the data access layer to a Microsoft SQL Server database. The system also integrates with Active Directory for HR staff access to the back-end.