JobAdder Sees Fourfold Boost in Productivity on AWS
Technology should enable, not get in the way. This was the founding principle behind Australia-based JobAdder when the independent software vendor (ISV) launched its recruiting solution in 2007. “In the past decade, recruiting software has done great things, but in many ways, it’s also kept people chained to their desks, turning recruiters into administrators. We want to get recruiters back into the interview room where they have the most value, using AI and automation to do just that,” says Christina Knock, head of digital at JobAdder.
Harnessing technology to fuel innovation is a competitive differentiator for JobAdder. Its recent launch of a voice-to-text function is a prime example—the first technology of its kind that allows recruiters to dictate job descriptions and update notes on the go. JobAdder now has offices in the UK and US, serving recruitment agencies as well as in-house teams at large corporations.
“JobAdder stores 4–8 times more data on AWS and cut storage costs by more than 50%.”
Matthew Hotstone, Architect, JobAdder
AWS Services Used
JobAdder is an Australian independent software vendor founded in 2007, with offices and clients around the globe. Recruiting agencies and in-house teams at large corporations use JobAdder’s software to simplify recruitment, with innovative tools harnessing the power of AI, ML, automation, and industry-leading mobile technology.
- Saves more than 50% on document storage cost
- Attracts new corporate clients with security certifications
- Speeds up processing by automating document scans
- Shortens time-to-market from 2 weeks to 2 days
- Improves product releases fourfold with failsafe testing bubble
AWS Services Used
Save More, Make More
Until 2017, the ISV ran its mostly manual operation from a colocation data center. That year, CTO Brett Mason began looking for a more innovative and cost-effective alternative to store and process millions of documents, such as resumes and job ads, that must be processed daily. After determining that switching to Amazon Web Services (AWS) would save the company thousands of dollars, he began migrating JobAdder’s workloads to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) right away. The entire operation, except its multiple terabytes (TB) of stored client documents, was completed in one weekend, in what Mason deems “the smoothest migration I’ve ever been involved with.”
The company currently has some 250 million documents on the cloud, which requires about 4 TB of storage. “We’re storing four to eight times as much data on Amazon S3 now than we were two years ago with our previous provider, and we pay less than half, maybe a third, of the price,” says Matthew Hotstone, architect at JobAdder. The ISV has also saved by using Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances (Amazon EC2 RI). Recruiting traffic follows a predictable pattern, with spikes on weekdays and little to no weekend activity and fits well with the reserved payment model.
In addition, the AWS Cloud supports new revenue streams. The out-of-the-box security compliance that AWS offers has helped JobAdder attract new business, particularly when submitting tenders for US corporate clients. “There’s no way a company at our scale could have achieved the security certifications and accreditations that AWS has attained. Having the AWS shared security model puts our customers at ease knowing there is no compromise with the safety of their data,” Mason says.
Shifting to Serverless
In line with the company’s vision to boost automation, architects increasingly rely on serverless infrastructure using AWS Lambda to efficiently run and scale its code without human intervention. “AWS Lambda is a powerful tool that’s highly effective at scanning documents for malware,” Hotstone says. “Recently, for example, we needed to process about 300,000 resumes in a few hours. Previously that would have been a big challenge for our teams, but with AWS Lambda we just spin everything up, and batch processing is done while we tend to other tasks.”
Migration to the cloud has also prompted JobAdder to start decoupling its monolithic architecture, using Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) and Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) to power event-driven infrastructure. Previously, teams had to self-manage the queueing system, but now separate processes can run within the same application, each subscribed to Amazon SNS with its own queue, Hotstone explains. Developers are better able to process smaller data segments, which speeds up deployments. Plus, JobAdder customers benefit from a decoupled system. “We can handle system failures better and smooth out spikes during high-volume periods, which improves the customer experience,” Hotstone adds.
The team has recently started using Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) servers in its pre-production environment and to support internal applications gathering business insights. In one case, a customized application grabs data from different parts of the business and collates it in Amazon RDS instances to produce a website that offers the CEO visibility on several metrics across JobAdder’s operation. “Basically, we can focus on crunching numbers instead of managing databases,” Hotstone explains. “Previously we would have to try and get access and permissions to create separate databases for such a task.”
Offload the Hard Work
Increased reliance on AWS Managed Services such as Amazon RDS has allowed developers to experiment and innovate much faster. Mason says product releases have risen fourfold since migrating to AWS, with releases happening every two days instead of every two weeks. The team maintains two AWS accounts, one for production and the other for testing. This allows developers to test new code in an isolated environment before implementation. “Before, everything in production was built piece by piece, so we would save up a bunch of changes, compile them, test them, and drop them onto the production boxes, hoping for the best,” Hotstone shares. The creation of the testing bubble has improved reliability and fostered innovation.
Working on the cloud has also changed the way developers approach new projects, because they know they don’t have to build it or do it all on their own. “Gradually as we came to add more features, we realized we could actually offload some of the work we were doing manually by pushing it to different AWS services,” Hotstone adds. “I still see this today. With every new feature we develop, we look at how we can offload some of the hard work onto AWS.”
Enhanced AI and ML Applications
In addition to enhancing its voice-to-text feature, JobAdder is working on building more artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into its application. The company is now collaborating with a third party to develop a smart tool that will match job descriptions with potential candidates. Such a powerful tool would be a first among Australian recruiters. For this and other new projects, JobAdder developers are empowered to make suggestions, try them out, and fail fast if things don’t go as planned. Constant access to AWS formal and informal training ensures they are up to date on cloud technology and can choose the service that best fits the company’s present and future needs.
“AWS and our AWS account manager have been great at supporting JobAdder throughout our cloud journey,” says Mason. “Whether it’s training, access to its Solution Architects, or general advice, AWS has been a reliable partner.”