As we already mentioned in one of our previous case studies, The PBS Corporation is an agency that provides individualized services for both adults and kids dealing with autism and related disabilities. The Corporation’s programs are designed to equip caregivers and others involved in the individuals' lives and support them through their natural routines so they can be successful and self-sufficient people.
Although PBS Corp. has a large team, the agency usually works in form of “small local teams”. Their Regional Coordinators ensure that the teams are highly-qualified to help those that need their services. Each team is made out of behavior analysts, program managers, and behavior assistants that receive the proper support, training, and guidance that is needed to uphold the best practices in applied behavior analysis.
As a company of such size and magnitude, PBS Corp. wastes a lot of time interviewing and hiring new personnel.
One of the most common issues a lot of companies face today is directly tied to hiring new personnel. Most brands are struggling to find qualified candidates for their open positions, i.e. to filter the right ones from the entire applicant pool. An increased focus on finding the right talent and not making a poor hire has contributed to extending the hiring process, which usually takes up to 30 days. Despite the challenges that a vacant position presents, it’s even worse to fill a job with the wrong candidate only to have to remedy the situation at a later date.
According to the company representatives that contacted us, PBS Corp. employees spend a lot of time processing job applications. After they manually go through all the resumes, they handpick the best ones and then call each applicant individually to come for an interview.
According to their data, they invest around 45 to 60 minutes per applicant just to figure out if he or she is a good fit for the company. This is a lot of wasted time.
PBS Corp. people wanted to speed up this operation as much as possible, so they decided to reach out to us to build them an app that will automate a significant part of the hiring process.
Their idea was to create a system that will allow job applicants to answer some questions before they even send their resume. This system would enable them to record and upload videos by themselves. Their answers were then going to get reviewed by PBS Corp. managers through the SharePoint Portal App. The best candidates were then going to receive a call to come for an in-person interview.
The biggest challenge here was to create a system that recorded each question and stored it in an appropriate place. People who were to review the answers and videos had to have access to this database through an app.
Also, the client said that this system needed to work on the iOS platform as well, which was not that simple. IOS is known for very strict policies about the involvement of cameras in non-native apps.
To answer these challenges, we first built the React app that worked on both the web and mobile platforms. The app used Media Recording API to capture camera videos. We also set a length limit for the recordings so that the videos from candidates don’t exceed the length defined in the SharePoint’s list of Questions. The list of questions was placed under the SharePoint list, from where we could retrieve it by building a simple, custom Web API. Web API was also developed to save the candidates’ responses on SharePoint.
The main problem we had to overcome here was related to the storage.
The file size candidates upload had to be somewhere between 5 to 11MB. However, this is not really optimal and it implies the videos won’t be of satisfying resolution. In addition, some clients might upload more than one video. Also, there were cases where PBS Corp. had 10 videos per applicant and they wanted to save the profile videos for later use if the applicant gets hired.
So, having these obstacles in mind, it was clear to us that SharePoint wasn’t going to cut it here. SharePoint storage would get full very quickly. We ended up using Azure Storage with CDN as the middle layer for this particular project. It is very quick, easy to use, plus it wasn’t expensive.
We built the API for storing videos on Azure and then we copied the link of each video to the client’s SharePoint. This is where PBS Corp. could easily access and review all the applications and potential employees’ videos.
Once we got everything up and running, we started working on the iOS integration as well. It wasn’t possible to make the app work under iOS (Safari 13), so we had to build a new Native iOS app (Swift) and reuse all the APIs we previously built for our initial app, just to make the presentation layer in swift. This proved to be a good idea and the final product worked like a charm.
In the end, we ended up with two apps and a very satisfied client. The feedback we got from the applicants was great. They said that our solution was intuitive and very easy to use. It was very user-friendly, which they said it saved them a lot of time. The client added that our two apps made their hiring process seamless and lightweight. PBS Corp. claims that in just the first two weeks of using our app, 40 applicants got hired.