A Global Recruitment Plc

Meeting the challenge of moving eight multi-lingual brand websites within just 12 weeks for our client, a global recruitment business struggling with a SaaS platform that was falling far short of their digital needs, was nothing short of astounding. Luckily, this wasn’t the first time we’ve been called upon to perform the almost impossible.

The task was to create a brand-new platform for the eight sites, based on Umbraco CMS, that could be fully integrated with the client’s existing job and application systems, and cloud hosted, before a hard contract end date when exorbitant renewal fees were set to kick in.

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The brief

Providing four primary functions: website content, job search, job applications and CV registration, the eight sites were multi-region and multi-lingual, giving regional offices easy access and control over their own content and job postings.

This functionality meant that we effectively had 42 sites in total to migrate, all of them falling under eight over-arching brand designs.

Nothing was available to us to re-use. The incumbent agency’s code was proprietary, and they would not export content for us. Therefore, we needed to build from the ground-up, scraping content from the front-end of each of the sites, to meet the incredibly tight timeframe for delivery.

Whilst under significant time pressure, we would also need to address several shortcomings in the existing functionality. Site performance and SEO issues had to be resolved; efficiencies gained across brands; job search improved; and the CMS had to include all the capabilities expected from an enterprise site build.

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The Platform

Multi-Site Umbraco CMS

Thankfully, this wasn’t our first time delivering a CMS with such a hefty list of requirements: shared templates, shared functionality, separate content, and variations on brand and look-and-feel. We created a tried and tested “Brand Platform” based on Umbraco CMS, with each site sharing the same codebase, thus allowing changes to be rolled out with maximum effectiveness across all brands. 

Content templates are fully shared, accelerating development and gaining efficiency for the client, with site editors getting used to working with the single CMS system and then easily managing content across brands, with each region retaining control of their content, in their native languages. Deployments and updates can be made across one or more of the individual brands, allowing changes to be tested against a limited audience before being pushed out globally.

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Lift-and-Shift CMS migration

Dedicating a Senior Developer to the task, we deployed our in-house migration tools to crawl each site and save all pages back to a database, including numerous instances of badly coded templates surrounded by poor HTML markup. We then began identifying the different template types and elements – headers, images, and promo blocks, to extract and handle in specific ways.

The code was parsed and “cleansed” to remove the inconsistent styling that could effectively break the new design once imported. After several tweaks and re-imports, we had new sites that mirrored the old ones, but which were easily editable using the new CMS templates and components.

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Best-in-class Job Search

A key purpose of each site was to allow job search functionality, so lots of focus was put into planning how this would work within the new platform. We had an opportunity to create a new UX that was better than that offered by competitor sites, so we designed a new faceted search which met client requirements and delivered super-quick results for the user.

Jobs are automatically filtered by country, and language, to ensure relevance across the presented results. We utilised ElasticSearch in the Cloud to maximise search speed and we built a dynamic structure in Umbraco to ensure each job was delivered with an SEO optimised URL, and all the relevant meta data for sharing.

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A Centralised Integration Platform

All sites would share the same integrations.  Jobs would be posted from the in-house Application Tracking System, Broadbean, and needed to be made available through the job search on each site.  We created centralised APIs (integration points) that Broadbean would call to create, update and delete jobs automatically.  We translated sectors and facets into the target languages on the way in, and added each job to ElasticSearch for the appropriate brand.

To facilitate CV Uploads from each site, we built an API to accept applications, process these through the client’s CV parsing service, and push a new candidate contact into Salesforce CRM.  All data was handled within strict security protocols, to ensure GDPR compliance, and minimise risk of any personal data breach.

By deploying these APIs on a separate, middle-tier application, we can monitor all integration points, and manage changes easily.


Following this project, we have formed a strong partnership with the client that has led to many enhancements across this platform, as well as a key project to re-develop their main corporate website. We have also become their preferred supplier for all public-facing digital projects, reflecting our expertise and ability to deliver on projects, as well as day-to-day support.

The eight sites deployed on the new platform have seen a huge improvement in traffic quality. Time on page has increased by around 150%, bounce rate has decreased by a similar level, and with job applications up by 25% we can be confident this site migration was the right investment to make.

Whilst we’re not able to publicise our client by name, please get in touch and we will happily share more details.


I have been working with Factory73 for 3 years on digital transformation projects. 

Trustworthy, reliable and flexible, these guys are truly an extension of our team and the supportive relationship we have developed would be very difficult to replicate. 

They know what they’re good at, and are honest about it, and are not scared to get involved in some of the decision making.

Global Head of Digital Development and Marketing Technology

Let’s create something great