MedRecruit was created in 2006 by Dr Sam Hazledine (pictured above) and has since become the largest medical recruitment agency in Australasia. The company has a host of sister organisations, all of which improve doctors’ lives in some way and thousands of doctors use their services every day. The company has grown so steadily by always putting doctors first. In a particularly example of this commitment, Dr Sam Hazledine successfully lobbied the World Medical Organisation to change its Declaration of Geneva.
I was first contracted by MedRecruit in 2015 to deliver custom-coded EDM templates so that their 30+ consultants could easily fill out and send opportunities to candidates through MailChimp. At the time, the CMO was dealing with a difficult development project involving a team in India who had fallen behind schedule on developing a custom-built API and it was handed off to me.
Problem – Failing development project with recalcitrant developers
- CMO was under increasing pressure from the CEO to deliver the project
- CMO did not understand all the technical details of the project, making it difficult to direct the India team
- Time-zone differences made communication between CMO and India team lag
- Pay disputes had caused India team to lose goodwill
Solution – realise common goals, bring peace, prioritise and execute
- Met with the CMO and the India team to understand their frustrations, which were mainly at each other
- Resolved pay disputes on the promise that the India team would deliver
- Set up a plan to bring the project to completion, using a framework similar to Agile but with very short sprints
- Assessed the project and made a list of all tasks and problems and began assigning them to developers
- Set up a bug-testing system to test work as soon as it was done so that bugs could be ironed out in the next sprint
- Changed my schedule to be available during the India team’s business hours (5 PM – 2 AM)
- Met with the team daily for 15 minutes via Skype
- The project was completed in under 2 months
- Local contract development team hired to replace India team
- Superb Members Area delivered to MedRecruit customers, above and beyond what their competitors had
- CEO praised CMO on a job well done (and the CMO passed it on to me)
From there, I identified an opportunity to increase MedRecruit’s conversion rates through a design change. The company wanted to tested my hypothesis before accepting it, so I set up a split test. In essence, my design was simpler. I removed a lot of extra content and only kept what was essential. I made the graphics professional and pleasing to look at, and directed users at all times to complete the registration form. After a week, conversions on my version were almost twice what they were on the control and I was asked to implement this design change to all of MedRecruit’s websites. medrecruit.com had 350+ landing pages and the company had many more 1-page websites via Unbounce, so I assembled a team of people to manage the content and code changes required.
Once this project was completed, we engaged in hundreds of split-testing experiments to double engagement rates once again. This involved setting up Google Tag Manager (GTA) so that all click-able elements could be tracked and all user interactions could be monitored. This data fed into Google Analytics where I set up segments and views and examined audiences to provide weekly reports.
As Simon Couldstone, the CMO who I reported to, once said bluntly in a reference, “Jose has engaged in a lot of split testing.”
Once we had stopped seeing dramatic improvements on the conversion rate, I was tasked with increasing traffic from search results, a key driver for MedRecruit’s business. This initiated the enormous project of optimising MedRecruit’s 350+ landing page website for search engines, as well as the 500+ 1-page websites they owned. I developed systems for my team to go through each site and quickly change key words, titles, tags, and descriptions. I continued to monitor MedRecruit’s rank using analytics tools and they have consistently maintained a higher page rank than their competitors.
In addition to these projects, I have developed several new websites for MedRecruit, including one in NationBuilder, a boutique platform used by political candidates which we had no experience in. I also created CEO Sam Hazledine’s personal website.
For the next few years, I continued to support MedRecruit in social media advertising, analytics and reporting, graphic design, website and domain management, more split testing, and in their eventual transition to a CMS that was better suited to a landing page website.
I am proud of what my team and I achieved, particularly in the design and split testing projects. I had a budget to stick to and I was paying my team by the hour, so we spent time in the beginning designing efficient ways to pull off large-scale changes and fixing the flaws that arose. In the end, this saved us a lot of time and MedRecruit a lot of money. There is no better feeling than producing return on investment.
WordPress + Custom Wordpres Plugins + Custom .NET+ Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Project Management & Administration
I developed a talented contract-based team for MedRecruit which included skilled front-end developers, .NET developers, Microsoft Dynamics CRM specialists, SEO specialists, graphic designers, data entry managers and administrative staff.
MedRecruit received the benefits of an agency without paying the exorbitant prices agencies demand for their infrastructure. Because of effective planning, we completed massive amounts of work often before schedule.
MedRecruit required templates that any MailChimp-illiterate consultant could drop their data into. The template would then display it in tables and sections. I delivered custom HTML/CSS templates with pre-styled sections that could be added / deleted / hidden with a click.
The difficulty in developing HTML/CSS templates for email is that people use a variety of devices and email clients to view their email. As such, what appears to be perfect in Gmail looks terrible in Outlook or Apple Mail. So the real task is in testing these templates extensively on every possible email client. We used Litmus, which shows you how an email will look on all devices and email clients.
These templates were well-received by the consultants and performed well. We did not need to update them after the had been finished.
SEO, Organic Lead Gen & Reporting
There are numerous specialties of doctors searching for different categories of jobs in different Australasian locations. The challenge this creates from an SEO point of view is how to target these doctors in a systematic way. For example, take the query, “Temporary RMO Jobs in Sydney, New South Wales.” That query contains three different key words / key word clusters, which I have underlined, four if you seperate Sydney and New South Wales. That’s why the MedRecruit website had so many pages, because each page was targeted to a very specific user. Getting the right pages to match the right queries became a massive SEO job.
Link building became complex – we had to pick and choose our links carefully.
Tracking SEO rankings required enormous spreadsheets, formulas and charts. This was made easier with Moz.
Improving SEO required identifying rises / falls in keyword rankings, across a range of pages and page categories, and then applying changes to numerous pages in a systematic way. That means more spreadsheets and hundreds of open tabs.
Tools used include Moz, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Optimizely, and more.
MedRecruit uses Unbounce to produce hundreds of extremely targeted landing pages to which doctors are sent from EDMs, Google Display advertisements and social media advertisements. The pages were targeted based on information about the doctor including location, specialty, term, goals, family life, and hours.
Each of these landing pages submits detailed doctor information through an API directly to Microsoft Dynamics CRM so that consultants can pick up the lead and convert them.
Each page also had numerous versions with different images, headlines, and calls to action, so that the conversion rate was constantly improving and what ‘worked’ was evolving. As a result, many of these landing pages were converting thousands of doctors at rates of 20%, and some were even higher.
MedRecruit’s main website was initially a non-customised WordPress theme that was stark, square, and generally unappealing to look at.
It performed acceptably, but I felt it did not reinforce MedRecruit’s position as the top medical recruitment agency in Australasia. I thus tendered a new design to the CMO with a suggestion to split test it 2 weeks free of charge, and if it improved results to implement the new design.
The new design showed a 14% increase in conversions and thus it was implemented.
This led to a redesign of MedRecruit’s other digital properties, such as MedCapital (WordPress), MedWorld (Nation Builder), Medical Payroll Specialists (WordPress), and CEO Sam Hazledine’s personal website (SquareSpace).
See the initial design (left) and updated design (right).
MedRecruit spends thousands of dollars a week on display advertising and requested ads be designed and improved in line with results. These graphics continue to produce results for MedRecruit.
Additionally, MedRecruit attends many tradeshows and conferences which require brochures, flyers, and other print materials. I have designed and delivered numerous print graphics for MedRecruit.