With Michael Bailey Associates recruitment website being live for some time now Jo Wilcox took time out of her busy schedule for a Q&A session detailing what’s its like to work with Strategies.

Strategies: So how long have you worked with the team at Strategies?

JW: I’ve worked with the team at Strategies now for about two years.

Strategies: Strategies were shortlisted together with a number of other recruitment website design agencies, what made your decision to partner with Strategies for the build of your new recruitment site?

JW: It was a combination of reasons:

  1. The flexibility of the package on offer. The Strategies CMS system has a ‘menu’ of options and add-on modules that we could choose to create a product that was right for us. This meant we didn’t need to pay for functionality we would never need.
  2. The easy to use CMS. The ability to update the site regularly ourselves was an essential part of the brief.
  3. The new site was part of a wider project to update and simplify our corporate identity. I was able to keep everything with one supplier, using Strategies for the rebrand as well as the website.
  4. As an international brand, another mandatory was to have different language versions of the site, which the Strategies solution was able to provide. All language sites use the same CMS system, and we could choose whether to have the hidden part in English or another language.
  5. A comprehensive and cost-effective hosting and support package.
  6. And finally, price, something that all company owners are keen to control! There are other agencies that offer more or less the same combination of products and support services that we required, but many came with a hefty price attached. Strategies’s pricing was transparent and scaled appropriately.

Strategies: Having worked with them for some time now how would you compare their products and customer service level to other website design agencies you have worked with?

JW: I have worked with some other good agencies in the past, as well as some who I wasn’t as pleased with, and Strategies is definitely amongst the better ones.

During the main project, there were a few hiccups, but the good thing about Strategies is that the team really does listen, takes comments on board, and you can see results straight away. For example, I wanted more visibility of key milestones and responsibilities during our project. They took this on board and actually decided to trial a new project management tool – I was more than happy to test this way of working with them.

In terms of product development, our initial site was not responsive, as at the time, this was an additional cost. However, shortly afterwards, Strategies changed their product and now only develop responsive recruitment sites. As we had just missed out on this, Strategies agreed to roll it out to our site as well.

I think this shows that the team are keen to innovate and continually develop their products for the benefit of their customers rather than just for the benefit of their own bottom line.

Ongoing support from Strategies has always been excellent, and it is reasonably priced too. It’s inevitable that you have a few teething issues, but the support service means that these always get fixed quickly, often for no additional cost.

Strategies: MBA’s three recruitment websites have all been live over 18 months now. What has the feedback from candidates, clients and your internal staff been like?

JW: Feedback internally and externally has been fantastic. Our old sites were not fit for purpose; even though they weren’t that old, the design was extremely outmoded, functionality didn’t work properly and navigation was over complicated and counter intuitive.

Our website is our ‘shop window’, and prior to rolling out our new sites, the teams were almost too embarrassed to mention that we had a site! It certainly didn’t accurately put across the high end quality of our services! Now, I get a very positive response from teams in all offices.

Strategies: Have you seen an increase in traffic and candidate engagement since working with Strategies?

JW: Yes – traffic figures across all sites compared to the previous year are up 21%. Our bounce rate has dropped by half, pages visited per session have doubled and time spent on the site has tripled, so users are definitely engaging more with the site.

In terms of candidate registrations, we have steadily increased the number of registered candidates on the sites, as well as increased our social followers as a result.

Strategies: Strategies have recently updated the whole network of MBA websites to be responsive to all mobile devices. How well was the update delivered?

JW: The update, which also included some design tweaks based on user feedback after the first 6 months, was very well managed. I had a central point of contact at Strategies who project managed the transition. As always, the development team were fantastic, and the whole project was managed efficiently and quickly without any problems. I’m really pleased with the result.

Strategies: Would you have any hesitations in recommending them to other recruitment businesses who are in need of a professional functional recruitment website?

JW: I think that in terms of value for money, the design and functionality of a Strategies site coupled with a great development and support team offered is hard to beat.