UserCentric: Redefining online recruiting for doctors and nurses

How do you match health care practitioners to the right job? When The Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria (PMCV) had to recruit doctors and nurses for the healthcare match system it administers, they needed an efficient solution that would take into account a high number of complex variables while remaining agile and, most importantly, accurate. At UserCentric, we devised a solution that gives PMCV administrators control over the entire recruiting experience. And to power this solution we chose Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud because of the freedom it gives the developers to integrate it into our tech stack, allowing us to tailor an experience for the PMCV team and simplify the process for job candidates and hospital administrators.

Matching health practitioners to the right jobs

The process of recruiting and matching doctors and nurses to open positions varies significantly depending on the role. Differences include requirements around documentation, background checks, professional references, methods of payment and the application process itself. PMCV needed a way to easily configure and update content, process steps, and system rules (such as the number of hospitals a candidate can add to their shortlist) for each job role. Users need fine-grained control over every job type, with the ability to change details and processes in real time. No off-the-shelf solution existed, and traditional approaches required technical resources to configure and manage the system.

Managing the recruiting process with Elastic Cloud

UserCentric devised a solution that gives PMCV administrators control over the entire recruiting experience, with the goal of accelerating the process of matching qualified candidates to open positions. UserCentric chose Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud because of its ease to set up a complete environment that can be used for business intelligence reporting, as well as the freedom it gives the developers to integrate it into our tech stack, allowing us to tailor an experience for the PMCV team and simplify the process for job candidates and hospital administrators.

The resulting solution allows PMCV administrators to manage the entire recruiting process within a single dashboard. We combined our use of Elasticsearch Service with Kentico Kontent, a headless content management system (CMS) which allowed us to create content models to manage job descriptions and apply configuration variables that drive contextually relevant experiences for each user. These models changed the way the PMCV team thinks about their website — moving from a traditional page-centric mindset to an approach that adapts each content item based on context and user persona. This approach was complementary to using a powerful search technology such as Elasticsearch, as we were able to easily ingest the content from Kentico Kontent into Elastic Cloud using webhooks.

We used Kibana as our tool for report generation and general business intelligence, where non-developers were able to configure new visualisations and dashboards. Our team specified an index pattern which prefixed the match year, followed by the match category, followed by the match instance codename — allowing the dashboards in Kibana to be defined once at the match category level — but using wildcard index searches to easily build reports across a specific match, against the entire category or even against all categories in a specific year for the general purpose reports. This approach of creating a standard set of visualisations and dashboards proved to be a game-changer for the delivery of the project, especially considering that the alternative was creating custom reports using manually created database queries and using charting libraries to create bespoke front-end templates.


Caption 1. UserCentric created a Kibana dashboard for the PMCV to have a single view of the entire recruiting process. Reporting is a key component for PMCV and it used to take them one week to develop a single report in Excel. Now with the Elastic Stack, they’re able to instantly create sophisticated customized reports in real time. This provides administrators the business intelligence needed to make decisions that places healthcare workers at the best fitting jobs.

We used Elastic APM to provide system health and performance metrics and insights for both the Node.js API platform as well as the React.js client application. Combining technical monitoring capabilities together with the business intelligence reporting in Kibana allowed us to treat Elastic Cloud as a single “System of Intelligence” that provides real-time insights into the PMCV’s digital platform and business operations. This notion of creating a single view of the platform was a driving vision for the project, based on the notion that a large and complicated digital platform can be maintained and managed in a more effective manner when the right contextual information is displayed all in one view.


One of the key benefits in using Elasticsearch Service was the increase in development velocity, as the UserCentric team was able to easily spin up the Kibana and Elasticsearch environments at the push of a button. The simplicity in using Elastic Cloud freed up our technical resources to focus on solving the core engineering challenges that were specific to building the placement and allocation system that orchestrated the matching between the Health Services and the candidates.

“By using Elasticsearch Service, we were able to stand up a fully functional environment for our business intelligence reporting purposes — with real data flowing through to Kibana, within a matter of days. This allowed our team to focus on our core challenge of creating the best possible user experience for the medical candidates.” - Kristian Tasevski, Director of Technology, UserCentric

The recruiting of health professionals in Victoria has never been more efficient. A small number of business administrators can now maintain a large number of complex processes, driving the end-to-end experience for every new job. The recruitment processing time for candidates and administrators has improved by 50%, with qualified candidates being successfully placed in medical positions across the state’s 142 participating hospitals and health services. Perhaps most importantly, the citizens of Victoria can rest easy knowing their state’s health system will remain fully staffed and ready to serve patients for the foreseeable future.

UserCentric is an Australia-based digital consultancy that services large enterprises, governments, and venture capital -backed technology startups. It brings together the skills of product and UX design, strategy consulting, and deep technology expertise to deliver real business results to its clients. UserCentric utilises the most cutting-edge technology across web and mobile, including React, Node.js, mobile frameworks such as Flutter, and the Elastic Stack.

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