Full-stack design and technology build with collaboration from multiple vendors
Brand/Marketing Partner (AOR) & Tech Partner (5 and 2 Studio)
The leading platform transforming how physicians find jobs gets a needed transformation.
PhysEmp (short for Physicians Employment) has been connecting physicians with employers since 1991. Originally starting out as a print magazine, founder Bob Truog evolved his offering to the early days of the Internet with great success. Since then, PhysEmp has been the industry-leading platform connecting talented physicians with employers and recruiters across the nation.
Today, the platform allows physicians to search over 24,000 jobs in more than 200 specialties and subspecialties in all 50 states.
What sets PhysEmp apart
Other job aggregators aren’t built to support the needs of physicians or the recruiters looking to place them in jobs. PhysEmp was created to uniquely support this population.
PhysEmp has been around for decades, and has built meaningful connections & trust with physicians, hospitals, practices, and recruiters every step of the way.
They meet physicians and recruiters where they are – offering an efficient and relevant job board available across devices.
There are no placement fees that other competitors require.
Technology challenges hindering growth
The PhysEmp platform was continually built on throughout the early 2000’s and had continued to serve the company well until 2015. As the technology became dated and the way physicians searched for jobs began to change from desktop to mobile, it was clear the platform needed to evolve as well. Additional pressure from an increased competitive landscape added to the need to be agile and build incrementally. This became a multi-year effort to rebuild the system in a modern framework that not only supported physicians searching on mobile, but also provided additional functionality to recruiters and PhysEmp staff.
Identifying the right partners
Crema was well positioned to assist PhysEmp with their goals for the platform, but there were several key elements that required collaboration with outside partners.
First, there was a need to modernize the PhysEmp brand. For that, we turned to our branding & marketing partner, AOR, and worked closely together in the first phase of the engagement, incorporating the new branding they developed into key flows of the application for validation with real users. Crema led the project management, product design, and product strategy once the initial branding was set by AOR.
Second, the validated prototype needed to be implemented across the product suite, largely written in .NET. For this, we partnered with 5 and 2 Studio to drive the development of the physician web app, recruiter web app and admin tool. Crema owned the overall product management process, as well as product design and QA. This ensured that our teams were collectively moving toward the same goals on a weekly basis, and a single backlog could be reviewed and groomed with the client in anticipation of the launch in June 2019.
Together, our blended teams created results that were bigger and better than any one company could have accomplished alone.
“We have worked with numerous vendors over the years. Working with Crema and AOR has been our best experience to date. They handled the extra challenge of collaborating with each other to meet our needs. All vendors start strong but often fade in execution; this was not the case here. From the first meeting, there was focus on our needs by understanding our business approach without any pandering. The final product has exceeded my expectations for its' design, improved functionality and successfully expressing our personality. Their approach was thorough, systematic and on time, even when incorporating our feedback.”
– Bob Truog, President of PhysEmp
Objectives and goals of the work
In 2017, the initial phase kicked off. Our collective goal was to improve functionality, retention, and overall usability of the product to reflect modern best practices and mobile responsive views. In order to achieve these objectives, our teams kicked off to unveil the competitive landscape, identify the backlog, and plan out a user testing schedule to validate the new direction with real users of the application.
Once the brand had been established by AOR, Crema’s design and product strategy experts got to work on creating a pixel-perfect prototype of the physician tool and marketing site to be tested with users of the PhysEmp platform. We conducted multiple rounds of testing, which were recorded & used to inform iterations of the product design. Our teams were focused on learning exactly how the user experience should work before writing a line of code.
At the end of this initial phase, our teams were able to establish a new visual identity for PhysEmp and validate whether physicians had:
An easier time getting started on the platform
A better search experience
Improved management of their profiles
A more robust and easier to navigate marketing site that enabled users to learn more about PhysEmp
After a pause for the PhysEmp team to make progress on the learnings in Phase 1, Phase 2 kicked off in August of 2018. Crema’s product management, strategy, design, and testing experts partnered with our trusted tech partner, 5 and 2 Studio. Their experience in the tech stack allowed for the team to move quickly and efficiently, taking the designs from validated concepts to live product.
Our goal was to develop the web application for physicians, design and develop the web application for recruiters, develop a new admin interface, and launch the product to make PhysEmp 2.0 available to their database of almost 7,500 users.
Crema is an agency driven by user interface & user experience design – powered by a strong product management process. With the help of our development partner, 5 and 2 Studio, we ensured the diverse platform was made up of small, reusable, declarative components. The Crema team oversaw product management and quality assurance, while our .NET development partner focused on implementing the new platform.
There were several moving pieces to the PhysEmp platform that required complex orchestration to ensure we would hit the goals of the engagement. Navigating a 20-year-old database, designing a new user interface for components of the platform, and prioritizing features necessary for launch were woven into our 2-week agile sprints.
Our teams collaborated over the course of the engagement by:
Creating, managing, and working toward a backlog of shared work on a bi-weekly sprint basis
Regularly grooming and prioritizing the backlog to meet the needs of PhysEmp and the team’s capacity
Establishing a velocity of work that can be completed during a 2-week sprint
Pivoting when necessary as complexities and opportunities presented themselves
Frequently demonstrating the product to client stakeholders
Weaving quality assurance & test engineering throughout the entire process
Insights behind the solution
The mature database of the PhysEmp platform was a lynchpin in the new product’s success. After unraveling the code, our teams realized that the errors users were experiencing could be solved by rewriting some frontend components and calls to the database. A strategy was developed and reviewed with the client to keep the current database & reconfigure other aspects of the platform so that the launch date could be met.
Rebuilding two frontend applications, along with the other priorities of the engagement, required our teams to remain agile throughout the process and frequently keep the focus on creating a better, more useful experience for the physicians and recruiters who rely on the platform.
With the new PhysEmp platform live, there are many more opportunities to build upon the experience and introduce new features to users. Our backlog is brimming with new functionality and upgrades to the platform on both the physician and recruiter side.
PhysEmp intends to continue to grow their offering to the thousands of physicians & recruiters who use the service.
An acquisition to remember
In late 2018, ProfessionalChats had been acquired by Portland, OR company Ruby Receptionists.
"The acquisition plays a strategic role in expanding Ruby’s ability to engage with customers through all different channels, including digital and online platforms. The addition of ProfessionalChats allows Ruby’s customers to seamlessly add online chat to their website, Facebook and Google listing." For the full press release, click here.
During this time, Crema continued to serve ProfessionalChats as normal while plans for integration began to form.
Integrating into Ruby Receptionists
After the acquisition in late 2018, Crema began working closely with Ruby Receptionists’ Chief Product and Technology Officer Katharine Nester, as well as their Director of Product Management, Dan Porter. Their goals to integrate ProfessionalChats software into their current platform are still underway.
— Scott Hansen, Founder of ProfessionalChats
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