Announcing the release of Matador Jobs 3.0 for Bullhorn CRM

For the last seven months or so I’ve been working with a colleague on developing the Matador Jobs plugin. It’s finally here!  Below is our release announcement from the Matador site. 

 

Introducing Matador Jobs, the new family of plugins for WordPress to integrate your website with the Bullhorn CRM.

After seven long months of development, hours of testing, one too many emails telling our eagerly awaiting customers “soon”, many long days, early mornings, and late nights, we are excited to finally announce and introduce Matador Jobs. This is the first major release of the new Matador Jobs family of plugins, and we’d love to get you acquainted!

What is Matador Jobs?

Matador is a premium WordPress plugin that connects and integrates your businesses’ marketing website with the power of your Bullhorn CRM subscription. If you’re here, you are likely already a Bullhorn customer, or a developer working for one.

When you install Matador, you will be prompted to use REST-API credentials to connect your website to Bullhorn. After a few settings tweaks, your website will reach out to Bullhorn and gather all the information about the jobs your firm is currently hiring for. It will make a local copy of the job data and then build a page on your website for every job, optimized for SEO and Google Jobs Search that loads incredibly fast. It will then regularly check your Bullhorn account about every half hour for changes to the jobs, and update your site if needed, so you only need to manage your jobs in one place: on Bullhorn.

Matador Jobs - Job Listings Screenshot

Each job also has an application form, either on the job page at the bottom or as its own application page. This form is fully customizable with 14 different fields, including a resume and a cover letter. When an applicant visits your site and finds a job they’d like to apply for, they can do it directly from that page. They are sent a confirmation email, your recruiter is sent a heads-up email, and their information is transmitted directly to Bullhorn to create a candidate record and add them as a new lead or applicant for the job they were interested in. This application data is also saved on your website, for both reference and in case something goes wrong, and if something does go wrong, Matador will retry at a later time. When an applicant provides a resume, Matador will send the resume into Bullhorn’s resume processor and build their candidate profile on Bullhorn with that processed data.

But Other Plugins Claim to Do That, Why Matador?

What makes Matador so good at what it does is that its developers have spent a combined 7 years developing for Bullhorn and we’ve figured out how to address all of the challenges our colleagues haven’t. We’ve seen almost everything that can go wrong, and we’ve tried to include failsafes for as many problems as possible. Two of those big issues are: its very hard to connect a site to Bullhorn and it disconnects often. To address these issues specifically, we built a user-friendly “Connection Assistant” tool and a behind-the-scenes connection recovery tool that successfully recovers from a disconnect up to 80% of the time without user intervention required.

Matador Jobs - Bullhorn API Credentials Screenshot

I’m a User of the Old Plugin, What Happens to Me?

One of Matador’s developers offered a free plugin on the WordPress plugin repository called Bullhorn Staffing and Recruitment Job Listing and CV/Resume Uploader for WordPress for the last few years which Matador Jobs Lite will be replacing. If you were a user of the that plugin, have no fear! When we finish our release, your website will upgrade the old plugin to Matador Jobs Lite and all features you once counted on will still be available to you as well as some great new ones.

So Why Should I Upgrade?

Five reasons: Application Processing, Connection Recovery, Support, Regular Updates, and Extensibility.

A premium version of Matador will be required to receive and process applications from candidates on new installs. Not only does Matador Jobs include application processing, but it includes tools that prevent duplicate candidate submissions, allow single candidate records to apply to multiple jobs, parses and processing resumes into candidate data points, and accepts applications in fewer than 1 second on average via our smart local caching of candidate data.

Matador Jobs - Applications Screenshot

As mentioned earlier, the connection recovery tool is our answer to one of the huge problems when working with Bullhorn. In our years of writing WordPress plugins for Bullhorn users, we found that Bullhorn API connections can be broken somewhat regularly. In the past, our solutions was to email the site administrator to ask them to repair the connection manually, but that required someone intervene every time. Matador Jobs premium includes Connection Recovery, an automatic process that detects disconnections and attempts to reconnect before requesting administrator intervention.

When the old plugin was released, it was released “as-is”. It wasn’t yet fully realized and definitely required an advanced-to-expert level of knowledge of WordPress and Bullhorn to install and configure. The problem is that many of the people who installed the plugin were not developers, so many users reached out to us for support that we couldn’t offer. Not only do all users benefit from the easier to use and configure features of Matador, but our premium users will get access to around-the-clock email support from the people who build Matador day in and day out.

The old plugin only got updates when one of our users offered to sponsor development costs. This meant some users would get frustrated waiting for updates that weren’t coming. Premium offerings will help ensure regular bug fixes and new features, and we’ll deliver those automatically to your site.

Finally, another thing we learned in years of offering and occasionally supporting the old plugin is that everyone who uses Bullhorn uses it in a different way, and we needed to offer a solution that is customizable, configurable, and extensible. While Matador Jobs is the spiritual successor to the old plugin, it is nothing like its predecessor. When we built Matador, we started from scratch, both to create the most stable, most reliable solution available, but also to create an extensible solution. We put hundreds of filters and hooks into the plugin, and we are launching with 7 extensions that add optional features available only to premium subscribers.

So I’m Sold. What Version Should I Get?

Matador Jobs Pro is available as an annual subscription and includes updates and support and all the pro features. It is ideal for smaller firms who don’t need access to our extensions and add-ons. Pro Plus is available as both a one-time lifetime purchase or as an annual subscription and includes all of the Pro features plus access to any or all current and future extensions and add-ons that help you make your Matador experience even more tailored to your business needs.

Why is this version 3.0? What happened to 1 and 2?

In a way, this is the 1.0 version of Matador because it is a completely new plugin, but as we explained before, Matador is the spiritual successor to the old plugin. The final version of that plugin was version 2.5 and so we are releasing Matador Jobs at version 3.0 to ensure existing users of the old plugin can enjoy the automatic upgrade path.

Shout-Out and Thanks to Our Awesome Supporters

Let us take a minute to shout-out to and thank the people who made this possible! Jeremy and Paul, the co-developers of Matador Jobs, couldn’t’ve made Matador without the loving support of our wonderful better halves, Cyril and Gina. While we’ve both had mentors in our careers as developers, one that has been an incredible mentor in many facets of the development of Matador is Chris Klosowski, who embodies the spirit of the WordPress community in every way. We also owe thanks to several of our clients, including Kelly, Tim, Lisa, Lee, and others for being supportive during the development and helping us test our early work. Thank you all!

 

 

WordTechCon! Toronto 2018

WordTechCon

I’m delighted that WordTechCon has just announced that I will be speaking at their conference in Toronto, on May 4 2018.

WordTechCon describes itself as “a new premium conference that will allow WordPress Theme and Plugin Developers as well as hosting services to learn from industry leaders at a relaxed pace in a wonderful location”.

I will be be speaking on a pretty fundamental issue for all coders;

How can I know I am writing secure WordPress code?

Systematic Holistic Speed

Slides as presented at WordCamp Toronto, 2015

We all have created the odd WordPress site that has turned out to be fast but how do we do this each and every time?

In this talk I explore some of the techniques and choices that will make your site feel fast and also talk about how to automate / streamline your development process so that you can do this each and every time, no matter how rushed you are.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand what slows code down.
  • Realise how an SQL calls slow the site.
  • Understand that perceived speed can be more important than real speed.
  • Learn how to automate deployment.
  • Discover that it’s the small items that count.
  • Know what caching is, know how cache works in WordPress.
  • Understand the problems that caching causes and how to work around them.

Fitt’s law

I discovered Fitt’s law back in 2011. It states that:

The farther you are and the smaller the target, the longer it takes to move the cursor and point at said target.

Tom Stafford said it best:

“Although the basic message is obvious (big things are easier to select) it is the precise mathematical characterization that is exciting, and that this characterization includes a logarithmic function – which means that the shape of the relationship between size and reaction time is curved so that small increases in size for small objects make it much easier to select them (whereas small increases in size for big objects don’t make that much difference). And the same applies for changes in target distance.”

Size and selection times: Fitts’s Law

 

or in maths speak    MT = a + b log2(2A/W)

I first came across this rule in the this post, The Opposite of Fitts’ Law by Jeff Atwood:

Unintended ejection seat lever consequences
Unintended ejection seat lever consequences

Jeff talks about not putting the the “Delete Forever” button too close to the “Save” button . . . just like you wouldn’t want to put the ejector seat switch next to the radio!

Here’s another good article on Fitts’s Law: Vizualizing Fitt’s Law

 

WCUS – passion, democratization, accessibility, community

It was almost with trepidation that we took off for  WCUS in Philadelphia at the end of November 2016. In the wake of the Trump election victory, even before his inauguration and what followed, US travel already seemed somehow less appealing.

Justice, equality and freedom of the press

The Liberty BellIn the event, I am really glad that we were there in that moment. It was a reminder of so much that is good in America. To stand beside the Liberty Bell was particularly poignant. To read of past success in the struggle against injustice and inequality was a heartening reminder that there always have been and still are many who will fight for the best of what it is to be human.

We had a day together in which to explore. The Liberty Bell was a ‘must see’. Benjamin Franklin’s printing press resonated well with our attendance at WCUS. After all, WordPress specifically seeks to democratize publishing. Franklin’s grandson’s statement on the freedom of the press is as relevant now as it as ever been.

His Press Shall be Free

WCUS itself was a fascinating experience for someone who functions at the edge of the WordPress community. What stays with me is the depth of commitment to making WordPress accessible to all. In 2016 there were 115 WordCamps in 41 countries, with close to 90% of the costs (though not the travel) covered by sponsors.

WordPress is available in 50 languages and there is a strong push for internationalization and accessibility. All this exists in the context of a code-base  written by volunteers (Paul has ‘core commits’ in a number of WordPress releases).

The third day of the conference was ‘Contributor Day’. Hundreds of people gave a full day of their time to coding, bug fix, testing, review, documentation, translation and more. In five years, the WordPress market share has grown from 13% to 27% of the web and this effort is what underpins it. What a fantastic model for social co-operation!

While Paul focused on the more technical sessions and networking, I tapped into the wider content. Topics included ‘Version Control Your Life’, ‘Five Newsroom Tips for Better Website Content’, ‘Care and Feeding of Your Passion’, as well as a really helpful session on releasing a WordPress product.

‘Darth Vader wins over Yoda every time!’

Perhaps most pertinent to world events was a great talk on ‘The Dark Side of Democratization’. It seems that content that elicits emotional response is what goes viral, particularly if it arouses anger (hence the headline quote!). Therefore we all need to cultivate an ability to evaluate both our emotional response to content and the ‘facts’ in a post-truth world. An interesting suggestion was the importance of monitoring ‘news’ from sources that reflect the people who don’t think like you, engaging with understanding and tolerance, not judgement.

You can find’ the full 40 min session at https://dennis.blog/democratization/,  together with a great set of resource links including fact checkers.

Partying with dinosaurs

WCUS - partying with dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Sciences

The ‘corridor stream’ is always a key element of any WordCamp and the after-party is a fun extension of this. In this case, we partied with dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Sciences, making some useful contacts while were were about it!

 

(This review of WCUS 2016 was originally published as part of a longer article on Gina’s personal blog.)