Building a New Flagship Store App on a Tight Timeline

The Challenge

Our client, a major global ecommerce retailer, needed to combine their three apps for their three consumer types into one for a more consistent experience for shoppers, with location-based results, and information on par with the in-store experience. Computer Futures began a relationship with the client in May 2019 as a potential vendor to help resolve this need alongside other staffing firms.

Then the pandemic happened.

In Q1-2020, just prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the client’s YoY growth was trailing slightly behind the prior quarter. By Q2-2020, YoY growth had risen sharply but gross profit had decreased. The app was resulting in increased sales but at a lower profit margin due to the outdated technology. As the pandemic progressed, the timeline for a greenfield app for the flagship store went from slowly progressive to immediate need.

The company needed to adapt more quickly to the Covid-age consumer expectations, accelerating the timeline to hire a team of project-based app developers to build a new app from scratch, rather than rework the old ones as previously planned. To create a world-class customer experience and replicate transactions on a mobile device, loading data across multiple platforms, and providing information to consumers who could not visit locations was a job for the best talent on the market.

The client’s challenge? A time-consuming, four-stage, two-week interview process for on-site employees, followed by a 2-4 week onboarding lag-time. They were in dire need of qualified developers, but simply did not have the bandwidth to complete the hiring of resources in the time required to support the workload.

Machine learning, predictive behavior in shopping, and a more user-friendly mobile experience: this was a project for Computer Futures.

Our Consultation

Once the company realized the added urgency for staffing and recruitment assistance, a gap in the service of their other vendors became apparent. The candidates presented to the client were lacking in the volume and the caliber needed to meet their requirements. A high-level executive opened an email from Computer Futures describing an app developer for hire that was precisely what the client’s project called for.

Computer Futures’ recruitment specialists offered their consultation and expertise as a specialist, differentiating service. Our reputation, track record, and offer of a streamlined hiring process led to a quality relationship based on performance and reliability rather than legacy. Our contractors previously placed with the company were performing exceptional work, lending support to our position as the best and most connected in the tech world.

Opening the candidate pool to remote contractors was a challenge for the on-site culture driven company. We submitted to the client that the talent they were seeking was not likely available in their area, at a price they wanted to pay. Access to a wider talent network with more skills and at a lower cost was too good of an offering for the client to pass up.

Our Approach

A long interview process consisting of a HackerRank test, phone screen with a director, and a three-hour panel interview was completely overhauled and managed by Computer Futures professionals. The procedure became:

  • Virtual interviews with remote contractors in any U.S. location;
  • Computer Futures’ proprietary accreditation process;
  • Short panel interviews with engineers on the team to identify a culture fit;
  • Designated interview timeslots with the hiring managers to avoid delays in scheduling;
  • Quick discussions among the directors, the Human Resources department and hiring managers;
  • Making offers to qualified, exceptional candidates within 24 hours of a final interview.

The first contractor for this project was placed with the client by Computer Futures within a week of engagement, an Android developer with exceptional experience. Three more were placed in the first month, then six the next month, with a total of 35 as of February 2021. These professionals brought their expertise from companies such as Disney, BestBuy, Reverb.com, eBay, Amazon, Nike, PayPal, Starbucks, and more.

We had proven ourselves as real business solutions partners, committed to helping the client with their greater hiring needs.

Portraying the work as the creative, modern, innovative work of top talent was the key strategy for utilizing our network of professionals eager to exercise their passion for development.

As the project continued, so did the client’s need evolve and adapt for more candidates to fill more roles, at the senior and staff level including:

  • iOS developers
  • Android developers
  • React.js engineers
  • Mobile tech writers
  • Node.js engineers

The Result

Such was the success of Computer Futures’ placements that we became the client’s number one talent supplier of mobile development professionals.

As the app was successfully developed and rolled out, the client’s needs for talent changed from contractors interested in the fun and creativity of a new project to those providing maintenance, continual improvement, and implementing newer trends to the functionality.

Most of these project-based professionals, having gained valuable experience and contributed their abilities to the client’s project, have moved on to other creative roles with other major companies. They continue their good relationships with the client, and with Computer Futures.

Computer Futures’ first placement, an Android developer who came highly recommended and with excellently aligned experience, is still working for the client as of this writing. At present, even after the evolution of the Covid-age, 22 of our Developers are working for the organization with more coming every month.

Key Takeaways

  • Streamlined the interview process from 4-stage to 2-stage and halved timeline from 2 week to 1 week while preserving candidate quality;
  • Imported talent who already had experience of the new technology environment they were transitioning to (MVVM-C architecture, SwiftUI and Jetpack Compose, state-of-the-art large scale feature development);
  • Opened up talent pool to fully remote workers giving the client access to high quality candidates at a lower cost;
  • Became a #1 supplier for mobile talent to one of the largest ecommerce companies in the world.

"The Computer Futures team is full of amazing recruiters and has helped us staff 20 engineers in the last year. These are good people to have in your network."

In this section

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