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Automated member contributions through a custom API

Manchester Digital needed to increase the amount of content contributed by members to the platform. To avoid asking for manual effort, they developed their own API to enable members to contribute job postings automatically.

The Manchester Digital website enables members to post content including articles, job vacancies and event listings. This content is then visible publicly and acts as a valuable marketing platform for members.

Since the MD website is just one of many channels that each member posts content to, reducing the amount of effort required for members to contribute content is crucial in driving engagement.

We discussed the challenge with MD and explored potential integrations to create automations between the software members are already using, and the MD website.

Job posting automation

We decided to focus on job vacancies first – an area where MD were looking to encourage more posting among members.

MD knew that members already use ATS (Applicant Tracking Solution) software to manage job vacancies and publish them to platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed. If they could find a way to integrate with these softwares, that would require minimal effort from members to integrate.

While this sounds good in principle, after interviewing members we found that different members used a wide selection of different software to publish job vacancies.

Because of this, multiple integrations would need to be developed to cover a significant portion of members. This would require a larger initial investment on MD’s part, without any real guarantee of usage.

A custom solution

MD needed a solution that would create automation and convenience for members, but require less initial investment so they could prove a demand for this before investing more.

We decided to develop a custom API to support posting jobs to the website.

An API is simply a way for two technology platforms to share data. We created an API that enables members to automatically push jobs from their existing software to the website, regardless of the software they use.

The API functionality has been well received and we are looking to build on this in future by enabling more integrations in other areas of the site, e.g. automatically posting events from Eventbrite or articles from WordPress.